Deanthony McCallum´s Juco Experience Has Helped Him Tune Everything Out And Focus On Basketball As He Chases The Pro Dream

Deanthony McCallum (193-G, college: Jacksonville) is a 193cm guard from Cincinnati Ohio chasing the professional basketball dream. He has had little pro exposure except for playing at the Eurobasket Summer League for Team London in 2020 and 2021 averaging 6.0ppg, 3.0rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, 2PT: 50.0%, 3PT: 38.9%, FT: 66.7% and 8.3ppg, 4.0rpg, 1.7apg, Steals-2 (2.0spg), FGP: 42.9%, FT: 50.0%. he began his basketball career at Anderson high school and then played 2 years at Independence Community College (JUCO) averaging 11.6ppg, 2.7rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 45.8%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 81.1% and 18.5ppg, 3.6rpg, 2.3apg, FGP: 44.3%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 83.7%. he then played at Jacksonville University (NCAA) from 2017-2019 playing a total of 64 games averaging 7.0ppg, 1.5rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 33.7%, FT: 74.6% and as a senior averaged 8.1ppg, 2.6rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 42.6%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 83.5%. He spoke to germanhoops about his basketball journey.

Thanks Deanthony for talking to Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?

Thank you for having me to talk. I am currently in Raeford North Carolina and my basketball life is treating me pretty well. I am enjoying the grind and focusing on my craft.

You finished at Jacksonville (NCAA) more than 2 years ago and still are looking for a professional team. You had a solid 2 years and a career that would warrant job offers. How frustrating have the last 2 years been?

The last two years. While they could have been frustrating, I have used my time to not only improve my personal game, but I have also been working with and impacting the lives of the youth in my community.

How big of a role has Covid played in you not finding a team? There were many guys even those that have had good careers having problems finding clubs?

Covid has played a big role in me not finding a team. According to my agent at the time they had high hopes for me for a team in Ireland, but the league had shut down due to covid.

I read somewhere you had an agent and he didn’t call you in 2 years. You must have really suffered failed representation. Talk a little about what kind of experience the whole job market has been for you?

I don’t really have an opinion on an experience with the job market. From what I was understanding, the market was being catered to veterans due to the effects of covid.

Do you lose faith in the basketball process with what you have gone through? How have you been able to remain positive?

I have stayed confident throughout this whole process. While it has been frustrating, I have had the support of my family and close friends. I have made connections with people who have granted me gym access and I have been coaching, mentoring, and teaching middle school basketball.

Some guys who don’t get a shot right away overseas play semi pro in the States. Wasn’t that an option for you?

Yes, that was an option. Due to unfortunate circumstances with my travel plans and weather, I was unable to attend some showcases that teams were interested in seeing me play at. I was told that I would hopefully get to workout for these teams at a later date, but I was not given the opportunity to do so.

It is summer time and there are basketball pro am’s all over the place. Have you taken part in some so scouts, agents and coaches can get a better look at you?

I have not taken part in any.

You played at the Eurobasket summer league in 2020 and 2021. You showed with your defense that you could play with anyone. Didn’t any interest come from teams there?

I did not receive anything from those two events.

Have you gotten the feeling that it is more difficult for guards in general to find jobs simply because they are like everywhere on earth which gives you less of a chance to find a roster spot world wide?

I am unaware of the difficulties connected to being a certain position. I know a lot of guards with jobs and I know of bigs with jobs as well.

I can imagine the chip on your shoulder just continues to grow with each day. Does your experience in the NCAA push you each day to keep believing you can make it as a pro?

I wouldn’t say I have a chip on my shoulder. I do not have any negative emotions towards my situation. I am hungry and ready to show everyone why I deserve to have a job as a pro basketball player. With every day, I become more eager and hungry to keep grinding to succeed.

I can imagine you’re a real dog in the gym. How much has the daily grind been a part of your life since school?

The daily grind has been the greatest part of my life. I work out three times a day six days a week. I lift and condition and I get in the gym twice a day. I worked at a middle school for four months and during those months I would lift before work and get my basketball.

Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a 193cm shooting guard. If you had to compare your game to a NBA player who would best fit the description?

You didn’t have explosive NCAA stats but showed in JUCO that you can be an impact player. What other strengths do you have besides shooting?

Outside of shooting, I have a strong ability to get to and finish at the basket. Being able to get to the paint also opens up my playmaking. Nothing flashy, but I am able to set up my post players in the dunk spot as well as guards spotting up on the wings off of penetration. I watch a lot of film so I understand a lot of reads.

How much of a role does defense play in your mind set? Especially overseas being a two way player gives you an even better chance of getting jobs? What kind of a defender are you?

I have grown into a great defender over my collegiate career. I believe that if I want to win, I need to be able to impact the game on both sides of the floor. My senior year at Jacksonville, I was guarding the best player on the other team every game.

You shot an impressive 43% in your senior year. How has your shot continued to develop the last 2 years in the gym despite not playing against competition?

I have been staying in the gym making no less than 500 shots each session. Focusing on different situations for shooting the three. Whether it be off of the dribble, after a bad closeout, or after a pump fake.

On what area’s of your game are you working on most now so you can continue to make strides in your game?

I have been focusing on improving my ball handling skills. This will improve my ability to create for myself and my teammates off the dribble. Increasing my ability to push the ball and play in transition when needed.

You played 2 years at Independence (JUCO). Every guy I have interviewed that played JUCO have said it was an experience that was tough but one they are thankful they did. How was it for you?

It was an amazing experience. Not for the weak though. It was very competitive because everybody is trying to get recruited out of there. So you have to figure out how to make yourself stand out while doing what you have to do to keep your spot. Making it out of JUCO basketball and getting to that next level means you were able to avoid the distractions, stay in the gym, and maintain that dedication and focus that got you there in the first place. JUCO players will thrive in any environment because they can tune everything out and focus on basketball.

You then played 2 seasons at Jacksonville (NCAA) playing a total of 64 NCAA games. How do you feel did your game grow the last 2 years?

My ability to play off the ball effectively and efficiently greatly improved while I was at Jacksonville. I grew into being able to impact the game on the defensive end at a high level as well. Not only with my defense on the ball, but off the ball as well.

How did head coach Tony Jasick groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

Tony Jassick would always push me mentally in practice. He always knew what to say to keep our practices competitive and to keep us on our toes. He also kept on me about conducting myself as a professional. Staying in the gym. Coming in before practice and getting shots up. Staying after practice and getting shots up. Coming up in the evening and getting shots up. Getting extra workouts in on off days. Taking care of my body and coming into treatment. ‘Your body is your money-maker’ he would always say.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Aamahne Santos?

Aamahne Santos, one of my favorite point guards I have played with, can get everybody on the floor involved. Me though I’m winning. I was the winningest player in practice if you were on my team in a drill we were going to win. That was just the competitor in me.

Who was the toughest player that you faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?

The toughest player I faced against in the NCAA was Romeo Langford. He was the most athletic. The best shooter was Garrison Mathews. The best all around player was Caleb Homesley.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

JD Notae Jace Hogan Dave Bell Jalyn Hinton Amahne Santos

Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?

Michael Jordan Steph Curry Dirk Nowitzki Allen Iverson Lebron James

What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?

I believe that they have shown two different approaches to dominating the game of basketball. While Jordan has been able to dominate the game in a more singular way, Lebron has taken a different approach while being more of using his teammates. Being able to make your teammates better while not necessarily having to is greater in my opinion so I chose Lebron. I also think the eras are so different in play styles and the skill of whole teams across the board, that it is more difficult to thrive like Jordan did in his era with the era we are in today.

Where do you place Steph curry now in the best point guards of all-time?

I would place him 2nd behind Magic.

Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?

I personally do not support sequels to movies when they come so far apart. Only because of how the dynamic of movies change over decades. The change makes it hard to make successful sequels because the content implemented in humor in 2020 is not the same as what was used in the 1990s.

Thanks Deanthony for the chat

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