Montrael Scott is a 27 year old 190cm guard that finished his fifth professional season and first with the EN Baskets Schwelm (Germany-ProB) playing 22 games averaaging 17.5ppg, 6.0rpg, Assists-1 (7.1apg), 2.3spg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 29.1%, FT: 81.5%. Last season he plyed with the VfL Sparkassenstars Bochum (Germany-ProB) averging 15.6ppg, 5.4rpg, 3.8apg, 1.9spg, FGP: 48.5%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 72.6%. In 2017-2018 he played with the ETB Wohnbau Baskets Essen (Germany-ProB) playing 27 games Score-3 (18.8ppg), 7.0rpg, Assists-5 (5.6apg), 2.1spg, FGP: 50.9%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 72.2%. He played his first two professional seasons in Kosovo for Golden Eagle Ylli (Kosova-SuperLeague) playing 15 games: Score-2 (20.8ppg), 4.7rpg, Assists-2 (5.5apg), Steals-1 (3.6spg), FGP: 54.4%, 3PT: 34.0%, FT: 70.0% and for KB Trepca Mitrovice (Kosovo-SuperLeague) playing 27 games averaging 14.0ppg, 5.7rpg, 4.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 60.6%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 68.4%;and played 9 Balkan League games averaging 13.6ppg, 4.9rpg, 3.9apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 78.3%. He began his basketball career with Prairie View A&M (NCAA) in 2011 playing a total of 124 NCAA games and as a senior played 29 games averaging 15.4ppg, 4.3rpg, 1.8apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.7%, 3PT: 31.7%, FT: 74.7%. He spoke to germanhoops.com during the Coronavirus crisis in 2020.
Hi Montrael where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus?
-Whats up, I’m currently back home in Dallas,Texas. My mood honestly is somewhat okay. Only thing I’m probably frustrated about is not being able to go hoop. This pandemic has stopped a lot of things worldwide. Hoping things will be back normal sooner than later.
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world? –
To be honest, when I first heard about it, I thought it was a Hoax lol. Like me and my teammate at the time were like it isn’t as serious as people where making it. As time went on, I started to think to myself maybe I need to take this serious. Just made me realize that whether it affected me or those around me, it was a serious matter.
How did you experience the day to day life in Schwelm when you were still in Germany? What things did you notice in the surroundings there that showed that life wasn’t normal?
The day to day life was still the same for us in Germany besides waiting to see whether the season would proceed or cancel. We still were able to go to the gym, go workout, etc but as matters became serious, all of that came to a halt. So I didn’t really notice a difference maybe because I was in my apartment majority of the time haha.
Did you become more aware about how you handle yourself in public in terms of shaking hands and not being in the line of fire with somebody coughing?
Not too be rude but, I give out more fist pumps than anything. I’m very cautious of my surroundings as well as my health. As far as people coughing, I really wasn’t around people besides my roommate, who never coughed and if so, we joked about it. In all seriousness, I had been aware of it before the virus even came to light.
Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe including the Pro B. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?
Disappointed and frustrated the most about the whole situation. Mainly, because we were peaking at the right time going into playoffs and I know my guys and I were hungry to fight our way through the playoffs, trying to achieve our goal as winning the Pro B season. It definitely sucked and still think about it as of today.
Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans?
What’s crazy is one of my friends actually played for Bonn this season; Donald Solan. I looked at it as a good and bad thing. Good that came from it was being able to still play ball and enjoy what we love. Bad thing about it was not having that fan support that teams would be use too. Fans really make a difference in sports because besides ourselves, our family, we play for the fans as well.
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
As a person, it’s just basically understanding that tough times don’t last always. I been through tough times in previous years of playing ball. So I wouldn’t say I was prepared for this but yet in still, I knew how to adapt to things being tough for the time being.
Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this? –
I wouldn’t say it will be a big adjustment because basketball is my life. it just feels different because I’m literally supposed to still be playing right now. Advantages for me would be that I get the chance to actually rest my body and get proper treatment as needed. and I don’t think for me personally there is any disadvantages because I’m still going about life as if I were still playing right now.
The whole world economy is going to be affected including German basketball. How worried are you about the future of professional basketball. The next season will have many changes. How are you handling this mentally now not knowing what to expect? –
I’m worried but I’m not worried because professional basketball is what the world needs honestly. The economy for sure will take a hit in every aspect possible but it’s always still hope you know. Mentally I’m handling it like everything else in my life, control what I can and leave the rest up to God. Plus, my agent and I talk on various occasions about the best scenario for next season and the future.
If you had to name another player besides guys from the team that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be?
Probably Kevin Rogers, Blayor Bears alum, who also plays professionally aboard or probably Jamaal Smith who played in Pro B this season.
How has the day to day life been now in the States with the outbreak of the Coronavirus? Have you noticed any differences and are there any differences between the Americans and German people on how they are coping and handling themselves?
Day to day life in the states is cool to me because I’m sort of like the guy who don’t really be in the mix. Things I notice is that people are buying up more stuff than they usually do. The gyms are closed, which sucks. Restaurants open for take out and plenty much more. Here in Dallas, its slowly becoming normal again but yet, no gyms are open right now.
How has your approach to family changed since the outbreak of Corona? What things have you seen yourself do that you may not have done before?
I’m still the same with my family. I promote this healthy lifestyle with them and also my family is staying safe always. I think the only thing I do now that I’ve never done is wearing a mask everywhere I go these days. It’s very uncomfortable for me honestly.
Let’s talk about the season of EN Baskets Schwelm. Congrats on winning the Pro B North. How tough is it never knowing what would have happened in the playoffs and who would really have won the title fair and square?
Man its tough, like I literally think about it or talk to a few teammates about what if we were still playing. In all honesty, I think the Pro B playoffs this year would have maybe been its best playoff rounds this year. I’m riding with me and my guys to be that team to have won the title fair and square. Just think, we finished tied for first, beat the number one team and were on the better end of improving the season. So I would have to say En Basket Schwelm vs Elchingen in the finals. We take home the trophy!!!
The club has 3 parts to the season. It began explosive with a 12-2 record, then lost 4 of 5 games and then finished strong winning 3 of 4. How would you summarize the season best?
Every season will not be undefeated, a winning or losing season. To summarize the season is simply we weathered the storm and didn’t fall apart. Every team has their runs, ours just happen to have been in the beginning. At the end of the day, we finished the season how we should have just by the way we prepared ourselves going into the New year.
Talk about the secret of the success. It seemed like the club didn’t do one thing really very well, but were a versatile squad and team that were just solid all across the board?
The secret to success for us was grinding everyday in practice and becoming better. Think about it, our team was balanced in a sense to where we could some days hit you from the guards spot or our front court as well. I think it just mainly was on me as one of the leaders to lead in a way that everybody would feel comfortable being themselves and contributing the best way individually as possible.
How vital was the experienced Falk Moeller? How much credit does he receive for being able to help build a team chemistry that wasn’t self evident considering most of the top players were new?
The experience of Coach Falk and knowledge of the game was very vital to our season. He deserves as so much credit for actually just bringing us together and enjoy playing with each other. Of course with new players, it can bring different egos and attitudes. Yet, Falk managed to keep everything in place and on course. Just like our main goal as players were to win Pro B; Falk main goal he instilled into us is to give our all every game lose win or draw. Falk in my opinion may be one of my favorite coaches to play for in my years of playing.
What was the season highlight? Possibly beating the other top team Itzehoe in the last game. You didn’t know it then that that would be the last game, but now it must be a good way to close the season?
That was probably the season highlight and turn around for us this season. We knew we could match up with them and it would be a dog fight in the end. With that being the last game, it still feels great to know we beat the number 1 team.
Let’s talk about your teammates. How much of a pleasure was it playing with David Knudsen. What did you notice in his game and character that demonstrated that he was in fact an Au player and not a German player?
It was a pleasure definitely having David on the team. I mean when we first met, I wasn’t too sold on him because I didn’t know much. Once the season came, that’s when all things started show for itself. David was by far one of the best shooters on our team. Even with him being a rookie, he’d lack the confidence from missing shots but as I used to tell him, keep shooting it bro. So he had a major part in the success of the season this year.
How vital was having the massive experienced Nikita Khartchenkov on the team. He has seen just about every gym in Germany. He is known as a sniper, but please talk about his versatility on the floor that sometimes get’s overlooked? –
It was extremely vital having him and that experience around us all year. For a guy who played arguably everywhere and maybe have championships too; it was needed. -Sometimes his versatility got overlooked and it was tough. As point guard and knowing the type of player he is, I always wanted to make sure I got him shots where he was comfortable or even just letting him create for himself.
Talk about the growth of Anell Alexis. He made another jump from his Pro B season with Schwenningen. Did he tell any stories about his famous dad Wendell?
I mean with this being my first year playing with him, I knew not much about him. Prior to the season, I sat and watched a few of his highlights plus a game or two. In my opinion, his game took another great leap from his scoring, to his ability to create for himself, etc. He never mentioned stuff about his dad but I did look him up. I saw that his pops wasn’t too bad himself as well.
Let’s talk about your game. You averaged 17.5ppg, 6.0rpg, Assists-1 (7.1apg), 2.3spg, FGP: 57.2%, 3PT: 29.1%, FT: 81.5%. How content were you with your third Pro B season and how did you make another step in your game?? You picked up 3 Eurobasket awards.
-This season was probably an all around great year for me. Never content with how it went because I could’ve played way better some games. My game did make another step and more so with my decision making when it comes to taking my shots or looking for my teammates.
You have stated in a past interview that you’re a natural point guard. In the first two seasons in the Pro B you couldn’t play the position. You seem to have always been labelled more as a natural scorer in Germany. Did last season’s 7,1apg silence any critics you had?
It’s a gift and a curse because as good as I am scoring, I’m 10 times better as a point guard. My IQ for the game and getting my teammates the ball is what makes me a natural point guard. I think I may have silenced a lot of critics, not to mention, I did have multiple games with double digits in assists. Numbers don’t lie at all!!
Your three continues to be a work in progress. Does your 29% from this season motivate you to work even harder this off season to continue to improve it?
My 3 point percentage is what it is due to just the lack of confidence with shooting in the game. I’m so comfortable with getting to my mid range, that I sometimes don’t care to shoot a three. Nevertheless, this summer will be focused mostly on my 3pointer amongst other things too.
Defense continues to be a big part of your game. How do you feel did you make strides on the defensive end?
Defense has always been maybe the first priority of my game I focus on. Defense isn’t something you go to the gym for hours to work on. Instead, it’s a will and a want to stop somebody from scoring on you or even stealing the ball. I think I honestly have a nat for the ball and that’s what makes my defensive side even more impressive.
I believe your 4,0 turnovers must really have annoyed you. What has unnerved you the most with taking care of the ball? Is this more mental than anything or is your ball handling a part that also needs more tweaking?
It’s really nothing major besides the fact that passes I make are because I have seen an opening for a split second then it’s gone. Honestly, I don’t really turn it over like that but, sometimes it seems like that by my numbers. My ball handling can always use tweaking because I’m not where I would want to be as a player. Improve on it every summer.
What was your personal game highlight of the season? Possibly your 28 points, 5 assists, 12 rebounds and 3 steals in the win over Duesseldorf?
I mean that’s probably up there with a few from the season. I would have to say the one for me is against Isherlon at their gym. I ended up scoring like 44 points which is a career high. If you were there to watch, then you’d know we were down by as much as like 20+. Ended up winning the game within the final 2 or 3 minutes. Great Christmas present for our team as well as myself.
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the Pro B this season?
Chris Hooper or Conner Washington
Luka Doncic had an amazing sophomore campaign. Is he a top 3 NBA player now?
Luka is nice, let me rephrase that, LUKA IS DIFFERENT. In my opinion, he can edge up to be in that 3 spot but I got him as top 5 in the league right now. His game is so skilled and him being in his second year, he will be the MVP of the league one day.
Where were you when you heard about the death of Kobe Bryant. What kind of influence did he have on you during adolescence?
We were watching our second team play, when my roommate showed me on twitter that it was going around that Kobe died. no lie, my heart stopped and I was real life sitting there confused. I didn’t believe it but as days passed, sources confirmed, it sucked BADLY. The influence Kobe had on me and I’m sure every other athlete was just that Mentality to just go out and kick somebody’s butt. growing up, everybody wanted to be like Kobe and his impact touched everybody in every sport there is known to man.
How bitter is it that the NCAA March Madness has been canceled? This tournament for some kids is the greatest time of their lives. What advice would you give that senior who worked hard for 4 years and would have had his one and only chance now?
It’s bitter for sure because those kids play all season to have a chance to fight and make the big dance every year. As for the seniors, if they had the chance to finish the season, advice I would give them would probably be LEAVE EVERYTHING ON THE COURT BECAUSE ONE GAME CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The Belko Experiment. Fabulous movie 9/10 stars from me.
Thanks Montrael for the chat.