The world champions are back home – and the enthusiasm for basketball in Germany is at its peak. More than 1,000 fans gave Dennis Schröder and Co. a great reception in Frankfurt am Main on Tuesday. “I never expected that so many people would come. It’s overwhelming,” said the development player, who was outstanding at the World Cup in Asia, on the small stage in front of the headquarters of the main sponsor ING Bank.
The basketball players were celebrated by their supporters not in a perfectly choreographed manner like the footballers’ long-ago successes, but in a friendly, chaotic and improvised manner. Because the World Cup trophy was still a while away at the airport, the world champions arrived at the party a little late – the cheers were even greater when they arrived. When Schröder came on stage as the last player at 10:37 a.m. wearing dark sunglasses, there were loud chants of “MVP” and “World Champion.”
After outstanding performances during the World Cup, the 29-year-old was rightly named the tournament’s most valuable player (MVP). “Thank you for your support,” leader Schröder called out to the supporters. “I hope that a lot of children and adults start playing basketball now. It’s just crazy what’s going on here.”
Basketball players compete in the Olympics
Even two days after the 83:77 in the final against Serbia, Schröder and Co. had not yet really realized what they had achieved in faraway Manila for themselves and their sport, which, like so many other sports in Germany, is overshadowed by football. “No more soccer” shouted the supporters, many of whom were angry on Sunday that the German Football Association had separated from national coach Hansi Flick just two minutes before the end of the World Cup final and the greatest success of German basketball history.
A timing that also didn’t go down well with Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser. “That annoyed me too. It was such a beautiful moment on Sunday, you just wanted to enjoy it,” said Faeser (SPD). “The report wasn’t entirely happy at that point.”
Faeser once again expressed her great joy about the triumph. “I am very proud and very happy. What a basketball team this is! One can only congratulate. Especially Dennis Schröder at the top,” said the Interior Minister, who is also responsible for sport. “We’re looking forward to the Olympic Games next year with a world champion at the start. That’s just great,” said Faeser.
Basketball World Cup
First the gold, then the party – the exuberant locker room celebration of the German basketball players
Thomas Weikert, President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), also thought ahead a year and, in an exuberance of enthusiasm, took the newly crowned World Cup heroes to task. “We’ll be in Paris soon. And I want to see you here again,” said Weikert, looking ahead to next year’s Olympic Games.
The happy but tired World Cup heroes, on the other hand, did not want to think about the next stage of the three-year plan announced last year. “I haven’t given a thought to the Olympics yet. This is a special moment that the team should enjoy. It only happens once in a lifetime,” said successful coach Gordon Herbert, who once again emphasized team chemistry as the key to success. “This is the best team Germany has ever had. And they are even better people,” said the Canadian.
When the players are with their families in the next few days, something will be missing. “Everyone is going their own way now. That’s actually a bit of a shame. Normally we would have to celebrate together for a few more days,” said Alba Berlin’s Johannes Thiemann. “We’re all looking forward to next summer.” Basketball and sports Germany too.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.