Elias Desport (203-F-1992, college: St.Peter’s) is a 30 year old 204cm forward from Stockholm, Sweden that is playing his second season with the Norrkoping Dolphins and last season averaged 5.3ppg, 4.8rpg, FGP: 55.3%, 3PT: 32.1%, FT: 59.5%. Two seasons ago he played for KFUM Fryshuset Basket (Basketligan) averaging 10.6ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 59.5%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 61.9%. In 2018-2019 he played with the EN Baskets Schwelm (Germany-ProB) averaging 6,3ppg and 4,6rpg. In 2017-2018 he playe with A. Desportiva Sanjoanense (Portugal-Proliga) playing 13 games averaging 13.2ppg, Reb-1 (10.9rpg), 1.3apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 56.8%, 3PT: 11.1%, FT: 43.8%. He began his career with KFUM Blackebergs IK (Basketettan) and also played with Taby Basket (Basketettan). He then lived 4 years in the states playing with St.Peter’s (NCAA) playing 119 NCAA games. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game against the Hakro Merlins Crailsheim.
Thanks Elias for talking to germanhoops.com. Welcome back to Germany. Has time flown by for you since your Schwelm days in Germany??
Thank you for having me. Time has definitely flown by since I played here back in 2018/2019 and a lot has happened since then.
After playing in England and Germany you are back in your native Sweden playing your third season in your own country. Did your experience in Germany end your trust in playing abroad?
I wouldn’t say that. But it’s safe to say that I’ve had some unfortunate experiences playing overseas. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make my way back to that scene.
In your season in Germany with Schwelm you averaged 6,3ppg and 4,6rpg in only 17 minutes. I had the feeling that you wanted a bigger role with Schwelm?
I wanted and I DESERVED a bigger role playing for that team. But, I guess others didn’t agree with that. It is what it is.
You had worked out so much during the summer of 2018 and not gotten the break out season you wanted. Does an experience like that make the chip on your shoulder even bigger and force you to grind even more?
A lot has happened since my days in Schwelm and I’ve learned to work smarter over time. But I’ve always had to work for everything I’ve got in this life and that will never change. In the past, I would’ve used Schwelm as motivation. But now, I’ve learned to just prove myself right rather than proving others wrong.
In our interview after the season you told me that you weren’t happy with your season, because you couldn’t impact the game in little minutes. What did you learn from this opportunity in Germany?
I learned how grimy this business really is. But, I tried my best to control the things I could control and I stayed professional through it all.
You stated that you grew mentally during your tough season in Schwelm. Has mental health ever been an issue in your career? It is something that many players go through, but don’t like to talk about.
Mental health has been an issue my entire life to be honest. I struggled a lot mentally while in Schwelm because of the circumstances that I had to deal with. I think I grew more the following year when I decided to take a year off from the game and just focus on myself. I believe the stigma around the topic of mental health is slowly starting to disappear.
What kind of player are you in 2022 compared to 2019? How has your game grown in the past 3 years?
Like I mentioned earlier, I think one of the biggest improvements I’ve made is the mental aspect of the game. As far as my game goes, I try to work on my overall game every summer. I’ve always liked the idea of being able to impact the game in many ways. Defense is probably my biggest strength. Passing is my most underrated strength.
After your season in Schwelm, you went home to play for KFUM Fryshuset Basket (Basketligan) averaging 10.6ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.7apg, FGP: 59.5%, 3PT: 28.0%, FT: 61.9%. Is it fair to say that this was your break out season?
I wouldn’t say breakout season. It was my comeback and resurgence season. That was my first season back from taking a year away from the game.
How vital was this season for your game and mental health. Did you gain trust in the basketball process again?
It was super important. I gained trust in myself again, I wasn’t really worried about the ‘basketball process.’ For the first time in a long time, I was playing with a free mind.
This season your playing your second season with the Norrkoping Dolphins (Sweden-Basketligan) Is there a lot of pressure on the team to repeat?
Personally I don’t give into the pressure of others expectations of this team. The league is competitive this year and a lot can happen from now until May. We just have to take one day at a time and one game at a time. Hopefully, we’ll be playing our best basketball at the right time.
The team is filled with many talented guys especially at your position? Is it difficult to be getting less minutes again?
It’s always difficult when you believe that you can be out there helping your team. But as I said, a lot can happen during a season and I just have to stay ready. I feel like I’ve played well in the minutes I’ve been given.
Is it easier to accept having a special role and maybe playing less minutes again, but then being able to compete for a title?
Ultimately, we want to win. Therefore, we all must accept roles and sacrifice in order to achieve that goal. It’s easier to accept roles when you’re winning. On the other hand, when teams start losing, that’s when players start to complain about minutes, etc.
Your back to averaging 17 minutes per game just like last season. Could it maybe be that your game suited for less minutes where you have to show more of your efficiency something coaches must value in you?
I believe I can play big minutes and still be efficient. As far what coaches value, I don’t know.
What was so special about the title team last season? You won a few really exciting playoff series against BC Lulea and Jamtland. What will you always remember from winning the title?
Our team last year was probably the most special team I’ve been apart of. We were SUPER deep and the chemistry clicked almost instantly. That’s why we had the success we had. Winning the title for me felt so surreal in the moment. Especially considering what I had to deal with in the past.
You were instrumental in the first 2 games against Jamtland scoring 16 and 14 points in 2 close wins not decided by more than 5 points. Was that some of your best basketball you have played in your career?
I believe that was probably the most significant basketball I’ve played in my career because of the stakes. But when I was playing in Fryshuset, I was putting up those numbers regularly.
How excited are you to battle easyCredit BBL team Hakro merlins Crailsheim? I can imagine you are as focused as ever to show basketball Germany and Schwelm that you can compete against them. Will we see a Elias Desport like we have never seen before?
It’s always exciting to play against international competition. They’re a really good team. Also, you get a better understanding of what it takes to play at this level. You’ll definitely be seeing a different Elias from my days in Schwelm.
What is your biggest desire as a professional player now in your career besides winning titles?
Obviously winning is always great. But I’m still striving to play at the highest level possible. Also, seeing the world is nice too.
What is your opinion of Russell Westbrook saying he had a solid game recently despite going 0/11 from the field?
I think people need to leave him alone to be honest. He has never been a shooter. Things are only getting magnified now because he’s on the Lakers and they’re expected to be a winning team.
What is your personal opinion of where Steph Curry ranks now in the best point guards of all-time?
Top 5 for sure.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I did not see it. But certain movies should definitely be left alone.
Thanks Elias for the chat.