Dennis Schroder hopes that Germany has earned the respect it deserves at home following a historic breakthrough in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
Die Mannschaft secured their first-ever world title by defeating Serbia in an all-European final on Sunday night, and the star guard is keeping his fingers crossed that this victory will mark the beginning of greater and more widespread recognition for the national team in their home country.
“I hoped that, when we first started the tournament, it would be on TV,” he reflected during the postgame press conference after their 83-77 victory at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
“Because only the Final was televised in Germany.”
With much of Europe focused on the continent’s major sports, especially football, at this time of year, Germany captured the attention of basketball fans during the World Cup.
It all began in Okinawa, Japan, where they finished with a perfect 5-0 record in two rounds of the Group Phase.
Manila witnessed their remarkable journey, starting with a thrilling win over Latvia in the quarterfinals, followed by a masterful semifinal performance against USA, leading them to their first-ever appearance in the Final.
Ultimately, they outlasted the Serbians, with Schroder himself shining the brightest as he scored a game-high 28 points.
Schroder’s performance throughout the tournament was stellar, earning him MVP honors with averages of 19.2 points and 6.1 assists, prompting Coach Gordie Herbert to emphasize that it’s high time to acknowledge the talented guard’s contributions.
However, for Schroder, he would appreciate it even more if the entire program receives the respect they deserve, given their recent achievements.
“I wish we would receive the respect we deserve for what we’ve accomplished in the last couple of years,” said the proud son of Braunschweig.
“Whether it’s the World Championship, the European Championship, or the upcoming Olympics in Paris next year, I hope that every single game will be televised.”
Schroder is optimistic that people are starting to take notice based on the recently concluded World Cup, and he believes this bodes well for the future.
“We can see the progress,” said the 10-year pro, who signed with the Toronto Raptors last July. “Ten years ago, when I first started… Of course, we had Dirk Nowitzki, but aside from that, nobody knew the players on our team.
“But now, when we travel to the Philippines or Okinawa, everybody recognizes our team. In Germany as well, people are starting to appreciate what we’ve done for our country and how we represent it,” he added.
“We simply want the respect we’ve earned.”