Devonte Brown is a 24 year old 188cm guard from Killeen, Texas playing his second professional season and first with the Uni Baskets Paderborn. Last season as a rookie he played with OKK Sloboda Tuzla (Bosnia-Division I) playing 28 games averaging 8.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 3.0apg, Steals-3(1.9spg), FGP: 53.1%, 3PT: 26.7%, FT: 64.5%. He started his basketball career in 2012 with Indiana St. (NCAA playing a total of 129 NCAA games. As a senior he played 32 games averaging 15.5ppg, 4.8rpg, 2.8apg, FGP: 42.0%, 3PT: 23.2%, FT: 75.8%. He spoke to German Hoops earlier in the summer about basketball.
Devonte thanks for talking to German Hoops. Where are you at the moment and how has your summer been?
I’m currently back in Texas training 3 times a day, working on weakness I’ve shown in my first professional year . It’s been a great summer thus far . Ive been spending time with my family and training some of youth and high school talent in area.
Congrats on signing with German Pro A team Uni Baskets Paderborn. After playing in Bosnia as a rookie how did you experience your second transfer period? Did you have a hard time choosing between offers or was the German offer simply too good to pass on?
I enjoyed the second transfer period a lot more than first simply because I knew what to expect and when teams would start to calling . Going to an organization with a great coach such as Uli Naechster seemed to be a no brained to me. This opportunity was simply too good to pass on.
Your new head coach Uli Naechster describes you as a point guard that can score, but also be a playmaker. He also sees you being a leader this season as a point guard should be. What other strength in your game will Germany see from you on the court this season?
It always good to hear the coach talk about you in that way and I’m excited to show defensive skills to go along with my offensive ability that coach has pointed out.
Your also a guy that takes a lot of pride in their defense game. To what NBA point guard could you describe your game to?
If I was to compare myself to anyone in the NBA it would be a mixture of Patrick Beverley and Chris Paul. Guards that can get under your skin, score the basketball and manage the team based of the coaches principles.
How excited are you to be teammates with American rookie Thomas Cooper who had an illustrious career in Canada in the CIS with the University of Calgary. With a potent scorer like that, how confident are you that you might have the highest assist average ever in your career?
I’m extremely excited to have a chance play with such a potent scorer that can score in all phrases of the game. I look forward to us feeding off of each other to make the game easier for everyone.
Often when American players come to Europe, they right away are the king and get much minutes especially when they are the lone American on the team. However that wasn´t the case with you as you shared the point guard position with Bosnian Marko Ricalo. Was this a hard adjustment for you to make coming from the NCAA and a program like Indiana State where you were a top player?
It was difficult at first but as a professional I had to learn to adjust and understand the Head coach substitution pattern. The lesson to learn in my first year of being a professional is doing more with less time. Under the system every player had a number of minutes the coach felt was best for each game so I learned to become more efficient with less time I’m accustomed to.
You played at Indiana State from 2012-2016. You were a MVC Tournament Semifinalist twice. What do you feel was your biggest achievement there? Possibly becoming the 37th member of the Indiana State Basketball 1,000 Point Club against Missouri State?
I’ve been blessed with enough to accomplish some great task while attending Indiana State but the task I’m most thankful for is attaining my business degree and walking across that stage with my fellow teammates that I enter college with.
.How did head coach Greg Lansing groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career at Indiana State?
Coach Lansing added a different element to my basketball game every year . He’s hard bodied in your face coach long method is one of the main reason of my ability to adapt to any play calling and be comfortable in hostile basketball environments . Coach showed me the proper way to dissect film and to learn from it . Coach helped me groom my knowledge of basketball in a major way.
You played two seasons and practiced one with talented Jake Odum at Indiana State. How do you remember profiting most from his game on the court that has helped you in your game as you have developed further the last years?
Jake Odum is the most intelligent basketball player I’ve had the pleasure to learn from and play with . I picked up a lot of different tools from him but the most important tools I learned from Jake was the ability to be a willing passer , ball mover when someone is hot and when to attach the defense with my scoring ability.
.As a senior you lost badly twice to Wichita State, but you could battle against point guard Fred Van Vleet who you did a good job holding your own against. When you see a guy like that and look at your own game, how much do you feel is truly missing from getting at his level?
I loved the battles of the rival of ISU vs WSU because you had to compete every possession of the game . It was literally a fight on every ball screen and box out and playing at a mid major you don’t always get that type of environment to play in . Fred is a great point guard especially at the collegiate level and even an a better one now that he is in the NBA. In my opinion I truly believe to reach a higher level all I need to do is help my team win in any way.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jake Odum?
My first two years Jake Odum got the best of me but after my third year I won every one on one match up in practice.
In high school you played against NBA player Cory Jefferson. Did you already know then that he would be taking the path that he did take to the NBA?
Unfortunately Cory Jefferson and I went against each other in high school . We both went to rival high schools so the competition level was extremely high . Playing against someone that talented you have that gut feeling that he will play in the NBA someday .
How does a normal summer work out day look like for you on and off the court and what are the main things you will be working on in your game?
On a regular summer weekday I wake up around 630am and eat breakfast. I go on my 2 mile run we’re I set my plan out for my day . Training starts at 9am-3pm which includes several basketball workouts and weight lifting . By 4pm I take a nap lol The rest of the day is spending time with the family and friends and reading a book.
If you had to construct your own NBA Rushmore which 4 heads would you chose?
Michael Jordan ,Kobe Bryant , Bill Russell and Magic Johnson
.Lebron James failed to win his fourth NBA title an dhas three to Michael Jordan. There are so many experts that keep proclaiming that Lebron is the best of all-time. Where do you rate him in the neverending debate about who the best of all-time is?
I believe Lebron James is the greatest all around player ever but frankly the greatest to touch a basketball is Micheal Jordan.
There has been criticism of Russell Westbrook to be focusing more on rebounding to help inflate his stats and possibilities of getting triple doubles instead of focusing on his defensive assignments. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment to the player Russell Westbrook?
Russell Westbrook accomplished a feat I thought I would never see in my life time . He showed up every night and competed without any excuses. Good game or bad game Russell showed out and had to literally do ever thing on the offense end for OKC to be contenders. There is no one on the planet in my opinion that could have done what he has done this year and be a lockdown defender as well.
How do you summarize the 2017 NBA Draft. What sleepers do you see playing a role in the NBA?
I thought this was extremely talented draft and I can’t wait to see how Josh Jackson plays this year in Phoenix.
What was the last movie that you saw?
The last movie I saw which is actually my favorite movie is “The Gladiator”
Thanks Devonte for the chat.