Germany’s 1998 basketball generation is stacked with long, athletic talents with big upside. Yet it was the diminutive Bennet Hundt who led the Germans to their first title at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament and helped U18 ALBA Berlin to its first victory at the Euroleague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Finals. Hundt is not exactly a player who stands out at first glance for talent observers because of his 1.78-meter frame. But the Berlin native’s game definitely speaks for itself – even among those taller ballers around him.
“I was always small, so I always grew up playing against older and bigger players. So I’m used to that. I just go out there and try to play basketball like I always do,” said Hundt, who seems to have the answer programmed in his head when he’s asked about his listed height. “I just try to be aggressive and beat my defenders with my quickness, not with my size, and just make plays for my teammates to get an open shot.”
Hundt played a major role in ALBA staying close over long stretches in its first two games of the ANGT Finals against U18 Real Madrid and U18 Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade. He averaged 11 points by making 46.2% of his three-pointers, while chipping in 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the three games. He collected 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in ALBA’s 94-86 victory over U18 Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in the team’s last game of the tournament.
“I’m just trying to be the best I can be out there. If it’s the speed that I have as an advantage, then it’s gonna be the speed,” Hundt said, before adding that he has long looked past his size. “I’m just used to being smaller than them. I don’t mind being small. I just have other tools that I use on the court.”
Hundt came into the ANGT Finals brimming with confidence as Germany’s starting point guard at the biennial Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim, where the Germans won the tournament for the first time. Hundt showed that he belonged on the court alongside major talents such as Richard Freudenberg, Kostja Mushidi, Nelson Weidemann and his ALBA teammate Ferdinand Zylka. Hundt played a team-high 23.6 minutes and collected 6.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
“I was really motivated to come here and play well. I knew I could compete and play at the level with my home team ALBA Berlin. The AST really helped me to prepare for this tournament,” Hundt said. The playmaker is continuing to work on his game and believes he can make the German U18 national team this summer.
“I’m the point guard of the team so I have to make sure it’s organized on the court and we know what plays we are going to run,” Hundt explained. “But I don’t want to be seen as a player that only passes the ball and just dribbles to the front and calls a play. I want to be seen as a player that can also score, be aggressive and create for my teammates, just an all-around game that a point guard has to have.”
Hundt named recent Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four champion Milos Teodosic as well as Chris Paul as the players he observes when thinking about how to improve his game. “I look at their passing game and their decisions in the pick-and-roll. They can create plays and hit good shots,” he said.
While Hundt may not impress people with his size, the ALBA Berlin point guard definitely gains admirers with his energetic game, aggressive style and winning mentality.