Shaquan Cantrell is a 196cm forward from Gainsville, Florida that played briefly with Red Devils Bramsche He played his rookie season with TSV 1861 Noerdlingen (Germany-2.Regionalliga) playing 21 games averaging 26.4ppg. He began his basketball career at N.Georgia (NCAA2) playing 101 NCAA games. In his senior year he played 28 games averaging 15.8ppg, 5.7rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 46.1%, 3PT: 29.6%, FT: 63.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career last summer
Thanks Shaquan for talking to egermanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been
Thank you for reaching out. I’m currently back at home in Gainesville, Georgia. My summer has been great, I’ve enjoyed it.
You have been working out with coach David Pruett this summer who played in Germany some years ago with TV Langen. What ties do you have with him and has he given you tips on German basketball?
I’ve known Coach Pruett since my sophomore year of college while he was playing Overseas. He was on the coaching staff at UNG during my senior season. We’ve talked about his experience while he was playing, and how different the game style is there.
Congrats on signing back in Germany for your second professional season. You had a great rookie season with Nordlingen in the Regionalliga 2 averaging 26,oppg. Now you have moved up a level to the Regionaliga signing with the Red Devils. How excited are you about this new challenge?
Thank you, I appreciate it. I’m very excited about the new opportunity in Bramsche. Anytime you can move up in your profession that’s something to be proud of, but I am ready to get out there and get to work and have a successful season there.
How was the transfer market for you this summer? Did you sense that other clubs in Germany and elsewhere had noticed your top play in the Regionalliga 2 or was it tough getting the interest you feel you deserved?
The transfer market was fine for me this summer. I heard from the club around mid-June and there was mutual interest in coming to a deal. I was very pleased to know where I was going early in the summer.
What were the main reasons for you for joining the Red Devils? As a former BBL team back in the day, did you feel that huge ambition of trying to move up and get higher in league play?
From the moment I heard from the Red Devils I instantly could tell that the club was very ambitious and wanted to continue to move up leagues throughout Germany. Another thing that sold me on the club was the atmosphere at their games, and how passionate the fans are about the team.
I am sure that you saw some Regionalliga games last season. With what kind of expectations are you going into the season and do you feel like you can continue to be an impact player the way you were with Nordlingen?
I have very high expectations going into this upcoming season. The club did very well last year as they have moved up to 1.Regionalliga. I just want to come in and do whatever is asked of me to keep that success from last year going.
Let’s talk about your game. You a 196cm guard that can score the ball with ease. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
That’s a tough question. Honestly, I don’t really know. I just try to be as versatile as a player that I can be and help my team out in any way that I can.
You can score the ball as well get rebounds well for your height. What other strengths do you have that you will showcase in your second professional season?
I feel like I am also a good playmaker. I can handle the ball well and find the open shooter. I’m looking forward to getting to Bramsche and playing with the team. I hear we have a lot of pretty good shooters so that will be fun.
You took 61 three’s in your first two seasons at N Georgia (NCAA), but only 4 in your last two seasons. How did you use the three last season with Nordlingen?
I shot the 3 a good bit last season in Nordlingen. It definitely opened up different parts of my game compared to when I was in college.
Do you see yourself incorporating the three more into your game as you continue to grow as a professional player?
Yes definitely. It’s something that I spend a lot of time on, and at the professional level it is something that you need to be able to do consistently.
You’re a player that can do many things on the court, but what do you feel is a hidden strength in your game that doesn’t get noticed always on the court?
I would probably say my playmaking and passing abilities. In the past I’ve always had to be able to score the ball and secure rebounds for my team, but I think that my passing and playmaking go unnoticed some.
After a stellar high school career at Gainsville, you played at N Georgia (NCAA) from 2013-2018 playing a total of 101 games. How much did it mean for you to have been able to play college ball in your home state?
Just having the opportunity to play college basketball was enough for me, but having my family be able to come to my games and support me meant the most.
After a solid sophomore campaign where you averaged 13.3ppg, 5.3rpg, FGP: 53.0%, 3PT: 45.7%, FT: 69.2%, you got injured in your junior season which ended after your second game. How tough was the rest of the season mentally getting back to 100% and just focusing on the next step?
I actually didn’t get to play a single game of my junior season due to a shoulder injury. It was the hardest thing I have had to endure throughout my basketball career. It was hard mentally coming back because I didn’t want to reinjure it, and I also wanted to continue to build on the moment that I had for myself after my sophomore year.
You got going right from the first game your junior year, but you had a very good stretch early scoring 20 points or more against Lee, Paine and Augusta. How vital was this stretch for you in keeping that consistency the rest of the season
It was important because I set a standard for myself and I just tried to meet that standard every time that I stepped out on the court.
You had many great games in your senior year, but your two best scoring games of 30 against Belm Abbey and 28 against Lander resulted in close tough loses. Are those loses that will stick you with a while considering how well you contributed?
No, they don’t stick with me. It’s a long season and you just have to refocus and get ready for the next game and try to go get a win.
You averaged in double figures scoring in your last three years at N Georgia. How do you feel did your game grow in those years?
I felt like my game definitely grew because I had many different jobs out on the court. I learned that there are different ways to impact a game than just scoring.
How did head coach Chris Faulkner groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
I feel like Coach Faulkner helped me best by instilling confidence not only in myself, but also in my teammates as well. He also taught me that it is equally important how you display yourself off the court just as much as on the court,
Who won a one on one in practice you or Tyler Dominy?
We’ve had some good battles, but I normally got the better of him.
Who has been the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that is in the NBA or in Europe?
Please list your five best teammates of all-time?
Ish Hollis, Chris Tanzy, Lamar Richardson, AJ Johnson, Blake Sims
Please name your personal own NBA Rushmore. Which four heads would you pick past or present for your list?
Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal
What is your personal opinion of the never ending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
That’s tough. MJ was a killer, but LeBron was more of my generation, so I’d have to go with Bron
What was the last movie that you saw?