Nine points, 14 rebounds, three assists - Jonas Richter's numbers on his debut in the national basketball team were more than impressive. "I don't know if anyone has ever done it - except probably Dirk Nowitzki and Franz Wagner," said captain Johannes Voigtmann, praising the 25-year-old forward from Niners Chemnitz.
In the past, Richter had always been an issue for the national team games, where the stars from the NBA and from the German Euroleague clubs Alba Berlin and Bayern Munich had to pass because of their club commitments. But somehow something always came up - until Friday evening. Then Richter finally celebrated his premiere in a Germany jersey in the 73:66 win against Sweden in Frankfurt am Main.
"It felt great," Richter said. "I defended well at the back and the throws were good at the front," said the Chemnitz happily. Richter almost managed to get a double-double (two-digit values in two categories). But even so, his conclusion was only positive. "It was fun. Now we want to win the group in Finland too," he said, looking ahead to the final World Cup qualifier on Monday.
In addition to Richter, two other Chemnitz players made their national team debuts in Nelson Weidemann and Jason George. Herbert is happy about the new breadth in his squad, which many of his predecessors didn't have. "It was good to see some of the guys who are under 26 here for a week," said Herbert, who in the summer before the World Cup (25 August to 10 September) organized a course for some U23 players, including tournament participation plans.