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MANILA, Philippines – A historic FIBA World Cup championship should be enough to put people in Germany on notice.
Dennis Schroder hopes the national team gets more attention back home after the Die Mannschaft captured their first-ever World Cup title with a tournament sweep capped by a win over Serbia on Sunday, September 10.
Schroder said TV networks in Germany aired only the finale against Serbia despite a stellar run that saw the team also beat the United States in the semifinals.
“Basketball is such a great sport. I wish we would get our respect, what we’ve been doing for the last couple of years,” said Schroder, who clinched the World Cup Most Valuable Player honors.
Germany has been on the rise under head coach Gordie Herbert, who put together a three-year plan since he took over the program in September 2021.
The Germans won bronze in the 2022 EuroBasket for their first medal in the competition since 2005, broke through in the 2023 World Cup, and secured their place in the 2024 Paris Olympics all in a span of two years.
“When we play…next year in the Olympics in Paris, I wish that every single game is on TV. We see the steps,” said Schroder.
For years, German basketball has been synonymous with Dirk Nowitzki, who is arguably the greatest player the country has produced.
Nowitzki is the only German player to win an MVP award and a championship in the NBA after spending 21 seasons with the Dallas Mavericks – the most by any player with a single franchise.
He also powered Germany to its last podium finish in the World Cup when the Die Mannschaft bagged bronze in 2002.
But German basketball is stepping into a new era with the likes of Schroder, Franz and Moritz Wagner, Daniel Theis, and Andreas Obst leading the way.
Germany went 8-0 throughout its perfect campaign, beating the likes of Australia, Slovenia, the USA, and Serbia – teams which are placed higher in the FIBA world rankings.
“Ten years ago when I first started…we had Dirk Nowitzki, but other than that, nobody knew who the people are on the team,” said Schroder.
“But now, we go to the Philippines or Okinawa and everybody knows our team. In Germany as well, people are starting to recognize what we’ve worked for our country and representing it. We just want our respect as well.”
In Paris, Germany will try to make history anew as it shoots for its first-ever Olympic medal. – Rappler.com