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Cherry on the whipped cream: "I'm a Euroleague player and deserve to be there" Israel today


Played for Blatt in Cleveland and Olympiacos: "One of the best coaches I met, had to behave differently with LeBron" • The period in Greece: "No American comes to Europe to sit on the bench" • And the goal with Hapoel Eilat: "To have a good European season" • Will Ch Rey in an interview

Many big names and intriguing players have landed in Israel this summer, but it seems that one of them has passed under everyone's radar - Will Cherry, Hapoel Eilat's new player.

The guard, who previously played for the NBA and has also played for several senior Euroleague teams, is coming to rebuild his career and show that he still belongs to the top levels, just as Casey Prather and Joe Ragland did last season.

"I was out for over a year and a half and a lot of Euroleague teams lowered budgets, and I did not want to play for a lower salary," Cherry told Israel Today in his first interview since arriving in Israel.

"Financially it's not exactly like I used to, but I have a great situation here to show people that I can still play at the highest levels. I heard a lot of good things about coach Ariel (Beit Halachmi, YM).

He is very good at taking high caliber players and letting them lead and play with a lot of freedom.

He gives me a lot of responsibility and wants me to lead.

He expects me to succeed in Eilat and get back to the NBA or the Euroleague. "

Arrest in Montana for no reason

Cherry, 30, was born in Oakland, California. His mother Yvette Martin raised him alone. She initially worked at a bus station and is now one of the top social workers in her area of ​​residence. "My mother always made sure we had everything we needed. She put me in a situation where I could be the best person I could be, helped me get to good basketball programs and kept me out of trouble. Thanks to her I am an athlete today and I give her all the credit. A lot of my neighborhood got caught. "Violence, and I thank my mother every day for preventing me and my brothers from doing that. She is a hero."

Despite this, only once did the player get into trouble.

That was when he was playing in Montana High School and was involved in a riot with his friends at the entrance to a bar in the city of Mizola.

"Overall I defended a friend of mine who had a fight with someone else. I wanted to separate, but when I separated that guy hit me and defended myself and then the police came. I got angry and shouted at that guy and did not touch him, but the Montana cops wanted to make an example of the big high school boy and handcuffed me. For no reason.

"I went to jail for an hour without charges and I have no criminal record. I was released because there was no reason to arrest me. I am a guy who protects friends and when I come to the team the players are my family, and there is nothing I will not do for family. I am a guy with a big heart and sometimes do not understand me. I love my friends and I can't be blamed for that. "

Blatt, LeBron and me

Cherry played eight games in the 2014/15 season in Cleveland under David Blatt and alongside LeBron James.

"David is my man and one of the best coaches I have met. He is always focused and knows what he wants. He knows what you need to hear and not what you want to hear, and will help you get where you need to be. I met him at 23 and he let me flourish at the highest levels. Thank you for my career. "

There are a lot of rumors about the relationship that existed between Blatt and LeBron, what did you see as an actor in the locker room?

"I think their relationship was fine, even if not the best in the world. In the end Blatt was a little hurt by the fact that he was a NBA rookie coach. It affected him, because you can not come with your successes from Israel and do the same in the US. .

It's completely different.

LeBron and Blatt.

Cherry thinks it could have ended differently,

"He has not previously coached players of LeBron's caliber and I think if Blatt thinks about it today, he would also agree that he should have behaved a little differently with LeBron. I think he should not have been fired, it's just a matter of politics and not beyond. Too bad it happened." .

Just need a chance

In 2014, shortly after being released from Cleveland, Cherry set out to try his luck in the Euroleague when he signed with Zalgiris Kaunas, since he managed to move to Alba Berlin and other European teams before reuniting with Blatt at the Olympiacos in April 2019. Shortly after the Israeli coach was sacked , The actor was also released.

"The year at Olympiacos was terrible. Blatt was fired at the start of the season and a coach came who did not know what he was doing. He tried to keep his job and I understand that but if we talk about victories, there is no chance of a Euroleague team opening a game without any American in the top five. Not coming to Europe to sit on the damn bench.

"I'm not from the management and I don't make decisions, but I think if Blatt had coached us a full season we would have succeeded. An assistant coach who doesn't know how to coach came and it was just about him. No matter what we did and what we told him, it didn't help."

Beit Halachmi.

Gives Cherry the freedom to prove himself, Oren Ben Hakon

"I'm a Euroleague player and I deserve to be there, it's just a matter of a chance to show it," he continues to 'shoot', "even without my points, only defensively I deserve it. "For them everything. I do not mind scoring, I am a winner who wants to win and need those in Euroleague teams."

One of the reasons why Cherry agreed to come to Eilat is Europe.

The southern group returns to a European enterprise for the first time since the 1990s, and the desire to make a beautiful journey against teams from across the continent winked at the veteran guard.

Next week, Eilat will participate in a bubble in Sofia in the Champions League qualifiers. If you succeed in all three stages, you will participate in the senior Fiba factory, and if not, you will play in the European Cup. Cherry sounds determined: “We come with a great desire to do something beautiful for the club. We will arrive prepared and determined to ensure ourselves a good European season. "

Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2021-09-12

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