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Kendrick Ray: "I was young and I did stupid things" | Israel today


He regrets leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv • remembers Israel fondly • and believes he has a place in the Euroleague • tonight, as a guest with the Bosnian Igoca, he wants to beat Hapoel Holon in the play-in of the Champions League

In the summer of 2018, Maccabi Tel Aviv added Kendrick Ray, as part of the club's policy to catch talented young people for relatively little money, just before they break out. However, the guard who signed for three years, after standing out in the uniform of the Czech Nimbrok (15.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game), Didn't get too much credit in the yellow uniform.

Without playing at all in the Israeli league, he was loaned to the French Le Mans, traveled to Greece and Turkey, where he spent successful years reminiscent of his days as MVP of the Czech league.

Finally, when he was 28 years old, Ray became a key player in the Bosnian Igoca, with whom he will meet Hapoel Holon tonight, for the first game in the play-in series of the FIBA ​​Champions League. Just before the game, he was available for a special interview with Israel Hayom.

Kendrick, how does it feel to be back playing in Israel?

"Good. I played here at the beginning of my career and I really liked the country, it's great."

You meet Holon after she lost Eric Green, does that make you favorites?

"Eric was very important for them, but we'll have to play like he's there. They still have a great team, and I'm sure another player will step up and fill the gap."

What is their main weapon?

"The back line is very deadly, Joe Ragland is having an amazing season. I think the guards are the engine that makes them successful, so it will be a big challenge for us to stop them."

How do you summarize your time at Maccabi Tel Aviv?

"I liked being there, they treated me well, but I was young and I made mistakes. I think I should have stayed and not gone out on loan. Because I was competitive, I wanted to immediately go somewhere else and show my abilities, prove why they signed me."

If you went back there today, would you make it?

"I think so. I believe in myself and know that if I get a chance, I will prove myself in any team at the highest levels, even in Maccabi. I am suitable for the Euroleague. I am more mature and see the game differently. As a young player I thought scoring a lot of points was the only thing that mattered, but today I Trying to contribute in all kinds of ways, such as in defense or leadership on the field. This is my way of distinguishing myself favorably from the other players."

Do you also fondly remember Yanis Spropoulos?

"He is a wonderful coach and I really liked training with him. He was precise down to the level of the smallest details. He achieved what was possible with the staff he had. I think he is a great coach."

And what do you remember about your coach in Nimbrok, Oren Amiel, who in Israel was not successful as a head coach?

"An amazing coach. I played for him in my first season as a professional, and he is the one who gave me the confidence and belief in myself. He told me to be who I am on the field, without fear. Oren is a special person and we are still in touch. I am sure he can succeed in Israel, he just needs the The club that will believe in him and the good people by his side."

Finally, we will see you return to Israel, maybe even to Maccabi Tel Aviv?

"Yes, it is possible. In the future I would be very happy for it to happen. You never know what the future holds for you, but I hope I can play in Israel again. At the moment, in any case, I am fully focused on this season."

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2023-01-04

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