Donte Nicholas (196-G/F-87, college: FPU) is a 34 year old 195cm forward from Washington Dc that is playing with the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos 2nd team (Germany-ProB) averaging 18,1ppg, 7,5rpg, 5,6apg and 1,9spg. Last season he played with the Rostock Seawolves (Germany-ProA) playing 27 games averaging 10.0ppg, 5.0rpg, 3.8apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 53.5%, 3PT: 25.0%, FT: 73.8%. In 2018-2019 he played with the Plymouth University Raiders (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 36 games: Score-5 (18.2ppg), Reb-2 (10.2rpg), Assists-3 (7.2apg), Steals-1 (2.4spg), FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 25.3%, FT: 81.5%. In 2017-2018 he played with the Iserlohn Kangaroos (Germany-ProB). He belonged to the top players in the league averaging 17,6ppg, 8,0rpg, 4,1apg and 3,3spg while shooting 41,8% from outside. He has gained experience down under playing with the Albury Wodonga Bandits (Australia-SEABL) and with the Rockville Victors (APBL) as a rookie in the States. Last season he played with the Plymouth University Raiders (United Kingdom-BBL) playing 33 games averaging 15.3ppg, 6.7rpg, 3.4apg, Steals-5 (2.1spg), FGP: 54.7%, 3PT: 38.6%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to germanhoops.com after the 92-79 win over the EPG Baskets Koblenz.
Donte thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Congrats on the huge 92-79 playoff win over the EPG Baskets Koblenz. How vital was it having had played Koblenz recently in the last regular season game?
Thanks, appreciate you reaching out. I think it was pretty vital because we knew what to expect and we could make changes facing them again in the playoffs.
The first half was a real back and forth battle with many lead changes. Giessen had the 43-38 advantage at the break. Was this close game what playoff basketball is all about?
Our mindset coming into any game, is controlling the tempo of the game; now that we’re in the playoffs the mindset stays the same.
Giessen led 66-61 after 30 minutes. How vital was it staying calm after Koblenz showed their offensive arsenal hitting you with a 10-0 run out of the gate?
We knew they had a lot of firepower, so we just knew we had to weather the storm and stick to the gameplay and we would be fine down the stretch and that’s what happened.
Giessen sealed the win in the fourth quarter with a 12-0 run. Instrumental were Germans Tim Uhlemann and Tim Koeepple. How much has their BBL experience helped give the Pro B team a lift this season?
Just from what I’ve seen, its a tremendous boost to their confidence when making plays that may not be there if they didn’t have that experience to fall back on.
Giessen shot the ball very well and took care of the ball well. What other strength of Giessen was vital for getting the win?
Like I mentioned earlier our biggest focus is trying to control the pace of the game. We believe if you do this, then it makes everything else a little easier. So now we just look better on the floor as a whole, easier shots, fast breaks, getting easy post touches, etc.
How much easier is it to play defense when only 6 guys score? Is the depth on paper that Koblenz have a bit overrated? Butler and Canty are always good for 20 plus points, but it just seems that the depth was lacking on this day for Koblenz.
I wouldn’t say its necessarily easier, but they are a deep team we just had to make some adjustments which benefited us in the end and not them so much. I wouldn’t say their depth was lacking, I would say we just played a good game defensively.
Johannes Lischka scored an untypical 11 points. In what other area’s is a Lischka always brutally important when he isn’t scoring 30 points?
Everything Jo does for us is important, this just shows that even when he isn’t rolling on offense (which is rare) he still is a major factor. Defensively, he was big for us rebounding, guarding their best player, even had a few monster blocks.
You next face Itzehoe and have a long road trip up north. How exciting is it in general to play a team that you didn’t see before during the season? They lost to Schwelm. What will be key in getting the win?
For me personally, I don’t care if it’s a new team or old team we play I just like to compete. I’m going to keep saying it because that’s how important it is, but if we control the pace of the game we can put ourselves in position to beat any team in this league.
How excited are to be battling top Pro B player Chris Hooper? Slowing him down should be part of the Giessen game plan.
We know he’s a major part of their offensive game plan, so of course he’s one of our main focuses coming in defensively, but if we do what we need to do we don’t really need to worry about any other player.
You had a fantastic game of 21/10/10 stats. When you play 39 minutes does a guy of your calibur almost expect to have the chance of making a triple double?
I wouldn’t say I expect to have triple doubles because a lot of things have to go right for this to happen. But you’ve been following my career a little, you know even though I may not actually get there every game, I’m in the neighborhood a lot.
You had a triple double against Bernau a few years ago and had 2 in the UK. Your putting up great stats this season. Are you getting better with age?
I look at it as more of being consistent every year, every year regardless of age you know what you’re going to get from me.
You watch a lot of the BBL Giessen games in the gym. What do you look for most to soak up from these guys?
You can always improve in some aspect of your game, so when I watch I pay attention to a lot of situational things. What players do in this situation or that situation, maybe it’s something I want to add to my game at some point.
European basketball legend Dino Radja stated that he couldn’t imagine Russell Westbrook being able to lead a European team to success. Do you agree?
Russ is my guy but I also understand he’s an acquired taste, some players could deal with that kind’ve player some can’t. Russ is also one of the fiercest competitors in the game so that alone will always give any team he’s on a chance to win.
Draymond Greene named himself the greatest defender of all-time. Do you agree?
I personally don’t agree, but I can understand why he said it. You should always believe you’re the best at what you do, if you don’t think that or aren’t working towards that then why are you doing it in the first place.
The 2021 NCAA Final 4 is set. Gonzaga-UCLA and Baylor-Houston. Who will reach the final and win it all? Is there any stopping Gonzaga?
Haven’t been following March Madness too much this year, but I know a lot of crazy things have happened already so it’ll probably be some upsets. I’ll take Gonzaga vs. Houston in the final, Houston with the upset by 2.
Have you seen the Coming To America sequel? The reviews have been mixed. Shouldn’t they just have left the original alone?
I watched it as soon as it dropped. They definitely should’ve just left it alone.
Thanks Donte for the chat.