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This Gainesville High graduate is enjoying professional basketball success as rookie in Germany
Cantrell
Gainesville High graduate Shaquan Cantrell plays for the Nördlingen Giants during a 2018 game in Germany.

Shaquan Cantrell has already made history in a short time playing pro basketball in Europe. 

The Gainesville High graduate and former University of North Georgia standout put up 53 points for the Nördlingen Giants on Oct. 13 in a 105-61 win against Jahn Freising, which was a new franchise record for points in a game.

“It was pretty cool, I was locked in,” Cantrell said. “It is a moment I won’t forget, for sure. 

“It was my first 50-point game of my career.”

Cantrell who set an NCAA-era school record with the most career points at North Georgia (1,477) was very pleased with his historic night but was more pleased with the win.

“I was also happy we won the game, that’s what really matters,” Cantrell said.

Once Cantrell arrived in Germany, it wasn’t so much hoops on his mind. He really wanted to catch up on sleep after a nine-hour flight and six-hour time change.

“My first few days, I did not want to do anything but sleep,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell joined the team a week after arriving in Germany, which came with the territory of getting used to being so far from home. Then he joined his teammates for conditioning. The former Red Elephant said that the conditioning was not too bad since he was training back at home before he flew out to Germany. 

“They’re all nice guys,” Cantrell said. “They got me out, they showed me around, they invited me to get lunch and play video games to get out the house,” 

Cantrell is also enjoying the atmosphere of playing at the professional level. He sees the difference from when he was playing at Memorial Hall and at the Convocation Center for North Georgia.

“The fans are pretty good, they like basketball over here,” Cantrell said. “They (fans) are very supportive. It’s pretty cool. 

“It’s loud, they have drums at the games that they beat on, the fans are more engaged than it was in college.”

Another thing the rookie from Gainesville noticed is that the physicality of the game has change from college to pro.

“It is way more physical out here, the guys are bigger and stronger than they were in college, Cantrell said. “There is a lot more contact. 

“The refs don’t call too many fouls over here.”

The Gainesville High graduate, who averaged 20 points per game with the Red Elephants in 2013, is glad he made the decision to go pro and is glad he has the opportunity to continue to do what he loves to do. 

“Just living a lifelong dream, getting paid to play basketball and having the ability to play basketball after college,” Cantrell said. “I get the opportunity to play longer than most people, because for most people when their eligibility runs out in college, that’s it.”

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