De’Mon Brooks Davidson College Standout & Professional European Basketball Player Interview
De’Mon Brooks is about to end his 3rd year of European professional basketball. After a short stint in Isreal and some full seasons in Italy, De’Mon made his way to Germany where he plays with Bayreuth in the country’s top professional league.
De’Mon is a graduate of Davidson College where he was a three-time All-Conference player and a two-time Conference Player of the Year. Few players have the drive, work-ethic and determination like De’Mon. Young players can learn a ton from his thoughts below. Enjoy this interview with De’Mon Brooks!
1. Do you feel like you have adjusted to life in Europe? What has been the hardest adjustment for you overseas?
With it being the end of my third year, I feel like I have adjusted pretty well to living here in Europe. With that being said, it did take some time to get used to. My rookie year was by far the toughest year because of the culture shock, on and off the court.
Off the court things like grocery shopping, driving around the city, and finding activities to do at night were a real challenge. Being in the states, we think everyone operates the way America does but that is definitely not the case.
As you get accustomed to traveling in Europe, this being my third year playing professional basketball overseas in two different European countries, the adjustment has been a lot easier. Now I feel like you can drop me off anywhere in Europe and I will be pretty comfortable in my surroundings.
2. How is the German professional basketball league different from college?
Overall, I think college and professional basketball and in this case, overseas basketball is quite different in many aspects. One being the pace of the game; college to me is more upbeat compared to overseas basketball.
Basketball players in the states are typically more athletic, so seeing dunks and home run plays are more common. On the other hand, overseas basketball, especially German BBL, is a lot more physical than college.
The German BBL is one of the toughest leagues in all of Europe. With teams like Bamberg, Bayern Munich, and other high caliber teams that play European Championships, each game is played at a really high level.
It is also rare to see guys average such high numbers here in Europe. On the really good teams, you don’t see one person averaging such high numbers compared to college. The good teams have a number of guys that average more than 10 points a game because very few players play the entire game.
For example, last year when I played in Italy, I was averaging 35 minutes a game compared to this year, I am averaging around 23 minutes a game.
3. What does your summer training regiment look like?
When I first get back home I usually take two weeks off just to let my body recover. A lot of people don’t realize how much wear and tear your body goes through in a season. Between preseason, regular season, and playoffs my body is worn down. But once I get back to it, my training it is pretty intense.
I usually workout twice a day during the week and take the weekends off, sometimes I will go on Saturdays. I do my strength and conditioning three times a week in the morning and get on the court in the afternoon.
I try to focus on one or two major goals and plan my workout around them. I do the same drills every day the entire summer in order to build good habits and muscle memory. I believe in order to improve your game you must build good habits. Zoning in on a few things to improve on and building on it every day has been my strategy over the summer.
4. Looking back at your basketball career, what is the best advice you ever got from a coach?
Some of the best advice I have gotten throughout my career came from my college coach at Davidson, Bob McKillop. He used to tell us every day to add a penny to a jar. When working on your game or anything, in particular, you will not get better overnight.
Being consistent and focusing on getting just a little bit better every day will pay dividends down the road. This motto has shaped my approach to the game and my workouts.
5. What has basketball taught you that you feel like you carry over to your life off the court?
Two things that sports have taught me more than anything are discipline and patience. From the early mornings to taking care of your body to going to practice when you are tired, etc… All these things require discipline.
No one is there to motivate you but yourself when it comes to getting these things done. One has to cultivate the habit of self-discipline through trust, care, and commitment, this is what leads to success. It also takes patience.
Too many of us want quick gratification and if it doesn’t happen in the time period we expect we tend to give up. Sports have taught me to weather the ups and the downs and stay humble because there are so many people that would love to be where I am today, and I will never take this for granted.
On the other hand, I am nowhere near where I want to be and there is so much more that I can do on and off the court.
6. What is some advice you would give to younger players hoping to play basketball in college and beyond?
I know this may sound cliche, but just have fun with it. Playing basketball should never feel like a job. From high school to the professional level, your love for the game will be tested. However, have fun and find joy in playing the game and everything else will come.
Interested in becoming a professional basketball player overseas?