Steffon Mitchell (203-F-1997, college: Boston Coll.) is a 24 year old 203cm forward from Shakopee, MN that will be playing his rookie season in Germany with pro A team Jobstairs Giessen 46ers. He began his basketball career at Shakopee High School. He then played a year at Sunrise Christian high school. He then played at Boston College (NCAA) from 2017-2021 playing a total of 109 games. In the summer of 2021 he played 2 games for the Denver Nuggets at the NBA Summer League. He spoke to germanhoops.com earlier in the summer about basketball.
Thanks Steffon for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you at the moment?
Right now I am in Minnesota. Basketball is treating me really well right now. I just signed with Jobstairs Giessen 46ers and couldn’t be happier. It’s a great life when all you do is basketball everyday.
Congrats on signing with the Jobstairs Giessen 46ers. How good does it feel to finally be starting your professional career after sitting out last season?
It feels great; it felt like a giant weight was lifted off of my back. I just can’t wait to get to work.
Giessen CEO Sebastian Schmidt sees you as a steal and coach Frenki sees you as a very versatile player at both ends of the court. What was the deciding factor that allowed you to sign with Giessen from your own perspective?
Giessen is a special place and they are one of the teams that I know a little bit about. The deciding factor for me to sign here was the coach’s scheme on how he was going to use me to help Giessen win.
What do you know in general about the country Germany and it’s basketball. Were you aware that last season there were 6 Germans in the NBA an all-time high for Germany.
I know a little bit about Germany. I have always enjoyed watching the Borussia Dortmund soccer team because of a couple players. On the basketball side I know some about Germany Basketball from my friends and former teammates who play there. Germany has a lot of great players so it is no shock that they have their NBA all time high for Germany.
How blessed do you feel getting this opportunity after sitting out last season? The organization knows it could be a risk, but believe 100% in your abilities.
It feels great my whole life has been like this: a team takes a chance on me and it ends out working out for the both of us. When I went to prep school I did not have any high major offers and when I got done I had multiple. When I went to Boston College coaches from the ACC said they did think I would develop into this type of player.
How tough was sitting out last season. You played NBA Summer League and then didn’t find a job. What happened? Did you get bad representation in the States about how to make the next steps?
It sucked there is no way around it. Last year was tough training for the opportunity that did come. Covid played a small part in me having a hard time finding a job because the market did not start the same time it did in previous years. My agent tried his best but could not execute in finding me a play to play at a high level. It is hard to know what the next step is because you have the G league and you are going overseas and we did not know what to do and the timing of it.
Despite not playing your rookie season last season, what positives could you take from sitting out? Do you feel like you possibly got benefits from being able to train more than you might have playing with a team?
I improved in all aspects of my game shooting, speed, strength, and vertical. I also know what to expect in the future regarding this process. It has just made me hungrier to become the best player I can be and prove that I can play at the highest level.
Let’s talk a little about your game. You’re a 203cm forward. If you had to compare your game to a NBA player who would best fit the description?
Maybe Draymond Green I do a lot of things. I can guard multiple positions , I can pass really well, and I affect winning. I do the small things to help my team win games.
You’re a guy that can rebound the ball very well, but never averaged 10,0ppg or more in the NCAA. You were a prolific scorer in high school. Would you like to get back to your scoring ways as a professional?
I would like to do whatever it takes to help my team win. In college my role was different I had to guard 1-5, start the offense and get others involved.
You’re a very good defender. You averaged 1 steal and block each season in the NCAA. What type of defender are you now and what kind do you want to become?
I feel I am one the best defenders. I have improved my strength and speed so that will help me become an even better defender. I want to become a defender where they know where I am at all the time on the defensive side of the ball.
On what area’s of your game will you be working on most this summer so you can continue to improve as a player?
Shooting is something that I have been working really hard on. Being able to shoot at a high rate just improves the offense has a whole because the spacing is better for everyone.
What kind of an experience was it playing NBA Summer League with Denver? You got into only 2 games and logged a total of 9 minutes. Was it overwhelming seeing the talent? How did you manage from a mental stand point?
No it was not overwhelming seeing the talent. Covid was a big issue for our team at that time. We had a bunch of people test positive so we had to bring more people in. We also struggled to go 5 on 5 and that is where you have to impress in order to get playing time. From a mental standpoint I knew it was going to be tough when we started having players test positive. I knew that without being able to compete with people in practice there would not be a good chance for me getting a lot of minutes.
What was it like playing against the Boston Celtics. As a guy who was at Boston College for 4 years, did you tend to follow the Celtics more because they were so close?
It was cool playing against them because I knew some of the players on the team. I did not follow them too closely.
What was it like playing with Bol Bol? What about his game impressed you most?
It was fun. Practicing with him was great. He is a funny person to be around. The thing that impressed me the most about him was ability to block shots and change shots. You don’t realize from the tv but his arms are crazy long.
What kind of advice do you remember getting from the Denver coaching staff? Is it something you implemented into your training last season?
Yes, their advice was to become a better shooter. That is one of the major things I worked on during the season. Being able to hit off balanced shots and stationary shots was something that I worked on.
You played at Boston College from 2017-2021. What was your fondest moment on the court?Possibly beating #1 team Duke as a freshman?
Yes, that was the best memory I had. That game was crazy from start to finish. Another great memory I had was when we upset Virginia when we were short handed.
When you look back at the Duke win you faced up against incredible players like Bagley, Trent, Allen and Carter. Which guy do you remember making the biggest impression on you?
Probably Grayson Allen just because I watched him in high school and he was a senior when we played them.
How did head coach Jim Christian groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
He helped develop all aspects of my game and showed me what it takes to be a pro. He was always telling me never stop learning the game because they can give advantages on the court.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Jerome Robinson?
That’s a great question for me and Jerome would always go back in fourth. He is a great player it was a great challenge to go up against such a good player.
Who was the toughest player that you encountered in the NCAA or anywhere in your life in the gym that would reach the NBA?
Probably Zion Williamson.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Ky Bowman Jerome Robinson Matt Harms Demarr Langford Jordan Chatman
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads.
Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Shaq
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
I think Lebron is the greatest of all time because he does more things to impact winning.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
You are 100% right they should have left it alone.
Not everything needs a sequel.
Thanks Steffon for the chat.