Foto credit Joerg Maess
Shaquille Rombley (203-F-1996, college: LMU) is a 203cm forward that was born in Saint Maarten and grew up in Gainsville, Florida and lived with his uncle. He is playing his rookie season with the Telekom Baskets Bonn 2nd team (Germany-Regionalliga) currently averaging 17,6ppg, 9,9rpg, 2,5apg, 11spg and 2,3bpg. He has scored in double figures in 19 games and registered 10 double doubles. He began his basketball career at the Rock school. He then played 2 years at Indian River State College (JUCO) playing 59 games averaging 6.2ppg, 5.1rpg, FGP: 61.7%, FT: 69.4% and in his second season averaged 7.2ppg, 7.1rpg, 1.1bpg, FGP: 56.6%, FT: 48.1%. He then finished at Lincoln Memorial playing 36 games. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Thanks Shaq for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment.
It’s an honor. I’m right now playing professional basketball in Bonn, Germany with Telekom basket Bonn 2 team. Basketball is treating me well at the moment.
You were in the States during the Pandemic. How have you experienced COVID and what were the most challenging things you had to cope with?
I’ve experienced COVID during my redshirt junior year at LMU. We were in practice, getting ready for the regional tournament and Coach Josh Schertz stopped the practice and told us that the season is canceled. That was in 2019-20 season. During that time the most challenging aspect I had to deal with was hoping my family back home in St. Maarten were doing okay and also trying to stay healthy and ready for the basketball season to start back up. Ever since I started playing basketball my junior year of high school. I never really had a break from basketball or working out. Then when Covid started and everywhere was closed, it was hard to stay in shape.
With everything that you witnessed during COVID off the court how do you feel did you get stronger as a man?
Covid made me stronger mentally and saw everything we go through is for a purpose. I was really in my thoughts a lot and distracted by the things I can’t control. Covid also was my reset. It changed the way I go about things, been more focus on my health and eating better.
Your playing your first pro season in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn 2 team. How blessed do you feel to be playing the game that you love?
I’m truly blessed for the opportunity to continue playing basketball. A sport that not only teach me how to play basketball but show me the keys to be successful off the court. Which is something that I recently learned for myself. That is why I love the sport.
Not many JUCO players are able to go overseas and become a professional player. You also didn’t tear up the NCAA 2 level or didn’t get a chance to at Lincoln Memorial. Do you feel like your skill level has been overlooked the last years? I don’t feel like they were overlooked.
Every coach guided me in the right direction. I would say mentally I had to find myself confidence and continue to trust the process.
What kind of an experience has it been being a part of the Telekom Baskets Bonn organization? Have you been able to practice with the first team? How beneficial has that been for your development?
The experience so far is great. Developing my game and staying focus. Playing with the first team helps me physically and mentally. Physically because of how intense the practice is and mentally learning the game at a faster pace. I like to be uncomfortable because it shows the areas that I have to work on.
What has it been like being teammates with so many young Germans. Many aren’t much older than you, but you have seen so much in the States. Do you feel like they look up to you as a role model, because you played in the States?
I’m hoping to show the young athletes from St.Maarten that we are from a small island but that doesn’t mean we are less than everybody else. I hope they are not looking up to me as an American because I am not American. The states has given me a start to my career and I am very appreciate the supportive from my family and coaches.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 203cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
I have many Tim Duncan, Dennis Rodman and Chris Bosh. Growing up I used to watch basketball with some friends but never saw myself playing the sport. At first I thought I was going to play volleyball.
You have shown this season that you can score and rebound with the best of them at the Regionalliga, but at the same time can fill the stat sheet with ease. Is versatility your biggest strength?
I would say the motor that I have is my biggest strength. I want to push my body to the limits and I’m sure there is more I can give.
You have proven this season that you can be an impact player at both ends of the court. What have you learned about your game this season?
I have learned that the only thing that was keeping me back was me. This off-season something clicked in my head and everything started to make sense. I have been doing all the work behind closed doors and for some reason couldn’t do it when the lights were on. I have been more focused and prepared I’ve ever been
On what area’s of your game are you working on most now as you continue to want to improve your game and move up the basketball ladder?
I’m working shooting the ball more and finding the balance where I can be a complete consistent player
You played two seasons at Indian River State College (JUCO). Every guy I interview that played JUCO say that it was real tough, but in the end worth it and a great experience. How was it for you?
Playing JUCO basketball was tough but everyday I’ve learned more about the game of basket. When I started playing in JUCO. I only had one year of experience playing basketball. I’ve played my senior of high school at THE ROCK OF Gainesville, in Gainesville FL
How important was head coach Charlie Wilson for your early development at Indian River State College?. How did he guide you best in those 2 years?
It was very important because I was new to the game. The way he coached me for my first two years was to help me understand as much of the game and the basics as much as I can before moving on.
How disappointing was it moving to Lincoln Memorial and never averaging more than 4 minutes per game in a season? Despite not playing much, what benefits did you get from the experience?
Before going to LMU, Charlie Wilson told me that it would be challenging and I have to accept the challenge. I was playing against good players every day for 3 years. I learned a lot from the guys. One of the benefits I got playing at LMU was being coached by Josh Schertz
You won the SAC title in 2020 and reached the NCAA 2 final 4. What will you always remember from these runs?
No matter what is going on around you. What is important is right in-front of you
How did head coach Josh Schertz groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Coach Josh Schertz always told me that my mind is holding me back. If I fix my mind everything else will follow
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jordan Guest?
Our one on one be very competitive. He’s a good player but I got me winning.
Who was the toughest player that you encountered in the NCAA 2 or anywhere in your life in the gym that would reach the NBA.
Cam Henry who’s playing for coach Josh Schertz right now
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Anthony Brown, Devin Whitfield Cam Henry, cCnrvoisier McCauley and Rodney Hackett
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.
KD,Steph curry, Greek freak and Jokic
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
They both are unique players and I respect them both equally.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
No I haven’t seen it
Thanks Shaq for the chat.