On Tuesday night, October 22, 2013, a group of GACC South employees and friends made their way down to the Philips Arena – home of the NBA Basketball team Atlanta Hawks. With eyes wide open, they were ready for an exclusive meet and greet with Dennis Schröder, the Braunschweig-born newest addition to the Hawks team.
Since June 2013, Dennis Schröder has been playing for the Hawks. The 6-foot-1 defender with an impressive wingspan has often been called ‘Germany’s greatest basketball talent’.
With that in mind, the group was allowed to sit just a stone’s-throw away from the court’s perimeter and watched the players practice in awe, whose athleticism, speed, and skillful play were impressing.
“Dennis, where are your green shoes?” asked one, referring to the bright shoes that turned heads during a summer league game in Las Vegas. Dennis laughed loudly. “There are many rules and regulations in the NBA, so I had to give up those shoes.” He seemed happy to speak German and said he was very excited about the upcoming game and the season. Life in Atlanta was admirable, Dennis said, and that he would often visit sights and places after his training.
After the brief conversation, Dennis signed a NBA basketball for GACC South, and he came into the group’s middle, shook hands, and posed for a group picture.
Following the meet and greet with the German player, GACC South staff got to roam through the Philips arena and discover the many concessions and foods outside. Many were glad they didn’t have to shoot basketballs that night.
Another perk of the night was the ‘Fan tunnel’, and that GACC South staff got to high-five all Hawks players as they were running into the arena. Backed up to the wall, our colleagues cheered loudly for Dennis and his team members.
The game, Atlanta Hawks vs. Indiana Pacers, started around 7.30pm and proofed a close call, but in the end the Hawks lost (107:89). What remains, though, was a fun and special night out for all who came.
As the NBA 2013/14 just kicked off, there will be new basketball fans among GACC South staff and many who will be watching Dennis Schröder’s play for the Atlanta Hawks in the weeks to come.