The German national team now belongs to Dennis Schroder.
After Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki stepped away from international competition, the young Atlanta Hawks point guard is the leader of his country’s basketball team.
Schroder had a game-high 32 points, seven assists and five rebounds in Germany’s 75-63 victory over Ukraine Thursday in the opening game of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 tournament. The Group B pool game was played in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Schroder was 11 of 20 from the field, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range, in 33 minutes. He ended the game with a long make at the buzzer.
New Hawks player Marco Belinelli had 18 points, four steals and two assists for Italy in a 69-48 win over Israel in another Group B game. Belinelli was 6 of 8 from 3-point range.
Germany continues Group B play against Georgia on Saturday. That will be followed by games against Israel on Sunday, Italy on Tuesday and Lithuania on Wednesday. The top four teams in the groups of six advance to the single-elimination knockout stage.
The tournament runs through Sept. 17.