Dirk Nowitzki Snuck Out Of Germany, While Still Being In The Army, For The 1998 Nike Hoop Summit
Dirk Nowitzki and his shooting coach Holger Geschwinder are more than friends. They are family. Geschwinder discovered young Dirk in Würzburg, Germany and had been his coach throughout his entire career. He even followed him to the NBA. They’ve been through it all, even secretly leaving the country without asking for permission during Dirk’s time in the army.
At the 1998 Nike Hoop Summit in San Antonio, Nowitzki destroyed everyone on route to his 33 points and 14 rebounds. That was the first time NBA scouts and general managers had really seen Nowitzki play and most likely the start of his NBA career.
What most people didn’t know is that when the Summit took place, Dirk still was a member of the Germany Army, so he had to sneak out of the country to take part at the Nike Summit. Per ESPN:
“So we had to ask permission from the Army, because I was still in the Army, and I don’t think you can travel out of the country unless you ask and it’s for a big tournament or something. We had permission to go. Then we kind of had to ask the team. But Holger was kind of like, “Ahhh, we’ll just sneak out.” So I played the game Sunday night, and I think Monday morning we flew out of Frankfurt without really telling anyone. Holger might have talked to a manager or something, but I didn’t say anything. So we snuck out.”