Deane Williams (203-PF-1996, college: Augusta) is a 25 year old 203 cm forward from Bristol, England playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. Last season he played with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB) averaging 11.7ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, Blocks-5 (1.2bpg), FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 62.2%. He played his first two professional seasons with Keflavik (Iceland-Dominos League) averaging 15.6ppg, 9.9rpg, 1.9apg, 1.3spg, Blocks-3 (1.4bpg), FGP: 59.7%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 63.6% and in his second season averaged 18.0ppg, Reb-3 (10.5rpg), 2.1apg, Blocks-1 (1.8bpg), FGP: 60.1%, 3PT: 24.7%, FT: 60.9%. He began his basketball career at South Gloucestershire & Stroud College and then played at Augusta University (NCAA2) from 2015-2019 playing a total of 120 games and as a senior averaged 16.0ppg, 9.2rpg, 2.0apg, 2.4bpg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 72.0%. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Thanks Deane for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you and how is basketball life treating you?
Hi thank you guys for taking the time to reach out! Currently I’m in Arizona for the summer to work on my game and spend some time with family before my wife and I head back to Europe. Basketball life is great, being able to travel around the world with my wife and see things most others won’t is a blessing. Add that to being able to compete at the highest level in a sport I love is a dream come true.
Talented head coach Tuomas Iisalo has an incredible touch of knowing what players can make the next step and fit best into his system. He has proven it the last years and best last season taking a relative unknown Parker Jackson-Cartwright and helping him be the next MVP in the German BBL. Does a guy’s track history give you added self-confidence to be able to make the next step in a higher league?
100% knowing that Parker came from the same team and level as myself, and then proceeded to do what he did gives me great confidence that I’ll be able to follow his path. His work ethic combined with the coaching staff was a recipe for success, he’s been a great example not only to me but to many others also.
I’m sure you heard about Parker Jackson-Cartwright’s incredible season in France with St Quentin. Have you seen his success helping Bonn down 0-2 just steal back to back games in Munich which is one of the best teams in Germany?
I have, what he was able to do was incredible. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has that same opinion, he left me speechless at times. Like I said earlier, if you work hard with the right people around you then it’s very difficult not to perform. Even against the best.
You just completed your third professional season with Saint-Quentin Basket-Ball (France-ProB) averaging 11.7ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.0spg, 1.2bpg, FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 39.0%, FT: 62.2%. What kind of an experience was it balling in the France Pro B. You didn’t seem to need to make big adjustments coming from the weaker Dominos league in Iceland.
It was very different for sure, it was a lot more physical, there was an abundance of talent, and the average level was a lot higher. Combined with there being guys that had the same athletic talent as me didn’t make it easy, but I just played MY game and focused on what I could do. Turns out that went pretty well.
How tough was it losing the tight playoff series against Vichy Clermont? You lost both games with only 5 points combined. What will you always remember from that series?
To never underestimate anyone, and to expect every player to have their best game every game. It was tough at the time but it gave me some good experience.
You’re a 203cm forward that can fill up the stat sheet. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would bets fit the description? Would Draymond Green be a good choice?
I would say so yes, Draymond Green, but without the attitude haha. However, by the end of this season I’d prefer to be compared to someone like Kris Middleton
You can score and rebound the ball very well. What other attributes does your offensive game have?
I like to think I’m a good passer, although some of my previous teammates think I pass the ball too hard I always tell them ‘at least it gets there’ leading on from that I think I’m a good decision maker, I’m consistent with what I do and I’m rarely erratic.
Your also a very good defender. What kind of defender are you now and what kind of defender do you still want to become?
I would say at the moment I’m more of a help side defender/shot blocker, I’m kind of the last line of defense. I would like to become a defender that can defend all positions well, having different styles for different positions.
On what area’s of your game are you working on most so you can continue to climb the basketball ladder in the next years?
It would probably be my 3pt consistency and ability to handle the ball in tough scenarios, as well as soaking up as much knowledge as I can from more experienced players.
You began your career in Iceland with Keflavik (Iceland-Dominos League). What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you wee very far away from home?
For me it was fairly easy, I had been away from home attending college in the US. The people of Keflavik also made it very easy for me to settle in, my wife and I were invited to many homes to have meals and just felt like I belonged there. I really give credit to those people.
The club had 2 very well known guys play there with Derrick Allen 20 years ago and some time after AJ Moye. Do you ever remember hearing their names in your 2 years there? Both guys made to high levels in Europe
Of course, players who play in Iceland and then go on to play at high levels are often talked about and compared to players that play there currently. It’s always great to hear that players of a high calibre have taken the same path as me! It gives me confidence knowing that if you work hard enough you can get to the top.
Iceland is a league where many Americans use as a stepping stone. You stayed 2 years there. How important was this time for your early basketball development?
It was really important for my self esteem, I feel that if I had taken a step too early I wouldn’t have been able to tell myself that I’m a great player. If you lack confidence on the court then you’re in big trouble.
How vital was it having fellow countryman Callum Lawson as a rookie in Iceland? What kind of a relationship did you form and what did you appreciate most about his game?
It was great, having someone that is not only a great teammate but an even greater friend just makes it more enjoyable. Living in Iceland isn’t easy, but having someone else to laugh through those hard times makes it bearable.
How much of a role model was former NAIA player Reggie Dupree? He played many years in Iceland with that team. How did he help you most your rookie year?
He was one of the main guys that gave me the self esteem I needed, he was always pushing me that extra step. Reggie has a few years of experience under his belt so for me not to recognize that would be foolish, he helped me more than he knows.
How did you experience Covid in Iceland. I can imagine in a small country like that it was pretty laid back. Were there any real difficult times for you in that period?
It was 50/50, there weren’t many cases but they had to protect their economy. There were lockdowns but luckly we lived in one of the most beautiful countries in the world so it just gave my wife and I time to explore and soak it all up. Not being able to play basketball for near to 100 days however was always a draining thought.
You played at Augusta State (NCAA2) from 2015-2019. What was it like for you as a British player playing in the States. Why don’t more guys from the UK take this route before turning pro?
It was different, all of it. From the lifestyle to the style of basketball it took me some time to adjust, but by the end I was thankful that I got a different perspective of many things. I believe that it’s up to the coaches whether they want to take that risk of having someone from Europe on their team, it adds a good dynamic but if you don’t adapt to the style of basketball then it can be really tough. Plus it’s quite far away to go to play basketball.
You reached the NCAA 2 sweet 16 and won the 2019 Peach Belt title and was MVP. What was your fondest moment there?
Just bringing smiles to everyone in the gym. There’s no better feeling than achieving something that so many people desire, whether they’re players, fans, or students.
You increased your minutes and scoring every season in the NCAA2. How do you feel did your game progress in school?
I just made sure that I listened to the coaches and believed in what they were telling me, taking on the role that I was given and making sure that I was doing it as best as I could resulted in more minutes and taking more responsibility. It also goes back to adapting and understanding the way that college basketball is played, as I became more familiar it became easier to perform well.
You had so many impressive games in school, but was your 23/11 game in the win against Aiken State your most memorable?
I would say so, everything went right for us that game. I hope to put up numbers like that regularly at some point in my professional career.
How did legendary head coach Dip Metress groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
By being tough, not ignorant tough but ‘I see potential’ tough. He taught me what it meant to be accountable, consistent and a leader by example. He is another person who deserves credit for my career.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Vlad Cobzaru?
Me, but Vlad definitely kicked my butt in the classroom.
Who was the toughest player that you ever battled on the court that reached the NBA?
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
My opinion is let’s agree to disagree. But MJ is GOAT.
Did you see the sequel to the classic coming to America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I didn’t, but from the reviews I’m glad I didn’t watch it. I’m not much of a movie guy anyway.
Thanks Deane for the chat.