Maulik Roots is a 6’0 shooting guard from Kankakee Illinois. He played junior college ball in Phoenix, Arizona He got some professional experience last April in Mexico last April and also has played in a couple of semi pro men’s leagues in the Phoenix area. He was a member of the 2019 Howard Hoops tour that toured in Germany in August.He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Maulik thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I am currently in Frankfurt Germany. My summer has been good it’s been a daily grind to get better.
There are guys with meager basketball resume’s and then there are guys like you that are battling to build a resume. How hungry are you to finally get a chance to showcase your basketball skills with a professional team?
Oh man I’m extremely hungry especially with how my basketball life has been. So to get this chance I’m extremely blessed and I plan on making the most out of the opportunity !
How tough was it making the transition from high school ball to junior college ball not having played your junior or senior years of high school?
It was tough man completely different than what I had envisioned. Everyone had speed, everyone could shoot, could play defense, being a guard you got to find a way to set yourself apart. After summer camp ended me an the head coach sat down and decided that using my redshirt year would be my best option. I used that to really motivate me to key in on grinding and working on my game, way more than I ever did.
You went to Mexico last April and got some professional experience. Where did you play and what kind of experience was it being in a Spanish country?
I went down to Queretaro, Mexico. The experience wasn’t exactly how I thought it would be. End of the day I’m still grateful to have gone out there for that month get me a few games in. I look at it as all a part of the process. It could have been better but it also could have been way worse.
You also have played with some semi-pro league teams in the Phoenix, Arizona area. What kind of steps could you make it here? You put up good stats. Do any kind of scouts visit these type of games as you never know there might be that gem that everybody overlooked.
Yea when I got back from Mexico it was a few leagues going on that I hopped in. I joined the leagues to stay active but also as a networking tool, you never know who you can meet while playing or after the game. There weren’t really scouts there but I played against guys that played overseas, so with the help of social media it makes it easy to network with people. But also exposure you play in enough spots or leagues wherever your at if you can play you will start to get noticed it’s almost inevitable.
How tough is it keeping your basketball dream alive while having a day job? How do you pay the bills while grinding in the gym at night?
Man much respect to everyone that’s chasing this hoop dream while still paying bills and handling life. It’s no easy task making sure you work enough to pay your bills but also making sure that you are working on your game so your not outworked by the next man. I was blessed that my jobs back in Phoenix worked with me and my schedule to allow me to make that money to pay my bills, but also allow me to be a gym rat. If you aren’t focused on your goal and truly dedicated to what your chasing it’s very easy to fall off and lose sight. I thank God for keeping me locked in and focused thru all them late nights and early mornings !
Just so one can get a feel as to what type of player you are, if you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I think I’m just a combination of role players not really modeled after a specific player
Describe your game a bit. You’re a player that can fill the stat sheet. What are your biggest strengths on the court?
I’m a high energy player with good vision to hit the open man. A huge threat if left open. I love to move without the ball to open myself up, because I don’t need much room to pull the trigger. I can get the team involved as well which is why I tend to fill the stat sheet up.
On what things are you working on most on your game now as you continue to improve your game as you hopefully move up the basketball ladder?
Ball handling ! Definitely working on making my handles tighter. You can never get to good at ball handling. The tighter your handles are the easier it makes your game honestly, especially if you can shoot! So as I continue to climb that ladder ball handling will be something I can always improve on.
You are taking part at the 2019 Howard Hoops tour in Germany. How excited are you to be able to be in Europe? With what kind of expectations are you going to Germany with?
Man I don’t think I slept much the last week I was in the states that’s how excited I was to be coming out here. Great experience spending this time out here the culture the food the time. The group I’m out here with are all cool people. We are building a nice bond lots of laughs and we just getting started. My expectations are very high for myself while I’m out here. I packed to stay for a while!
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball? What are you looking forward to most with this experience?
I don’t know much about the country I do know that the love for basketball here is growing. You can never go wrong with cultural experience that’s the thing that I love most with playing overseas basketball. Experiencing the culture !
How thankful are you of getting this experience from tour CEO Ronald Howard (181-PG-84, college: Mayville St.). How did the whole contact come about and what do you believed impressed him most from your game to invite you?
Oh man I’m extremely blessed and grateful to have come into contact with Ron. He’s definitely someone that a guy like me or anyone really for that matter should have in their corner. A guy that played in Germany last season was playing in one of those leagues back in Phoenix. I reached out to him on social Media after playing against him and asked if he knew any opportunities happening out in Germany, since he just played there . He directed me towards Ron. I messaged him we talked a bit he got some background info on me and invited me to the tour. Honestly I think he could hear the drive I had for the game.
Ronald Howard has an amazing track record of helping guys like yourself land on a team. How confident are you that through his guidance you would be able to find a team?
Yea after googling him and learning more of his background he’s helped a lot of guys land jobs. I extremely confident that with my mindset and having Ron I’m my corner finding a team home out here can likely be an outcome
Ronald Howard is an amazing around the clock basketball junkie. What has impressed you most about his presence and just how much influence does he have in being able to get the best out of a player?
He’s real ! End of the day he’s cutthroat and real which that in itself is influential an makes a player want to be at their best knowing you got a guy like that coming behind you.
Is your basketball dream big enough to earn somewhere between 300-500 euro to start?. That is a tough lifestyle and some guys can’t cope with it while others can. Are you aware how tough it will be once you get a shot?
Honestly starting out I’m grateful to just land a job the money amount will work its way in but if I can just get a job doing what I love I’ll be satisfied. The basketball life is a tough life especially the overseas basketball life. Everyday you got to show up at your best because every day it’s someone that wants your spot . So when you get that shot you got to give it your all ride it till the wheels fall off
Please explain in a few sentences as to why you could help any team despite the kind of resume that you have?
I feel I can help any team because I can move the ball. I can run the floor play defense. I can shoot. I know how to get open. Lastly I have no quits which is a deadly attribute to have.
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore. Which 4 heads old or present would you pick?
Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant Lebron James magic Johnson
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I got to go with the goat also being from the Chicago area he was highly talked about growing up I got to go with MJ
What was the last movie that you saw?
Hobbs and Shaw
Thanks Maulik fort he chat.