|04 June 2014|
EUROBASKET 2015 2ND QR
|Dennis Schröder wants to be playing in Rio with Dirk |
Atlanta Hawks point guard Dennis Schröder has confirmed that he will suit up for the German national team in the upcoming EuroBasket 2015 2nd Qualifying Round.
The 20-year-old skipped last year's EuroBasket in order to prepare for his NBA rookie season, but is now motivated for his first stint with the senior national team.
"For me it goes without saying that you play for the national team. I am ready to help my team-mates," Schröder said in a video interview with the German Basketball Federation (DBB).
"Our main goal is to qualify for the EuroBasket and then - step by step - reach the Olympic Games, hopefully with Dirk Nowitzki."
Schröder indicated that the German legend's days in a national team uniform are far from being over.
"I've been in touch with Dirk during the season. We spoke about the national team and agreed that we both want to play at EuroBasket and the Olympics. That's the goals we're setting and we want to reach together."
The first hurdle on this path lies ahead this summer, with Germany fighting with Poland, Luxembourg and Austria in Group C for one of the coveted spots leading EuroBasket 2015.
Newly-installed head coach Emir Mutapcic would have understandably breathed a sigh of relief following the news of Schröder's commitment, as he has already lost a linchpin of his backcourt, Per Günther, to injury.
"I have had many phone conversations with the coach in the last few days. He explained to me that he needs the best players to suit up and that I am important to the team.
"He gave me a lot of confidence, and I expect this to be a good summer," Schröder added.
The 1.86m playmaker is optimistic about Germany's outlook, with a core of young players having shown promising form in the past season.
"We have some very talented guys in Daniel Theis, who I played with [at Spot up Medien and New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig], Niels Giffey, who had a great college season and Tibor Pleiss, who is playing very well in the Spanish League."
Schröder is likely to join his team-mates after the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which is set to take place from 11-21 July.
Germany tip-off their qualification campaign on 10 August with an away game against Poland.