Eurobasket had the pleasure of sitting with Aaron Cel (203-F-87) of PGE Turow Zgorzelec.
How did you become professional basketball player? I have always played with my friends. When I was 13, my aunt took me to NBA game. It was Chicago Bulls playing it had a huge impact on me. When we got back home, I asked her to enroll me to the local teams trainings. I remember I said: I want to play basketball, only basketball
So there was no other sports in your life ? Im quite good at football, but basketball I fell in love with it
You have dual citizenship. If you were about to choose for which team you would like to play? A year ago I would say: French, because i knew very little about Poland, life and basketball here. But now Ive been here for a year and a half and I started liking this country, the people, the atmosphere and today I would choose Polish team.
How likely is it for you to play in polish team? Your participation in youth championships for French team doesnt prevent you from playing for polish team? I think i could play for polish team after sorting out few formalities.
How is it like to work with coach Rajkovic? Hes known to everyone as very demanding both towards players as well as staff. What is your approach to him? Is very good and very demanding. I wouldnt like to compare him to our previous coach. Hes a person you can speak to about everything. It is important to have a coach, for whom basketball is the most important, but who also cares about his players and is approachable out of the court and out of trainings. When it comes to basketball, hes very demanding, but I think that here in Turow the coaches have always been like that.
Do you like his way of coaching? We believe in his skills and thought leadership. I think the team will be successful regardless of who is on the court if everyone understands his system and listens to what hes saying,.
What are Turows targets in TBL (polish basketball league) this season? There has always been only one target to get to the final. I think that this season Prokom is not going to win and every other team perceives it as a chance. Because of that, the league will be very strong. My goal is to surprise
What about VTB? We very much regret we lost two games in Zgorzelec by 2 or 3 points. we could have easily won them adn that would have completely changed our position in VTB. Were learning and We have nothing to be ashamed of as were not losing by 30 points. We play against teams, which have a budget 30 times bigger than ours. As a player, I like challenges and hate losing. we have to transfer to polish league what weve learnt on european courts and build on our experience.
Since the beginning, VTB has been treated as the league to gain experience or you have had different targets? To win few games that was our goal. There are still a few ahead of us, so I think we still have the chance to succeed. We havent been told that we have to get to the finals or play-offs. Turow is playing for the first time in the league, so it hasnt been clear in what shape the team is going to be in. We are trying our best and we hope that these experiences will bring us benefits.
What are your personal goals this season? Personally I would like to show everyone that I can afford more than I presented last season, since I didnt get much chance to play. There were many players in our team who were spending more time on the court and were given more responsibility. This year, the coach said that a lot will depend on me. I hope I will finish this season as well as I started it.
Youre a young player. What would you like to achieve in your career? As for every european player, my target is Euroleague. But looking into foreseeable future, my goal is to finish well this season with Turow. Everybody knows that when the team wins, all players are happy.
Your contract with Turow is coming to an end this season. Are you planning to stay in Zgorzelec? I would really like to, but you never know.
What if you get a better offer? It would have to be much better
Is an offer of playing in Euroleague good enough to change the club? Of course
But youve already had your debut n Euroleage I had, indeed. When i was 18, i played for french club: Le Mans, I had few opportunities to play on euroleagues courts.
You became MVP of October, youre in great shape in the beginning of the season. I feel good with it. Honestlly, I dont feel it like that. We are one team in which everyone has got set tasks. We need everyone to win. In the first month I played well but i can say that each of Chylinski, Jackson, Zigeranovic, Micic can score 20 points in the game. Im glad were doing well were winning, but i didnt become a star because of last few games. Im trying to be a leader, but this is also what the coach asked me to be. I try to motivate my teammates, speak to them in the cloakroom, on the court. I think that I will benefit from it in the future and I should learn how to do it well. Every team needs a leader who will take some responsibilities and duties on him. The coach knows how to put it all together.
He take some risks now, but every coach does I think it is for the best of the players, it gives us some mental comfort, it is easier to focus on the game. Is there any chance we will see you at Eurobasket next year? I would very much like to play. There are not many player playing on my position in France. There is a chance, but for now I am focusing on this season. It would be a great ending of my season and a distinction to be chosen to play.
You played with Nando De Colo and Nicolas Batum in youth teams. Have you stayed in touch with them? Are you friends? With Nicolas definitely. Hes a great colleague. Apart from that, we player together in le mans. We stay in touch not as much as before, but we still talk regularly.
Which period in your sport career was the best for you? Every year I consider all positive and negatives sides of my game. For now I havent had a season, which would be particularly good. I can say that in the last in France I played very well. But we havent achieved much, and I would like to win. I hope this year will be different.
NBA is the dream of every basketball player. Yours as well? Obviously. I think I got to the age when I should stop believing in NBA. On top of it, NBA basketball appeals to me less and less. I prefer european style. As everyone, I would like to play there for a while. But its all the flashes, America and the big show behind it which makes dream about it.
Which team would you like to play for? New York Knicks
Why? The feeling i like the city. I was very impressed with their games in nineties.
What do you think about Asseco Prokom Gdynia? They are not presenting very good game at the moment neither on polish courts nor in eurleague. Im neither a coach nor an export to speak about it. But If I have to answer your question, I think the transfers they made in summer havent done much good to the team.
And now a coupe of personal questions...Who is your idol on the court?
Toni Kukoc from Chicago Bulls is my favourite. He was one of the best players in Europe. Im more or less the same height, He was left-handed, I am right-handed, but i have watched many of his games and was trying to learn from him.
And out of the court? My mum.
What would you be doing if you werent basketball player? Ive always liked planes. Ii wouldnt say i wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid, but aviation definitely appealed.
If one of your dreams could come true, what would it be? Simply win this season! Obviously, Heath of my relatives comes first. But I would also like gold in June
What do you do in your spare time? Last season, I travelled a bit, was sightseeing and getting to know my neighbourhood Prague, Dresden. This season, we havent had much time cinema, movies, sleep. Favorite movie? Bloody Diamond with DiCaprio.
Polish or French girls? Polish
Why? Because there is polish blond flowing in my veins. Good feeling.
What team do you cheer? Paris Saint Germain
You spend loads of time with your team, two trainings a day, trips together. And now with VTB they are even longer. Do you not have enough of them? Ha, sometimes (wink). But Ill manage till June.
Who do you share the room with on the trips? Damian Kulig.
What to you value in people? Honesty, honesty, honesty. I would have said good heart, but honesty comes first. Simplicity, modesty, honesty.
According to the sourcesMKS Dabrowa Gornicza (TBL) is close to sign 23-year old Lithuanian big manLaimonas Chatkevicius (211-111kg-93, college: S.Carolina). Chatkevicius has tried to make it to the NBA and played for Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Pro Summer League this summer. He graduated from University of South Carolina this year and it will be first season as a pro. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in Poland [read more]
According to the sources MKS Dabrowa Gornicza (TBL) is close to sign 23-year old Lithuanian big man Laimonas Chatkevicius (211-111kg-93, college: S.Carolina). Chatkevicius has tried to make it to the NBA and played for Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Pro Summer League this summer. He graduated from University of South Carolina this year and it will be first season as a pro.
Daniel Olszewski's triple-double lands him 2Liga Player of the Week award - 1 day ago
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Talented Daniel Olszewski (200-PF-94) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Shmoolky W-wa and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com 2Liga Player of the Week award for round 13. The 22-year old power forward recorded a triple-double of 21 points adding also fifteen rebounds and ten assists, while his team outclassed Pro-Basket KT (#11, 4-9) with 26-point margin 93-67. The game was not the highest importance and did not have significant influence on top of the standings... [read more]
Talented Daniel Olszewski (200-PF-94) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for Shmoolky W-wa and that's him to receive a Eurobasket.com 2Liga Player of the Week award for round 13. The 22-year old power forward recorded a triple-double of 21 points adding also fifteen rebounds and ten assists, while his team outclassed Pro-Basket KT (#11, 4-9) with 26-point margin 93-67. The game was not the highest importance and did not have significant influence on top of the standings in Group B. Shmoolky W-wa maintains the 10th position in their group in Polish 2Liga. Shmoolky W-wa is a typical solid league team placed somewhere in the middle or a little bit lower in the standings. They need more victories to improve their 6-7 record. In the team's last game Olszewski had a remarkable 53.3% from 2-point range. It was one of impressive evenings for him as usually he does not deliver so high stats. Olszewski has impressive league stats. He is in league's top in rebounds (6th best: 10.5rpg) and averages solid 2.9bpg and 56.3% FGP.
The second most remarkable performance in last round's games was 28-year old center Piotr Krupa (204-C-88) of AZS PS Gliwice. Krupa impressed basketball fans with 29 points and 5 rebounds. It was enough for AZS PS Gliwice to edge slightly higher-ranked Pogon RS (#8, 5-7) by 2 points 97-95. This victory allowed AZS PS Gliwice to move up to 9th position in Group C. His team is not often considered as one of the league's best with a mere 4-9 record. Krupa is one of the most experienced players at AZS PS Gliwice and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.
The third best performed player last round was Aleksander Dziewa (206-C/F-97) of top-ranked Slask Wroclaw. Dziewa scored 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds. He was a key player of Slask Wroclaw, leading his team to a 97-87 win against the lower-ranked Kalisz (#12, 2-9). Slask Wroclaw have amazing season winning all 12 games without a single defeat in Group D. Dziewa turns to be one of the very best players in the league while he is also a leader of the top team having his eyes on the championship title. Dziewa has a very solid season. In 12 games in Poland he scored 14.9ppg. He also has 9.4rpg and FGP: 63.0%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Patryk Jelen (183-PG-90) of Pogon RS - 32 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists 5. Bartosz Wluczynski (176-PG-88) of Syntex Ksiezak - 33 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists 6. Mariusz Konopatzki (192-G-96) of Asseco II - 28 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists 7. Maciej Piszczek (203-C/F-96) of AZS PS Gliwice - 26 points and 8 rebounds 8. Waldemar Kabat (196-F-86) of Koscian - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists 9. Lukasz Niesobski (185-G-85) of Sudety - 32 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists 10. Dawid Zagula (185-PG-96) of Stal SW - 22 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
27-year old Ukrainian international power forward Igor Zaytsev (210-99kg-89) left defending champion Stelmet Zielona Gora (TBL). In 9 games he had 4.8ppg and 2.0rpg this season. He helped them to make it to the Supercup final. Zaytsev also played 7 games in Basketball Champions League where he recorded 4.1ppg and 2.7rpg. The last season he played at Rosa. In 40 TBL games he averaged 10.8ppg and 5.1rpg. Zaytsev contributed to his team winning the Cup and make to league final. Zaytsev also... [read more]
27-year old Ukrainian international power forward Igor Zaytsev (210-99kg-89) left defending champion Stelmet Zielona Gora (TBL). In 9 games he had 4.8ppg and 2.0rpg this season. He helped them to make it to the Supercup final. Zaytsev also played 7 games in Basketball Champions League where he recorded 4.1ppg and 2.7rpg. The last season he played at Rosa. In 40 TBL games he averaged 10.8ppg and 5.1rpg. Zaytsev contributed to his team winning the Cup and make to league final. Zaytsev also played 9 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he got 11.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.2apg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Ukrainian Superleague Most Improved Player of the Year and Eurobasket.com All-Ukrainian Superleague 2nd Team back in 2011. Zaytsev has been also a member of Ukrainian international program for some years. He has regularly played for Ukrainian senior team since 2010 and previously for U20 National Team between 2008 and 2009. Zaytsev also represented Ukraine at the European Championships last year. His stats at that event were 5 games: 8.2ppg, 3.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 50.0%, 3PT: 40.0%. Zaytsev's career allowed him to visit three different continents. He tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia and of course North America. Zaytsev has played previously professionally in Iran (Petrochimi) and Ukraine (Azovmash, Kryvbas, Khimik and Krivbas DYUSH-5 Kryvyi Rih). On Zaytsev:
A very good outside shooter for his size, he's very effective at both the 5 and 4 positions.
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