Germany's Dennis Schroeder said he has dreamed of someday playing in the NBA since he was 11 years old, which dates all the way back to 2005.
While most foreign teenagers wisely sharpen their skills overseas before venturing to play basketball in America, the 19-year-old Schroeder is ready to plunge at the game's most demanding position.
“I made a promise to my dad that one day I want to reach the NBA,” Schroeder said. “Hopefully, it will come true. I work for it every day.”
As for when Schroeder will be picked in the June 27 draft, projections range from No. 12 (HoopsHype.com) to No. 29 (CBSSports.com), and both those picks belong to the Thunder.
If OKC reserve guard Reggie Jackson were to excel and price himself out of an affordable contract extension, Schroeder could evolve into Russell Westbrook's backup.
The 6-foot-2, 168-pound Schroeder currently is a score-first guard, but could easily transition to a set-up man thanks to an ability to blow by his defender and force opponents to help contain him, which would leave teammates open.
Schroeder started his ascent up the draft board in April during the Nike Hoop Summit at Portland, which featured top American high-school seniors against a World Select Team of prospects age 19 and younger.
“Consistently able to freeze his defender with a hesitation move before exploding past him to the rim, Schroeder has been a handful for the other guards in attendance,” Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com wrote at the time. “Playing pesky, full-court defense, knocking down a number of jump shots, and looking great in the open floor as well, Schroeder is leaving a lasting impression with his play here in Portland. With (Oklahoma State's) Marcus Smart returning to school and a notable void after the top tier of point guard prospects in the 2013 draft at the moment, Schroeder could look to fill that gap.”