Diante Watkins is a 26 year old 174cm point guard that is playing his fourth professional season and first with the Nurnberg Falcons BC. Last season an injury in pre season derailed his path playing for the Bayer Giants Leverkusen. He started his basketball career in 2009 with Daley CC (JUCO): 28 games: 26.5ppg, 5.8apg, 2.7rpg, 2.0spg, FGP: 44%, 3Pts: 38%, FT: 86%. He then played two seasons with Robert Morris (NAIA) and as a senior played 27 games: 24.4ppg, 7.4apg, 3.0rpg, 2.1spg, FGP: 47.0%, 3Pts: 38.9%, FT: 82.7%. In 2013-2014 he started his professional basketball career with SC Rist Wedel where he played 30 games averaging 16.2ppg, 2.3rpg, 3.8apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 48.0%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 86.9%. He improved his play in 2014-2015 with SC Rist Wedel playing 32 games: Score-2(21.3ppg), 3.8rpg, Assists-1(6.8apg), Steals-2(3.2spg), FGP: 49.2%, 3PT: 32.4%, FT: 87.4%. He cleaned up the Eurobasket awards winning Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Honorable Mention -14, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Player of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Guard of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B Import Player of the Year -15, Eurobasket.com All-German 2.Bundesliga Pro B 1st Team -15, and Eurobasket.com German 2.Bundesliga Pro B All-Imports Team -15. He currently is tearing up the Pro A averaging 21,0ppg, 2,3rpg and 5,8apg and spoke to German Hoops after the 89-74 loss against Weissenfels.
Diante thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. A tough 89-74 loss in Weissenfels against 2004 Fiba Europe Cup winner Mitteldeutscher BC. You have played in many gyms in Germany in the last years, but where did the breathtaking atmosphere of the MBC wolf den rank with all the other places you have played at?
It’s was one of the best gyms I played in. The atmosphere was great I really enjoyed playing there!
MBC had the 41-35 lead at the break. MBC has a very potent offensive team and at the break were on par of equaling their game point average of 83 points. What was most difficult to slow up the MBC offense?
They are really good at getting fast break points off of your mistakes!
In the third quarter, Nurnberg continued to fight and stay with MBC, but in the last few minutes MBC broke away leading by 12 points after 30 minutes. It seemed like MBC was always a step ahead. Was MBC overall just a class better than Nurnberg?
I feel like they were very talented but our team is just as good. We just had a few guys out today and we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities
MBC continued to lead in double digits in the fourth quarter. Did you get tired down the stretch as MBC wore you down?
I think our guys and our team, me included was a little fatigued, and we were without a key player and another one of our players today was ill so we had a short rotation
Nurnberg shot a positive 53% from outside, but had 23 turnovers. Basketball is a team sport, but do you as the playmaker take a bit responsibility of the high team turnover rate?
Yes, today I made a lot unforced turnovers that shouldn’t happen. I had 5 or 6 I believe and thats unacceptable
You play against very talented players each weekend. Were you able to exchange some words with probably the most experienced player in pro A Marcus Hatten who has played in 8 countries and MBC is his 17th team?
I actually talked to him after the game, gave me some advice and told me to keep up the good work
How proud are you in general of how far Nurnberg have come since June where it seemed like basketball would be history in the historic city?
I’m happy to be a part of it, because of what happened in June and the energy around the team is great, from fans to teammates! It’s a great environment
Nurnberg is 2-3 now and the club is defending solid, but is the 67 points per game that the club makes one of the bigger areas that the club has to improve?
Yes, we just have to execute better and that will go up!
You and veteran Dan Oppland are carrying the team. How much of a pleasure has it been playing with Oppland. What besides his unending experience is his biggest asset for the team?
His leadership is big for us! In my opinion he’s the best forward in the league. He just flat out gets it done!
How thankful are you now that all your hard work in the last year during rehab has paid off and that you can finally play in the Pro A?
I’m very happy, just to be able to play again and show people what I can do is great!
You have needed no adjustment time and belong to the top point guard averaging 19,7ppg and 6,3apg after four games. Do you feel like you are as strong as your two Pro B seasons or are you even better now despite your one year lay off?
I feel I’m better, I still have a lot of improving to do and I’m learning as I go!
How much of a challenge is it in the Pro A for you compared to the Pro B? Do you see yourself having a totally different and new personal preparation time to get ready for every new opponent so you can perform at your best and lead the team to victory?
Honestly, I’m doing everything the same! It’s more focusing on the game plans and more structured than Pro B but as far as my individual prep it’s the same!
Kevin Garnett has retired. Where do you see his legacy now with t6he all-time best to ever play at the power forward position?
I think KG is top 3 power forward of all-time, only behind Tim Duncan and maybe Charles Barkley
What was the last movie that you saw?
I watched The Wood.
Thanks Diante for the chat.