Dennis Schroder’s belief molds Germany into Fiba World Cup winner
MANILA, Philippines—Germany wasn’t among the favorites ahead of the Fiba World Cup. In fact, the Germans weren’t even tipped to top their group in the first round of the tournament.
Nonetheless, German star Dennis Schroder knew their team had what it takes to win it all to begin with and his teammates held on to that belief until it came to fruition on Sunday night.
“Dennis is unbelievable. The way he believes [in us] is huge,” Schroder’s teammate Johannes Thiemann said.
“Even before we started the tournament he said he wanted to win gold.”
Germany claimed World Cup gold for the first time with Schroder capping off his impressive campaign with 28 points against Serbia to earn the MVP award and outshine bonafide NBA stars in Luka Doncic of Slovenia, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Canada and Team USA’s Anthony Edwards.
Schroder, who turns 30 four days from now, averaged 19.1 points and 6.1 assists for Germany.
“Just his belief gave us so much energy and confidence. At this stage, what he’s doing on and off the court is unbelievable,” Thiemann said of Schroder.
That belief turned Germany into an unbeatable force in the World Cup with the Germans scoring big wins over the likes of Australia, Slovenia and Team USA in the semifinal on Friday.
“This is unbelievable. We enjoyed every single moment, every single day, every single practice, every single game. We embraced it and competed on the highest level. That’s the reason why we did what we did in this tournament,” said Schroder.
Before leading Germany to the gold, Schroder played a vital role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ surprise run in the Western Conference semifinals last May.
Schroder, who is entering his 11th season in the NBA this October, then signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Toronto Raptors last July.