German guard SchrÃ¶der could be good fit with Bucks
MAY 31, 2013 1:16p ET
ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- Dennis Schröder was a typical 16-year-old kid. His mind was on everything but his future career.
But as his father Axl was dying from heart failure, Schröder made a promise to his father he's worked the next three years to fulfill.
"I promised him that I would try to reach the NBA," Schröder said. "I work hard everyday for that ... Everyday he tried to support me. He'd come to every practice."
At 16-years-old, Schröder realized he was going to have to step up and provide for his family. He grew up in a heartbeat. Now at 19-years-old, the mature young man is just a few weeks away from realizing the pledge he made to his father.
In town for Milwaukee's second draft workout, Schröder joined Miami guard Shane Larkin, Murray State guard Isaiah Canaan, Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr, Missouri guard Phil Pressey and Belmont guard Ian Clark as hopefuls flashing their skills in front of Bucks officials.
"We're definitely looking at swing positions and guard positions with our position with free agency, not knowing what's going to happen (with Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis)," Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney said. "Our bigs right now, we have a pretty good set of big players that we have to work with. We're looking at (guards) in terms of looking at the draft."
Expected to go in the first round, Schröder might be the most intriguing point guard prospect that will be available when the Bucks pick 15th overall. The son of a German father and a Gambian mother, Schröder began playing for the NY Phantoms in 2011, a team based in his hometown of Braunschweig, Germany.
After averaging just 2.3 points and 0.7 assists in eight minutes per game in his first season with the NY Phantoms, Schröder came on last season, averaging 11.9 points and 3.3 assists per game.
But it wasn't until he landed an invite to the Nike Hoops Summit that Schröder really began to burst onto the scene. His draft stock soared after he scored 18 points and dished out six assists in the World Select Team's victory over the United States.
"Dennis is a very good defensive player," McKinney said. "I think that's one of the things he's going to get better at. He has good point guard skills, as well. He has a good all-around game.
"He's 19-years-old right now. He has a tremendous chance to grow as a player, but in stature, as well. Physically, he's going to get stronger as he competes with grown men now."
Though he's proved he can score and distribute while playing against some of the best players in the world, Schröder is trying to impress teams with his defense during his numerous workouts prior to the draft.
"That's the first thing I want to show," Schröder said. "On the five-on-five, I can show how I defend. One-on-one it's a little difficult.
"Every workout I try to do my best on defense. I try to make my teammates better by finding the open guys."
Growing up in Germany, Schröder always found himself watching Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo on television. In terms of size, Schröder resembles Rondo quite a bit. He hopes his game will become similar to Rondo's down the road.
"He has long arms, he plays defense and leads the team very well," Schröder said. "He passes the ball very well, as well."
There's a realistic chance Schröder could be Milwaukee's first round pick. The odds are strong he'll be around at the 15th pick, and the Bucks could be looking for point guard.
With Brandon Jennings entering a restricted free agent and Monta Ellis having the ability to opt out of the final year of his contract, the Bucks are faced with important decisions moving forward.
"I think I fit very well here with this team," Schröder said. " ... I think I can improve a lot, especially when I go to the league. You have so many coaches who help you every day to try and get better."
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