Scottie Wilbekin, Maccabi Tel Aviv guard, proved to be one of the most important and talented players in the EuroLeague. The American, naturalized Turkish, gave us an exclusive interview after the great victory against Barcelona.
From the University of Florida to Maccabi Tel Aviv, passing through some intermediate stages including the very important one with Darussafaka. What player is Wilbekin today?
“Every place give me something very important and a lot of experience. The one with Darussafaka Istanbul was so important because I played for a great Coach like David Blatt. He helped me a lot to get a winning mentality and we also won a great championship (EuroCup 2018 Ndr.).
You have been coached by very important Coaches… like Billy Donovan, David Blatt, Ioannis Sfairopoulos… who was the one who gave you the most?
“Each one has a different style and a different way to look at the game… everyone has been very important to me.”
What is Maccabi Tel Aviv for you? Basketball is a faith in Israel and this team is among the most important in the history of EuroLeague.
“Home. I enjoy a lot to play basketball here… me and my family love to stay here.”
How do you explain the numerous defeats at the end? The team appears to be very strong, like we saw yesterday against Barcelona, but also often very unlucky in the final minutes.
“It was very disappointing… especially for the way which happened, but this was also a lesson to us. We were good to stand up again, playing our basketball and reacting, it was a lesson for the games in the near future.”
You were a teammate of Deni Avdija. What future do you see for him? Do you think he’ll be an NBA Superstar?
“I don’t know if he could be a superstar… but I’m pretty sure it could be a very good player in the NBA. I hope and I think he’ll be in the league for many years for sure.”“]
Last question. The most difficult opponent to face in the EuroLeague?
“It’s a tough question! Last year Shane Larkin was amazing…but i’d say Mike James of CSKA Moscow. It’s very tough to guard Mike…”