Demetris Morant is a 26 year old 203cm forward from Las Vegas playing his second professional season and first with the Artland Dragons. Last season as a rookie he played with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) playing 6 games averaging 2.7ppg, 2.3rpg; and in the BCL 3 games averaging 0.7ppg, 1.3rpg. He played a season at UNLV playing 13 NCAA games and then three seasons at FGCU (NCAA) playing 89 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 10.5ppg, 7.9rpg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 75.6%, FT: 62.1%. He spoke to germanhoops.com earlier in the summer about basketball.
Meech thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
Hello Miles it’s nice to meet you. I’m currently in Hong Kong working out.
Before we get to the meat of the interview how did you obtain the nickname Meech?
Lol it’s funny because I actually got my nickname in high school from some random guy walking down the hallway and it just stuck ever since.
After a tough rookie season in Greece where you gained good experiences with the game and talented players, how did you enter your second professional season transfer market? What were you seeking as a player for your next move?
Coming into my second season I was just looking for a team that was willing to help develop me as a player and also a team that I could fit in their play style.
Congrats on signing with the Artland Dragons. When you heard the name of head coach Florian Hartenstein did you know right away that his son had been drafted last year by the Rockets or did it take a bit longer to dawn on you?
My agent actually told me about the coach’s son being drafted to be honest.
Head coach Florian Hartenstein is very high on your abilities. What were the main reasons for you to pick the Artland Dragons as your next team?
I pick them as the team to go to because they are a team that looking at the bigger picture and that’s to help their player in any way possible.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a very versatile defender and are equipped with great athleticism. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit your player profile?
If I had to compare my game to any NBA player I would have to say Clint Capela from the Rockets. He’s very athletic, long and can defend.
On the offensive end you aren’t necessarily a guy that will score 20 points in three consecutive games, but you can score on a consistent level and are a great rebounder. How big of a strength is getting rebounds and how would you say has it developed in the last few years?
Rebounding is so important, getting out rebounded will most definitely cause you to lose a game. Offensive rebounds gives a team an extra possession to score the ball.
Your also a guy that likes to finish via the dunk. You had 97 as a senior at FGCU (NCAA). Would you call yourself an enforcer type of player and intimidator?
I wouldn’t call myself an intimidator but I could be a force when I’m so close to the basket.
You’re a guy that can change a game at both ends of the court, but what would you say is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed right away on the court?
A hidden strength for me is my ability to out run my opponents down the court. That is one of my greatest strengths.
Despite leaving Greece early, you played at a very high level and higher than the German Pro A. How confident are you that you will be an impact player in the German Pro A?
I’m very confident that I could help the team in the ways they want me to help. I will have to learn my role on the team and help as needed.
Last season you played with Aris Thessaloniki (Greece-A1) playing 6 games averaging 2.7ppg, 2.3rpg; BCL: 3 games: 0.7ppg, 1.3rpg. At the end of the day it was a numbers game as you had experienced guys like Brent Petway and Keith Benson ahead of you. You played well there, but do you ever wonder how you would have faired had Petway not returned and you could of played a full season there?
I feel like my season in Greece could’ve gone much better only if the coach gave me a chance. He wouldn’t play me much because I was a rookie and he always told me that I wasn’t ready. At the end of the day I know what I’m capable of and I know I would’ve been an impact for that team if used in the right way
How important was it for your early development as a player having experienced big men Brent Petway and Keith Benson there? What do you feel did you gain most of their presence?
I feel like it helped in many ways. Brent not just on the court but also off the court was like a mentor to me. He helped me through the process and made sure I kept my head up. I think that was the biggest part in all of it.
Aris was beat easily 80-55 by top Euroleague team Olympiacos and you saw three minutes. How enriching was it playing in the game and just sitting on the bench and watching guys like Jamel Mcclean and Hollis Thompson do their magic on the court?
Honestly I was itching to get in that game, but I knew the coach wasn’t going to play me. I was frustrated and the experience was not as great as it should’ve been.
You started your NCAA career at well known school UNLV (NCAA) playing only 13 games. What kind of experience was it playing there and did you get anything positive out of the two years there?
It was great playing at UNLV but at the same time it was the same as Greece, I had Anthony Bennett and Khem Birch in front of me meaning I wasn’t getting any playing time.
What memories do you have of assistant coach and ex NBA player Stacey Augmon? Were you in awe having a guy like that as coach and how did you benefit most from his presence?
Stacey Augmon was awesome. At first it was intimidating playing for a guy like that, but after getting to know him it was amazing being under his wing.
You then played three seasons at FGCU. You won the A-Sun tournament in 2016 and 2017. Which one was the sweetest for you?
At FGCU 2017 was the sweetest year for me only because it was my senior season and was my best season by far.
Even though you lost 83-67 to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament. Was playing in this game your biggest moment in the NCAA considering you played against 6 future NBA players?
It was great playing against such great talent and it taught me a lot. Only thing I regret is not being able to help my team more that game.
What were your memories of this game and with all due respect to the Kennedy Meeks’s and Brice Johnson’s, but when you look back at that game do you feel like there is so much difference where their game is and where your’s is?
My memories of that game is getting into foul trouble way too early. Honestly I didn’t see a huge difference in our game when compared to those two. Brice can shoot the ball better than me that’s about it.
Was your 25 and 17 effort in the victory against Jacksonville your best game in the NCAA?
I think my 25 and 17 game was my best game stat wise but it wasn’t my greatest game in the NCAA.
How did head coach Joe Dooley groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at FGCU?
Coach Dooley helped me in many ways, but one thing that he tried to teach me is that I’m my own greatest enemy. I get in my own way and stop myself from being great. That’s something that I’m still working on till this day.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Marc-Eddy Norelia?
Me and Marc went at it in practice all the time but I think I bested him most of the time haha.
You played against so many talented players in the NCAA, but who was your toughest opponent that reached the NBA or is in Europe?
My toughest opponent that reached the NBA would probably have to be Andre Drummond. I played against him in AAU and it was crazy trying to guard him
How does a summer work out plan look like for you in 2018? Have you switched up things from 2-3 years ago about how you approach getting ready for the upcoming season?
Honestly my summer workout plans is focusing on post moves, foot work, ball handling, and shooting. My shooting form is all out of wack because of a problem that I have with my shoulder at the moment. Trying to fix this problem.
If you had to construct your very own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you pick old or new?
If I understand this question correctly then I would pick Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and probably Kevin Durant.
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate about who is better Lebron or Jordan?
To me you can’t compare the two, they both play 2 different positions and played in two different eras.
Tracy Mcgrady said that the Boston Celtics will be the Golden State Warriors of the future. Do you see that happening?
Boston is a great program and they will keep rebuilding to the point that they’ll be great again.
Deandre Ayton was the #1 NBA draft pick in 2018. Do you feel that from sheer talent and experience that Luca Doncic should have been the real #1 draft pick?
To be honest I didn’t watch the draft because I was out the country so I can’t really say.
Lebron James makes amazing passes in every game, but really showcased it in a game this season against the Los Angeles Lakers. He already is like a point guard, but if he played just point guard and concentrated only on playmaking how many assists do you feel would he average per game?
I would say he’ll average well over 12 assists if that was his main focus. It also depends on his teammates finishing the ball.
What was the last movie that you saw? Let me guess Black Panther?
Imao no, the last movie I was Jurassic World and it was great! Haha
Thanks Meech for the chat.