Deishuan Booker is a 22 year old 190cm point guard from Las Vegas, Nevada playing his rookie season with ERA Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL). He began his basketball career with Democracy Prep Agassi Campus averaging 27.7ppg and scored over 1200 points in his two seasons. He played at Gillette CC (JUCO) averaging 11.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 76.7%. He then moved to to S.Idaho JC (JUCO, starting five) averaging 9.8ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 71.8%. He played at Long Beach State University (NCAA) from 2017-2019 playing 65 games and as a junior averaged 10.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 85.8% and in his senior year he averaged 18.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 91.2%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Basketball Champions League game in Bamberg
Deishuan thanks for talking to germanhoops.com Welcome to Germany. Before I get to the interview do you ever get mistaken for Phoenix Sun Devin Booker if your first name isn’t pronounced correctly?
Some people do joking about it. I don’t mind it, but I want to stay away from it. He is a great player.
Is this your first time to Germany? What has been your impression of it?
This is actually my second time. We went to the Berlin Mall for my Visa. I didn’t see the wall, but I want to come back to Berlin when I have some time off.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball and Have you had friends or former teammates playing Germany?
I know some players playing in Germany like Tyler Larson, Stephan Zimmermann and Jordan Davis who is my cousin.
What kind of experience has it been lacing up the sneakers for this great organization? Do you sense that special atmosphere when you set foot in the Tipsport arena?
It is has been a great experience. The club always have high expectations to win every season. I like how the organization put a high value on each player. We are very close as a team. I have great teammates.
The club is tearing up the national league like usual despite getting good competition from BK Opava. It is normal for you to blow away teams. The closest game was a 10 point win. Can it sometimes be difficult winning so easily?
It definitely makes preparation more difficult. We are so used to blowing away teams that we always have to come back and be able to refocus each game and get the job done.
Despite winning so easily in the NBL league, you are also doing very well in the Basketball Champions League. What has been the secret to being able to play so well against much better competition?
I think it has to do how close we are and play for each other. If you look at the stats, you won’t find a player averaging 25 or 20 points per game. It is a very balanced effort. It gets hard for teams in the third and fourth quarters because we have 8-9 guys that can contribute in different ways which makes it hard for teams to catch up.
Let’s talk about your teammates. What kind of experience has it been playing with Nymburk legend Petr Benda who is in his 13th season with the team and has 22 titles. How have you profited most from his daily presence on and off the court?
He is always giving you knowledge when he is around. When you see him you wouldn’t know his age. He is always smiling and has high energy. Even in bad moments, he is positive and tries to show us the way. He is great to have around.
How have you gelled with fellow rookie Zach Hankins. He also began in a lower college league and moved up to the NCAA later like you did. Do you sense that he plays with a chip on his shoulder?
He most definitely has a chip on his shoulder. He plays with something to prove. I can identify with it. His energy helps us all.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 190cm point guard and are a pass first type of lalyer. Your favorite player is Steve Nash. Would you compare your game to him or does your game resemble other current NBA players?
I study the game of Steve Nash and try to mimic him. I also enjoy watching guys like Harden, Kobe, Iverson and Mcgrady and try to take a bit from each and mold it into my game. I study their moves and try to use it in different situations. I would compare my game with modern day point guard Rajon Rondo. I like his game. I feel he is underappreciated.
You are a very complete point guard. How vital has your vast basketball IQ been for you being where you are today as a player?
I think it has to do with the different coaches that I have worked with in my career. Each coach that I ever played with taught me different reads and their own offensive and defensive schemes. I can go back to a coach that I had 8 years ago and find small things that will help my game.
You were a very good three point shooter at Long Beach State averaging in the high 30%. What are you doing now as a rookie most to eclipse the 40% mark?
The most important thing for me are reps after practice. I had to adjust to the new ball and different styles in Europe. I have to go back to basics and just always be ready for any situation
You’re a very feisty strong defender that can cause mismatch problems. When your offense isn’t rolling does your defense get your offense going?
When my shot isn’t falling, I get aggressive on defense and try to get deflections and steals and then get my teammates shots with my IQ.
You had an amazing career at Agassi Prep going 52-1 in your two seasons. Did Andre Agassi prep ever visit and congratulate the basketball team?
He would visit every now and then. He is a very busy man. He brought the rookies in from the NBA Allstar game in Las Vegas and they practiced at my school. He also brought Janet Jackson and also tennis players.
How tough was it having to play JC basketball for 2 years after averaging 27 points as a senior at Agassi prep? Did you develop a chip on your shoulder in that time and do you still have it?
It was a very humbling experience. It taught me different ways to appreciate the game. I also learned to take it one day at a time to get to where I want to be at. The JC experience put that firing drive in me to want to improve each day. I didn’t want my career to end at JC.
You first played at Gillette CC (JUCO) playing 37 games averaging 11.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 76.7% and then at S.Idaho JC (JUCO) playing 33 games averaging 9.8ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 71.8%. What do you feel were the most important skills that you learned in this time that helped you make the next step in the NCAA?
The most important thing was having to be on my own and learning new teammates. The experience also taught me to be a leader. JC was also a very physical league and taught me to be more physical. Also living in the middle of nowhere was tough. I had a lot of time to be bale to improve my body and mind each day.
You then played at Long Beach State University (NCA) from 2017-2019 playing a total of 65 NCAA games. You vastly improved your stats and game in your senior year despite playing only 1 minute more averaging : 10.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 85.8% as a junior and 18.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 91.2% as a senior.Talk a bit about your progression as a player in the two years.
Synergy was key. I did a lot of film work. My coaches wanted me to be more aggressive and be more of a scorer than just finding the open man in my senior year. Gerald Woods was key in helping me with film work and gym work. The summer before my senior year, I watched so much film and it paid off.
Despite losing 91-80 to UCLA in your first senior game, you dropped 31 points against them. How good did that feel and do you feel like people noticed?
That game set the tone for the season. It would have been better if we had won though.
Cal State Fullerton had your number as a senior where you lost by 2 and 3 points, but dropped 33 and 22 points. Can one have any type of good memories from tough tight loses like that?
It was always fun playing against them. The schools were only 30 minutes away so the games were always for bragging rights. The two Cal State guards are good friends of mine so the games were real battles. We always played in open gym during the summer.
How did Dan Monson groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Coach Monson is my guy. He had that old school style. He helped me a lot. The main thing that I got from him was that each game is a new puzzle. I have to figure out where the pieces go as the point guard and leader. I have to find a way to get done.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Drew Cobb?
Drew was a real hard worker. I would win, but I would have to work hard for it. He was a real dog on defense.
What kind of experience was it for you taking part at the NBA G League Player Invitational in Chicago. What did you learn about the professional business concerning the NBA and G-League?
I learned a lot. We had a couple of informal sessions, learning about the insurance and retirement side. The G-league has improved a lot in the last years. But I felt that at the moment the best fit was playing for Nymburk. But my end goal is always to get back.
Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA or is currently playing there?
Alonzo Trier. And Jevon Carter from West Virginia.
Luka Doncic is tearing up the NBA at the moment. Is he a top 3 best player in the NBA right now?
At the rate that he is going now he is one of the best. I don’t know if he is top 3 now, but he is on his way up. I love how he keeps the game simple. He is always very under control and one step ahead.
If you had to pick your own personal NBA Rushmore which 4 heads past or present would you chose?
Pete Maravich, Steve Nash, Tracey Mcgrady, Michael Jordan
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan and Lebron James?
I want to say Lebron. The game is always evolving. I think that he does a little more than what Jordan did. He won’t get the respect until he wins more rings.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The God Father.
Thanks Deishaun for the chat.