Dennis Schroeder: Racism and tragedy on the road to global stardom

arrive Dennis Schroeder (Braunschweig, Germany, 29 years old) He has always been judged for his volcanic personality and rich qualities on the pitch.Foundation toronto raptors and historic leaders germany teamThe team that had just won its first World Cup in Manila was an unknown outside the pavilion. Yet his story hides great life lessons, from overcoming tragedy to standing up to racism.

newly crowned World Cup Most Valuable PlayerAs the heir to Ricky Rubio’s 2019 China Game honors, he began taking basketball seriously at the age of 16. his father’s death. He did a little bit of everything at that time, although his favorite pastime was skating in the park to music.

Just a week ago, his father had had a serious conversation with him. Basketball could be his outlet, a way for him and his family to seek a better future. One day when his father’s heart failed, the teenage Schroeder discovered a conversation between father and son in a letter in a drawer. “Everything changed after that”“, he recalled a few years ago with Bleacher Report.

AxelMy father fell in love with my mother while on vacation in Banjul, the capital of Gambia. Fatou Njieis a stylist at a hair salon near one of her favorite restaurants in the African country. The couple met again a year later while visiting their sisters who had moved to Denmark, and little Dennis’s story began. They had married and settled in Braunschweig, an industrial city in Lower Saxony in the north of the country, and soon gave birth to their first child.

Schroeder grew up in a school with his two older brothers, Ava and Che, as the only black children among 800 students. An element of racism was immediately present in his life, a fact that carried over to his successful journey to the United States. “Look, it’s darkOne phrase he remembers hearing as a child was: “He’s covered in dirt.” On several occasions, the attitude in the stands wasn’t much better, and neither were the police.

Last season in Los Angeles, while he was playing for the Lakers, several police officers stopped him and accused him of stealing his own car, a flashy Cadillac. “He looks like a criminal, it’s crazy”, explains that episode. They even put him in handcuffs until they managed to clear the matter up and kept threatening to use a gun.

Rebellious for a reason

Schroder has always stood out among parquet floors with its rogue style and leather character. He does not shy away from any dialectical struggle and offers strong and direct opinions. One example was his argument with the German coach during a timeout against Slovenia. He ordered him to sit down and rest, but he refused. He challenged him in front of all his companions: “Don’t touch me like this!”

During the title game, the point guard caused an earthquake with accusations. Maxi Kleiber, He was one of the players pre-selected by the German Football Association due to a lack of commitment to the national team. Offended by the direct attack, the Dallas Mavericks internally decided not to play in the championship game, another anecdote on the road to Germany’s men’s basketball team’s greatest success.

Schroeder wore his unique hairstyle during his time with the Lakers


Schroeder’s attitude was driven by his mother, who reminded her children from an early age that they should “Do more”, If they want to succeed in life, be “better than others.”she encouraged him Dye blonde stand out.He didn’t want to go that far and left a patch on his left side that he had given up on look Globalist. Maybe it finally no longer needs to be acknowledged, with all its edge and complexity.

Schroeder gave up a million dollar contract Out of pride, though now he enjoys some stability after signing with the team for two seasons and $26 million. toronto raptors. After last year’s European bronze-medal defeat, he emerged as a leading figure at the World Cup, before he could be vindicated in a year in the NBA.

Cyclone on the track

Schroeder performed well for Germany, averaging a 19.1 points, 2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.4 steals at this World Cup. It earned him a gold medal and MVP, the best moment in a career full of ups and downs. “It’s been a long road, I’ve been with the national team for ten years. Winning this gold medal is a blessingIt’s unbelievable to be able to share this with the whole locker room, with my family from Germany,” he said after lifting the title.

“As a player he was trained on street footage and 1 and mixtape From YouTube.he likes to watch Chris Paul, Mike Conley and Tony Parkerwas his favorite NBA player growing up, dreaming of fulfilling his own dreams and realizing his father’s vision.

He did that in 2013, when he was selected with the 17th overall pick in the draft by the Atlanta Hawks, where he spent most of his career. Despite never paying much attention to his own game due to not sharing a position, Dirk Nowitzki’s profile has become increasingly important since his arrival in the United States. “When I got to the league, he gave me his phone number and told me to call him if I needed anything.”he remembered this Sunday.

Schroeder has surpassed Nowitzki’s World Cup bronze medal with Germany in 2002 to become the best result in the history of the men’s team so far.The 1.85-meter point guard reached his ceiling in the American League in 2018, when he averaged 19.4 points, 6.2 assists in his final season in Atlanta. From there he went to the Thunder, where he continued to develop a great game but didn’t make the jump to the next category.

He received a great opportunity in a prestigious market with the Lakers in the 2020-2021 season to become the starting point guard accompanying the team. LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the campaign following the last championship game in Los Angeles. That summer, he refused a contract extension worth 84 million and four seasons. It is estimated that his worth should be higher. In the free agent market, he didn’t find the offer he wanted and ended up going to Boston, only getting $6 million and a one-year contract.

Mike Budenholzer His first coach in the NBA perhaps best defined Schroder on the court. “He’s a very competitive, restless boy, which can work to your advantage or against you.”. But if you had to bet on someone, it was him,” the former Hawks and Bucks coach said. Austin ReevesAnother self-made player, the opponent of Team USA in the semifinals, was waiting for his former teammates on the Lakers at the exit of the German locker room. “You have to take your hat off to him”he commented.

After moving to Houston, he returned to the Lakers last year and was selected to the Lakers again. The key part in the rotation, Although the impact is far from his best years.He decided to say goodbye again Hollywood And looking for a life elsewhere, he hopes to find the ideal environment now in Canada to establish himself as a star who will be considered from now on.

These precedents are not encouraging, as the MVPs of the last major international tournament were ignored by the league: Willy Hernangomez After being named EuroBasket MVP in 2022, he earned a place on the bench and then returned to Europe with Barca. Ricky Rubioon indefinite leave for mental health reasons, Since winning the World Cup in China in 2019, his form has been different due to injuries.

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