In our Living in America series, we spoke with the Swedish forward Elias Desport today. He decided to go a different way than most of the Swedish prospects who signed in Southern Europe and went to the East Coast of the United States to play with St. Peter’s in Jersey City.
Why did you decide to play College Basketball?
I decided to play College Basketball because I felt it was the best way for me to develop as a player and as a person. You get to know yourself a lot more as a person. Also, I felt like it was a better option than playing pro-basketball in Sweden or somewhere else in Europe because of the global economy. I have several friends who are playing overseas in Europe who decided to come back to Sweden because of their financial situation.
How was your recruiting process and why did you chose St. Peter’s?
My recruiting process was very different. A lot of people do not know this but I did not sign with Saint Peter’s until the beginning of August 2012. I had been in contact with a couple of other schools that were interested but after a while they just stopped calling and they stopped answering my emails. For a while, I was considering going to a Junior College. That was until Saint Peter’s reached out. I felt that the coaching staff was really looking after me through out the whole recruiting process and they helped me out a lot with the paperwork among other things. Also, I have family in New York which made the decision easier as well.
What do you expect as personal development over the next years? What do you think you can develop better by playing College Basketball compared to Europe?
I expect to develop my overall skill set over the next four years. I see myself as an all-around player. Also, I think I will get a lot more physical and tougher over here than I would in Europe. Obviously, basketball in Europe is a lot more about finesse than it is in America. The game is more physical over here and the tempo of the game is at a higher pace. In addition to that, the athletic ability of the players over here are at a much higher level.
So far, you have not played many minutes yet for St. Peter’s. What are your personal expectations concerning your playing time over the next years?
My personal expectations over the next years is to get better everyday, to keep working hard in practice and workouts and hopefully, as a result of that, increase my minutes. As long as I keep working hard and try to improve my game, I know I will be good going forward.
You are quite old for a freshman by being born in 1992. Do you hang out more with the more experienced guys of your team or the other freshmen?
There are only two freshman on this year’s team with me being one of them and the other one being Chazz Patterson. We live right next door to each other so we hang out a lot but we all hang out as a team from time to time. We go out to eat dinner, go to the movies and do other things together.
What are you plans concerning your major?
Concerning my major, I am undecided. However, I am considering Sociology as my major.
Where do you see yourself in 4 years from now?
4 years from now I see myself with a degree and I am hopefully playing professional basketball somewhere.
Elias Desport currently averages 0.5ppg, 1.1rpg and 0.4apg in aabout 9.4 minutes on the court.