After Showing He Could Handle Euroleague Players with His Physicality And Rebounding Instincts, Dejon Davis Is Ready For The Next Step With The MLP Academics Heidelberg

De’Jon Davis (201-SF-1998, college: CBU) is a 24 year old 201cm forward from Oakland, California playing his third professional season and first in Germany with the MLP Academics Heidelberg. Last season he played withAS Apollon Patras (Greece-GBL) averaging 9.5ppg, 6.0rpg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 29.5%, FT: 66.7% . He played his rookie season with Petrolina AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) averaging 15.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP-3 (59.9%), 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 72.9%. He began his basketball career with Oakland Technical High School and then played at California Baptist University from 2016-2020 playing a total of 122 games and as a senior averaged 11.6ppg, 9.6rpg, FGP: 55.8%, 3PT: 43.5%, FT: 74.5%. He spoke to about his basketball career.

Thanks Dejon for talking to Your playing your first season in Germany for the MLP Academics. What kind of experience has it been playing for this organization and living in the city that has one of the most famous castles in Germany.

It has been real fun. Heidelberg is a beautiful city. My family really loves it. We feel very comfortable here.

It’s still early, but how would you compare the Greek first division to the easyCredit BBL? Is the BBL more structured compared to the up and down tempo in Greece?

I would actually say that it is the opposite. I have seen the BBL as being more up and down and fast paced. I felt like Greece was a lot slower and we ran our sets more.

The MLP Academics are playing their second season in the easyCredit BBL that have a new coach and many new players. How do you see yourself fitting into the system as a very versatile offensive player that also can make an impact on the defensive end?

I think that I fit in really well. I love taking the mismatches inside, but also love to shoot on the perimeter. I have also always been a very defensive minded player. This season It has taken me longer to get a feel for coaches system, but I’m getting a better hang of it now. I’m having more fun now.

What kind of an experience has it been playing with the experienced Shy Ely? What kind of an aura does he sprinkle on and off the court for you?

Shy is one of my go to guys when I need advice. He is one of the leaders on the team. He helps me on reads and how to help on defense like when I’m hugging my man to much. I definitely go to him for help, because he has so much wisdom.

Eric Washington dished out 14 assists in the first game and then scored 16 points in a row to beat Frankfurt. How have you been impressed by his game and is he more than just an incredible facilitator?

Eric has been one of my favorite guys to play with. He is a great point guard. You really don’t find many guys like him that can facilitate well, but can also score at such a high rate. He is a pass first guard, but a great scorer as well. I knew from the start that he would lead us to having a great season. He encourages everyone and we follow him. It has been very fun to play with him.

Let’s talk a bit about your game. You’re a 201cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?

I have always liked to stay away from comparisons and have never focused on it. For me, I try to work best on my skill set to become the best player that I can be. Most people have compared me to Dwight Howard because of my big shoulders. Others have compared me to Amare Stoudemire.

You’re a scorer and rebounder, but what other areas of your game do you sparkle in?

My energy is something that I mostly bring to the game. I am very active on the court. I become very animated when there is a big play and my motor is high. My energy level is contagious and gets guys going.

You had a steal and block in the first game against Ludwigsburg. What kind of a defender are you now and what kind of defender do you still want to become?

I love to block shots and be active on the help side. I also like to switch. It isn’t something my current system does, but I believe like I’m versatile. I want to improve on hard hedging and stopping the guard and get back faster to my man.

Last season you played for AS Apollon Patras (Greece-GBL) averaging 9.5ppg, 6.0rpg, FGP: 58.6%, 3PT: 29.5%, FT: 66.7%. After a super rookie season in Cyprus, you needed no adjustment period to the stronger Greek league. How do you feel did your game grow in Greece?

Greece was more of a learning season.- My season in Greece was good, but not up to my expectations after my season in Cyprus. I have to deal more with my mentality and continue to work hard to get better. I believe that I finished my season strong in Greece. That definitely helped raise my confidence.

You had 2 strong games against Euroleague powerhouse team Panathinaikos with 12/8 and 12/10 games. What did you learn about your game in these 2 games where you understood you belonged with ex NBA guys like Okaro White and Jeremy Evans?

I learned in those games that I could play with those guys because of my physicality and rebounding instinct. These games were important for my game and I want to keep growing having the mentality of staying strong and improving.

You played your rookie season with Petrolina AEK Larnaca (Cyprus-OPAP Basket League) averaging 15.7ppg, 7.4rpg, 1.4apg, FGP-3 (59.9%), 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 72.9%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you knew that you were far away from home?

I had 30 points on the road. I believe it was my third game. My wife was there but that was it. We enjoyed the moment, but I wasn’t able to enjoy the moment with other family and my old coaches. That was hard, but that is the choice we make to play the game we love. These are sacrifices that I need to make.

How special was this team? You won the league title and cup?. What will you never forget from this club?

I loved the team in Cyprus very dearly. I still talk to guys from that team today. I remember when I got there the whole team embraced me as if I had been there forever. There were 35 year old veterans that encouraged me every day. It felt amazing. I think the biggest reason why we were successful was because we were so close. We loved each other. It was like a brother hood.

Despite winning the league title over Kervanos, you couldn’t match your 29 points from game 1. Had Keravnos found your number after game 1?

That was very interesting. I had had many very good games against that team in the regular season and then also in game 1. After my 29 points in game one, their coach made it a point that I didn’t score again. They sent double and triple teams against me. But that opened up the floor for my teammates to shine. We showed that we were truly versatile and not a one man show.

You played at California Baptist University (NCAA) from 2016-2010 playing a total of 122 games. You really took off with your game in your last 2 seasons averaging 10/9 and 11/9 stats. How did your game grow in those last 2 years? You seemed to have no adjustment going from the NCAA 2 to NCAA.

My game grew a lot. In my first 2 years in division 2, I played the 5, but in my last 2 years I played the 4. In my first 2 years I didn’t shoot the ball in the post but only rebounded and played defense. In my last 2 years coach wanted me to become a versatile 4. I worked hard the two summers and the coaches really developed me well. The development there helps me be able to play both the 4 and 5 today.

How cool was it playing in the CBI against Loyola? What memories were you able to take with you?

I remember losing on a hook shot at the buzzer. I remember still being happy after losing because we had had a good first year in Division 1. I was really excited to get back to work and prepare for my senior year.

You had many great games in school but was your 31/15 explosion in the exciting 88-87 win over Seattle one of your most memorable?

That still ranks as my most memorable game in my career. That is top 3 if not #1. It was senior night and my last game in that gym. My whole family was there. It was a very special night. It is a game that I cherish and will never forget. Whenever I think of the game, it puts a big smile on my face.

How did head coach Rick Croy groom and prepare you best for a professional career?

I love coach Croy. Every time I am home, I go back to school and train with him. He does a great job not only preparing guys for the future, but also challenges you in a way to become the best version of yourself. He worked hard with me on my shot and defense. Even if it was hard and frustrating at times, he encouraged me to get to the next level. I believed him. I put in the work. I look up to him so much. My family loves him. He is like family. I actually just talked to him after the buzzer beater win against Frankfurt.

Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Bul Kuol?

I think that it was a tie.

Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in your life that reached the NBA?

The Martin brothers Cody and Caleb from Arizona.

Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?

Derek Ogbeide, Alperen Sengun, Cleveland Thomas, Quinton Synder and Georgios Tsalmpouris.

Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?

Lebron, Shaq, Magic, Kobe, Kevin Garnett

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

There are so many arguments for both sides. There is no deciding factor. Every person has their own opinion.

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

It wasn’t bad, but the first one was better.

Thanks Dejon for the chat.


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