Deishuan Booker (190-G-1996, college: LBSU, agency: Octagon Europe) is 190cm point guard from Las Vegas, Nevada playing his fourth professional season and first with Hapoel Nofar Energy Galil Elion (Israel-Winner League). Last season he played with Le Mans Sarthe Basket (France-Betclic ELITE ProA) averaging 7.2ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 62.2%, 3FGP: 27.0%, FT: 80.6% and in in March’2022 moved to FOS Provence Basket (France-Betclic ELITE ProA) averaging 17.6ppg, 3.0rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 84.9%. He played his second professional season with Anwil Wloclawek (Poland-EBL) averaging 15.3ppg; 3.3rpg, 5.4apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 52.5%, 3FGP: 41.5%, FT: 80.0% and in in Dec.’20 moved to BG Goettingen (Germany-BBL) averaging 9.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.8apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 82.8%. He played his rookie season with ERA Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL) averaging 6.9ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.8apg, Steals-4 (1.6spg), FGP: 43.0%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 83.3%; and played 16 BCL games averaging 10.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 81.6%He began his basketball career with Democracy Prep Agassi Campus averaging 27.7ppg and scored over 1200 points in his two seasons. He played at Gillette CC (JUCO) averaging 11.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 4.3apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 52.2%, 3PT: 30.5%, FT: 76.7%. He then moved to to S.Idaho JC (JUCO, starting five) averaging 9.8ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.4apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 50.2%, 3PT: 35.8%, FT: 71.8%. He played at Long Beach State University (NCAA) from 2017-2019 playing 65 games and as a junior averaged 10.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 85.8% and in his senior year he averaged 18.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 91.2%. He spoke to germanhoops.com before a Fiba Europe Cup game against Brose Bamberg.
Thanks Deishuan for talking to eurobasket.germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
I´m in Bamberg preparing for our match against Brose Bamberg. Basketball has been a blessing man it has taken me all over the world and I’ve made some life long friends from the sport.
Welcome back to Germany. You lived half of a season in Germany during Covid. What could appreciate most about Germany during these difficult times?
I actually enjoyed my time in Germany. There’s some memories I’ll never forget. The team and organization made the time there very easy. It was the season after Covid so not much was opened during the time they made sure we wanted for nothing. The team welcomed me with open arms. So shout out to BG Goettingen. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to experience the fans but I still feel the love from them until this day.
Your playing your first season with Hapoel Nofar Energy Galil Elion (Israel-Winner League). Every guy I have interviewed that played in Israel have loved it. What have you discovered about the culture that has amazed you the most?
The culture here is very similar to home in Israel. I think that’s what most guys relate to. A lot of people speak English and it’s very easy to adapt to. For me my favorite is the weather. I’m from Las Vegas so the heat is my type of party. The different sites and history you learn about is cool it’s a place I can’t wait for my family to see.
You played in top leagues Germany and France and now your in the Winners League. Where does this league compare to these 2? Where would you rank it from 1 to 3?
Aww man this is a tough question. I appreciate the leagues for different reasons you know. This is crazy, some people might be mad at me for this but if I had to choose it would be. France, Israel, and Germany. But it is very close.
You have played well in every pro league you were in, but the Winner League really suits your game as you were flirting with a triple double in one game. How do you feel does the Winner League cater best to your abilities?
I appreciate that man, but I believe the Winner League is a great fit because of the pace/style of play. It is more high tempo and those are usually the environments that I excel in. Throughout my entire youth we played a high tempo game.
You’re a player that has demonstrated at many levels that you can be a scorer. What is your biggest goal as a player besides winning titles? Do you set goals like Eurocup and Euroleague?
For sure man, I train and prepare as a basketball player. I’m comfortable being in uncomfortable situations. I can score with the best of them, I can pass with the best of them. The pick and roll, IQ and reads. I believe I can play at the highest levels now. I was very close this season to being at those levels but it fell through so we will just keep working until we reach those goals.
Last season you played with Le Mans Sarthe Basket (France-Betclic ELITE ProA) averaging 7.2ppg, 1.9rpg, 3.0apg, 1.1spg, 2FGP: 62.2%, 3FGP: 27.0%, FT: 80.6%; in March’2022 moved to FOS Provence Basket (France-Betclic ELITE ProA) averaging 17.6ppg), 3.0rpg, 4.7apg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 84.9%. Talk a bit about that season. You finished the season well with FOS Provence Basket scoring 92 points in your last 3 games.
I have a lot of love for the team and organization at Fos Provence. The beginning of the season was very difficult man and hopefully one day I will be able to say what happened at Le Mans. But I don’t want to speak about them at all honestly. But shout out to my teammates that were there with appreciate y’all. We can talk about it in person. Fos Provence took a chance with me because I hadn’t played in almost 2 months dealing with the situation at Le Mans. It was a family environment and genuine they cared about your well being and that translated into us being able to what a lot of people thought was impossible. That season in France just goes to show that situation/environment can be everything. My goal is to have a 50/40/90 I will get that soon man.
In 2020-2021 you split time with Anwil Wloclawek and with BG Goettingen (Germany-BBL) averaging 9.0ppg, 2.3rpg, 4.8apg, FGP: 47.0%, 3PT: 41.2%, FT: 82.8%. What memories do you have of this Covid season. Did you see any differences in the country protocols for Covid?
Man honestly I think my nose might be partially damaged from all the tests we had to take every week, but honestly that was a season with no fans and it was a weird time. The fans make all the difference in the world. Germany was cool about it because they made cardboard cutouts of our family and some of the fans and had them in the stands. That was smooth. By the time it was getting strict in Poland I was on my way leaving.
In Poland you had some special talented teammates with Rotnei Clark and Garlon Green. What memories will you always cherish from them?
Rotnei came towards the end we got to play about 2/3 games together crazy shooter man. It was easy playing with him. My guy Garlon man, great teammate and person. He is a comedian it wasn’t much to do so we spent a lot of time playing warzone. And we were with the same agent at the time. I need to get to Texas and see him and DJ Stephens by far the two most athletic people I have played with. Garlon is actually playing in Fos Provence this season. Shout out to those guys.
You played your rookie season with ERA Basketball Nymburk (Czech Republic-NBL) averaging 6.9ppg, 2.8rpg, 4.8apg, Steals-4 (1.6spg), FGP: 43.0%, 3PT: 32.8%, FT: 83.3% and averaged 10.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 59.3%, 3PT: 36.4%, FT: 81.6% in the BCL. What do you remember being your wake up call to being a rookie overseas where you knew that you were very far away from home?
Man the very first night of my rookie season I got in pretty late to Nymburk and they got me taken care of you know got my car and apartment. But when I got there I realized none of my cords would plug into the wall I needed something different. So I had found my way to the store I had about 20 minutes before it closed. I didn’t have google translate or nothing so I’m completely lost in the store no clue what is what. I bought the wrong kind of milk and all type of stuff it was bad. THEN I get back in the car to go back to the apartment and have no idea what the address is or any idea how to get around lol I didn’t want to cause any issues on the first night being there so I drove around 40 minutes before making my way back home. After that night I knew I had a whole lot to learn about Europe.
What kind of a feeling was it playing with Czech veteran Petr Benda that has won close to 20 titles? Do you feel some of that champion rubbed off on you?
The legend man. It’s a myth how he does it man. I really am trying to figure out the secret to play as long man. And for sure he had every right to make excuses while playing and not once about being old or anything. He always handled his business, BUT he also enjoyed himself and has fun during the process. Being at Nymburk was a great example for me in terms of being a professional playing under guys like Petr and Pumpy. And for sure it rubbed off man I wish Covid would’ve allowed us to enjoy the fruits of that season. Nymburk set the bar high in terms of my experience in Europe and how things should go. Great place and I’m forever thankful for them. For introducing me to Europe.
You won your first chip in the Czech Republic with the cup. What was your fondest moment from the cup run?
Championships are always great man and that championship game was extremely difficult man I think we won in overtime against Prague. I don’t know what it was with them man but we struggled every time we played them. But at this point in the season I feel like we had a swag about us that losing wasn’t an option. I actually just seen and hung out with a couple of my teammates from that team. Hayden Dalton and Zach Hankins.
You played at Democracy Prep Agassi Campus averaging 27.7ppg; scoring over 1200 points in his two seasons. Didn’t you get any D-1 offers. How can a guy with those stats only play JUCO?
You know I agree with you this is wild. I have a unique/different type of play style. Usually guards at my size are extremely athletic, extremely quick you know. I’m skinny, I wasn’t crazy athletic. So I guess it was hard for them to see my game translate to the next level. I had to sit in the office with my high school coach and go from getting about 3/4 calls a week and then close to the end of the season the phone stopped ringing. I was told I couldn’t play at the D-1 level because it would be too fast and physical. So again I just got back in the lab and worked. The cool thing about this was that the same schools came back calling after JUCO and even while playing at Long Beach state. I still have the emails and things that I was sending out to all schools just for a chance.
You played at 3 schools Gillette College (JUCO), College of Southern Idaho (JUCO) and Long Beach State University (NCAA). How important was getting experience at 3 schools instead of 1. What did each school give you?
I’ve played for a lot of different coaches throughout my life. I was a gym rat. I would workout all week and whoever would call and want me to play that weekend I would go play and work on my craft. I feel this has given me an advantage in terms of IQ and the way I can adapt against plenty of different schemes. Each coach and each school had their own schemes and philosophies. I’ve taken bits and pieces from all of them. In High school I saw a lot of double teams, box-and – one, triangle and 2. Which is why I’m comfortable in tight spaces and high intensity. I appreciate each and every coach that I’ve played for because they helped me get a step closer to the player I’m becoming. The biggest thing I took away from Long Beach from my coach Dan Monson. ‘ Your job is difficult. It’s like a puzzle. Each game is a different puzzle and you have to put the pieces (teammates) in position to make the puzzle work.’ This taught me to take the time and actually learn about my teammates. Where are they most comfortable on the floor. This has been my greatest gift. My ability to learn my teammates like that back of my hand. And that’s why I have the relationships until this day with a lot of my teammates. The team is only as good as the last man. So none gets treated differently we are all here to reach the ultimate goal and we are going to have a lot of fun while doing it. People will enjoy playing with me for these simple reasons. I believe if I don’t go to as many schools or play for as many coaches. I might be more of a predictable or one dimensional player.
Every guy that I have interviewed that played JUCO have said that playing JUCO was very difficult but an experience they wouldn’t have traded the world for. How was it for you? You played at 2 JUCO schools.
JUCO is for sure the hardest basketball I’ve played. You have to really love the game to survive through it. If you don’t love it I don’t think you can make it through. It’s a grind man and I’m appreciative of it. And it works you know so just trust your own process. A lot of players think if you don’t go division 1 right away. It’s a failure or the end of the journey. Completely wrong lock yourself in the gym and do focused work. Watch film and just keep building brick by brick.
Talk about your 2 JUCO coaches. How did each guy help you most in being able to develop and play in the NCAA?
I appreciate both of those guys man. Went to the National Tournament and won championships with both coaches. They were different in their own regards. Coach Neary was more to himself and handled business. But you know, he took me on the team as a favor you know. I wasn’t recruited there or anything like that. After that he kind of gave me my confidence that way I play wasn’t wrong and in fact just different. The only reason that I even started getting into the rotation was because my good friend of mine rolled his ankle and he had no choice but to play me. And after the game he called and told my mentor ‘you said he was a good player, and I didn’t know what to expect because every player always a good player that’s trying to get recruited, but I Didn’t know it was going to be like that.’ We won’t on to finish in 3rd and I believe we finished the season with 7 players so we could hardly even practice. Coach Phay was a players coach. You can tell he’ll put it on the line for his players. And it gets reciprocated in the way his teams play. He would freestyle his pre game speeches. Ripping the shirt and all. He put more emphasis on me being a vocal leader inside and outside of practice being a leader only wasn’t about while on the court.
You then finished at Long Beach State University (NCAA) averaging 10.6ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.6apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 55.7%, 3PT: 38.0%, FT: 85.8% and 18.8ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.4apg, 1.3spg, FGP: 49.8%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 91.2% as a senior. How did your game grow in these 2 years?
It was a village you know. Coach Scholl, Coach Q, my guy mark. BUT, Gerald Woods, I have him saved as the Guru in my phone. He would never leave the gym because he was always working getting the hotels and meals and stuff prepared for our trips. He noticed that I had a similar appreciation for the game and he broke down my game. From the way I step when I dribble. The way my elbow is placed. Where my thumb is placed. Watching film. Cut film of practices. He helped me take it to a different level. To help him, was my guy in Las Vegas, Coach DT, he added the creativity, separation. I’ve been working with him for a while. He was coaching me my senior season of AAU and maybe he can better explain the mindset of the coaches that we’re deciding to pass on me. Working with these two guys combined it was the perfect recipe. Still to this day they continue to prepare me to have no weaknesses in my game and it’s the ultimate goal. I appreciate and love those guys man see y’all soon.
You had so many great games as a senior, but lost some, but also won against Cal Ploy-SLO and Cal-Davis. What was your fondest moment on the floor?
It used to be some battles in the Big West man. For sure some classic games. Some crazy guards were in there man a lot of which are doing well as professionals now which is dope to see. Gabe Vicncent, TJ Shorts, Max Heidegger, Kyle Allman, and Khalil Ahmad just a couple of the guys off the top of my head. Shout out to those guys continue to stay healthy and keep doing y’all thing. My fondest memory of mine may be the Game winner against Santa Barbara easily. The other is we had a tournament in Las Vegas and my college held practice at my high school where they told me that I wouldn’t be able to play at the Division 1 level that was a full circle moment. I’m glad my coach and school got to experience that.
How did head coach Dan Monson groom and prepare you best for a professional career?
Coach consistently held me accountable. Consistently challenged me never allowing me to be complacent in anything. Taking care of your business outside of the court and family. He was more concerned with preparing us for life in general. I was a better man, player and leader after playing for him. At the time you know dealing with the stuff I didn’t understand. But still to this day I use the things he taught me. And it hurts when I think about that I wasn’t able to help him get to the tournament. Shout out to coach Monson and y’all go check out them boys at the Beach.
Who won a 1-1 in practice you or Jordan Griffin?
My guy J Griff. I’m not sure if we ever played ones just us. But I would’ve got J Griff man. I will tell you this though it’s not someone you want to play against. He has a different type of game. He can shoot from the parking lot. He is fast as hell. And will shoot off one leg. And can run around all day. We used to have a drill where we need three stops in a row and that drill might last 20 minutes because J Griff hitting shots like I described before. Easily one of the best shooters. Shout to J Griff.
Who was the toughest player that you ever faced in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
Deandre Ayton the game was way to easy for him man. Way to easy. He might have had like 18 and 6 before the 2nd or 3rd media timeout. Scored every way you can think.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
This is tough actually. It’s hard to choose favorites. I’m going to go with Darrion Daniels, Kwinton Hinson, Kavell Bigby-Williams, Jake Hendricks, and God. Easiest guys to play with and they compete I will line it up with them any day of the work. There’s more obviously I appreciate all my guys
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Lebron James/Kobe Bryant, Jamal Crawford, and Gilbert Arenas These are just some of my personal favorites and some of the guys that I studied to borrow some of their game.
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
They both are great man. Basketball gets better and players get better as time goes on. I’m going to go with Bron just more of a complete player. But I believe there wouldn’t be a Kobe or Bron if Jordan didn’t pioneer the lane for them to follow. In the next 20 years they will be another player who will enter the discussion that’s the beauty of the game it’s always growing and evolving. That’s all respect to Jordan by the way. He is HIM still.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone?
I did see I’m a fan of the first one and not really a fan of sequels. Especially when it’s years later you know. The actors/actresses have different motivations and are just different people so it’s hard to get the same energy as the first one. But it wasn’t a bad movie.
Thanks Deishaun for the chat.