Meet Lars Schlueter: A six-foot eight-inch tall, 200-pound German basketball player.
In 2014, the Ulm, Germany native was offered a scholarship by the University of Calgary to play basketball for the Dinos.
One might expect it to be a difficult decision for a 20 year old forward to leave his family and and homeland for a foreign country a world away.
Not for Schlueter. The decision for him was a simple one.
“It’s a great opportunity for people from Europe to come play basketball and study at the same time”, said Schlueter.
“We don’t have that opportunity in Germany because we don’t have too many teams.”
In 18 games this season, Schlueter has racked up 174 points, third most on his team. The newcomer is a good mid-range jumper and currently sports a .406 three-point percentage.
“He’s been terrific”, said Dinos’ Head Coach Daniel Vanhooren.
“For a freshman, we are very pleased with his progress thus far. We have others at that height but not with his shooting ability.”
At six foot eight, it’s safe to assume that Schlueter’s size motivated him to play basketball, but the European rookie was raining three-pointers long before he grew tall.
“I started playing basketball in middle school and I wasn’t that tall then,” said Schlueter.
“Both my parents are pretty tall too so I kind of just grew into it.”
Prior to his emergence as a dominant forward in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport), Schlueter spent seven years shooting hoops in Germany.
Adjusting to basketball in North America after playing in Europe’s FIBA (International Basketball Federation) was a challenge.
“To play here it’s more difficult because the game here is more intense and you have to run a lot more and play harder defence. But it’s still the same game”, said Schlueter.
“At the beginning it was kind of tough because the language was the biggest difference. It wasn’t that big of a struggle for me to adjust though because I wanted to adjust and was willing to fit in.”
Schlueter’s height suggests he is built for basketball but size isn’t everything, no matter what sport.
“Lars has great height but his skill set at that height, especially his perimeter shooting ability, is what makes him a unique talent,” said Dinos’ Assistant Coach Sean Foote.
For a freshman, we are very pleased with his progress thus far. We have others at that height but not with his shooting ability. – Daniel Vanhooren
Schlueter is studying for his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and is pleased with the university’s warmth and camaraderie.
“Right away people helped me out from the beginning, joking with me, helping me find stuff. They were very welcoming. I’m having a good time on the court and a good time off the court so it’s a really supportive program.”
Schlueter’s bio and season stats can be found at the U of C Dinos Website.