Let’s start with the obvious question. How do you feel about today’s game?
We started out very-very strong and were good for the first two minutes. After that they started to run the offense and we have problems with it. Coach came out with great game plans for the second half, set the offense and after that we do what we can, played great defense, team defense that led to offense.
This is your second season in Europe. How can you describe the main differences between the college ball and the European leagues?
The guys over here in Europe a lot stronger, the play is a lot more physical. You see, I’m not the biggest guy out there so thats why I had to adjust to the strength of the players. And also there are differences in the rules between America and Europe, just like travelling. Lots of American players have a problem with that and I’m still dealing with it. These are the really important differences.
Changing continents is a hard thing to do not only from the aspect of basketball but also in personal life. How can you handle these issues?
I’ve been blessed to have really good team-mates who want me to be around and seen. And here’s my girlfriend, she came out here and stays with me a little bit so that saves me from homesickness. I can talk via webcam with my parents and my family. It’s definitely an adjustment. I went through hard times in Turkey. That was my first year abroad, that wasn’t the greatest situation. You have to adjust a different lifestyle and deal with the best you can.
You’re an Indianapolis native. That’s a quite big city comparing to Körmend. Are there any problems in satisfying your needs for entertainment, shopping or other things?
I don’t really go out too much. I like to be at home so that’s good for me, that worked out well. It’s all right, the only thing is family. I like to stay home anywhere. So that’s not a problem.
Is basketball a tradition in your family or you are the first who play the game at professional level?
I’m the first in the family who making it pro.
Do you used to think about your future in basketball? What are your plans for the coming years?
So many that I couldn’t begin to tell you, so that’s why I don’t think about it too much. Instead I always trying to look forward to the next game. We never know what will happen in the future.
Let’s talk about the team. If we take a look at the standings we are pleased. But the picture is much more complicated. There were some narrow wins against weaker teams but also some unlucky losses at away games against close rivals. How can you evaluate the season so far?
That’s been very-very hard. Against ZTE and Szolnok we’ve lost by three and two points. But that’s what basketball is. Basketball is a game of points. One point can make or break your team so what we have to do is concentrate in every game all the way down to the last second. You saw, coach was really pissed at me at the end of the first half. But he was right. Every single play counts. There was a mistake there from my part.
Chemistry is an important factor in a team’s performance. How do you see this situation? Can you tell that we are a team both on and off the court?
I still believe we have not found the best chemistry yet. I think we still have some more levels to go. Off the court everybody is very-very good. We hang out together, playing video games together, go to Budapest together occasionally. But I still think that we still have some levels to reach in chemistry.
What are your expectations from the rest of the season? Do you think that the team is playing at its full potential or there is much more to come?
Much more to come definitely. I think everybody know that we are a major team in this country and we’re gonna make some noise.
As we see from the stands, you’re an emotional guy. You give it all at the games and your celebration after the matches is some new thing in Körmend. It’s a long-time habit or a new thing from you?
I’ve always been like that. I feel like my job is to play here, win games. The fans come and pay to see us. I’m trying to entertain them, keep everybody energized and they help us. We don’t lose at home because of the fans. They’re great.
And what can you say if you compare the atmosphere of the college games to the ones in Körmend?
In college you have maybe one or two games like here. In Körmend all the home games are great, the fans really support the team. Back in college it depends on who is the team you play against.
How about the Hungarian language? Have you learnt something within these couple of months you spent here so far?
I’ve learnt just a few words. I have Jermaine and Roy next to me but other team-mates also speak English so I haven’t had to learn Hungarian. Of course I know some basic expressions like „igen”, „nem”, „Mi van?” or „Gyerünk!” .
How do you used to spend your days when it’s not about basketball?
Trying to keep my apartment clean most of the time. And of course eating, sleeping or playing video games and talking to my family. When she’s here with me, we used to watch movies together.
Have you got some special message for the fans?
I love you, thank you. We’re gonna bring the championship for you.