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"I was told that I could be the Prime Minister of Israel": the most Scottish Wilbekin - voila! sport


The biggest compliment and the most insulting criticism. The sweetest victory and the most painful loss. Special for Walla! Sports: Wilvkin returns to the hall and relives the memories of Maccabi Tel Aviv

Tonight (Wednesday) at 19:23, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Fenerbahce will be asked to get off the floor for the introduction of the players, and a few seconds later - the decibel meter in the Menorah Mittehim hall will skyrocket.

Not because of the fans' contempt for the opponent, but in honor of the return of Scotty Wilbkin next to Eliyahu, for the first time since he left the Israeli team.

For four years, the American guard in jersey number 1 was the biggest star that the yellows knew in the last decade.

He was their man (for better and for worse) in Money Time, every season he was the team's leading scorer, created highlight moves and winning baskets, and due to the dependence on him, he also signed the less flattering results.

It was not for nothing that Yanis Spropoulos said that "we will live or die with Scotty".

Ahead of the emotional comeback, Wilvkin gave a special interview to Walla!

Sport and in it he returned to the most significant memories he experienced in his days in Tel Aviv.

- What is your first memory of Maccabi Tel Aviv?

"My first game in the EuroLeague was in Tel Aviv, back when I was playing in Drushpaka, and we even won. The energy was really good, and I remembered from that evening mainly the fans. The atmosphere reminded me of my college days, I felt like we were playing in front of the Kentucky crowd. Then, later in the season, Maccabi needed a basket difference and tried to miss shots in Istanbul so that we could equalize and go to overtime. I didn't understand the rules surrounding this thing at the time, and everything that happened there didn't make sense to me."

"Parting with him was especially difficult for me."

Scotty Wilbkin with Yanis Spropoulos (photo: Danny Maron)

- Your most exciting moment at Maccabi.

"Winning my last championship, in 2021. It was a long and strange season, amidst the corona. The league started late and we had almost no break, because the season before ended at the height of summer, and then the games were stopped because of the epidemic. In the playoffs, we had to play back to back, sometimes Night after night, and when it ended in the championship, I felt a huge relief."

- The hardest moment.

"I had two difficult periods, at the beginning and at the end. We started my first season badly. It took me a while to get used to the city, to adapt and understand the difference between Maccabi and other teams I played for. It wasn't easy. Last season wasn't easy either. We suffered no A few losses, we went through a lot of things as a team, there was of course the parting with Giannis which was particularly difficult for me."

- The sweetest victory.

"There were two, two days apart. In 2020 we reached a double round in the Euroleague against Milan and Barcelona. My parents and uncles came to visit Israel and were in the stands, and we won both games. It was a really short time before the season was stopped and canceled. I'm sorry for that, because we could have done Something really special."

- The most painful loss.

"The elimination at the hands of Bnei Herzliya in the playoffs last year. After the last game, I knew that this was the end of me at Maccabi, even though I had a contract. Even that evening in the hall, I went through the people and pretty much said goodbye to them."

- Your personal best game.

"Last season, when I scored 37 points against Monaco. At halftime I felt like it was my day, and I had the feeling that no matter what I did, the ball would find its way into the basket."

"He's a good guard. He made it harder on me than the others."

In the derby in front of the Medar Sea (Photo: Danny Maron)

- Your favorite fan song.

"I think you know the answer to that... He starts with some name, and then there's 'Ola Ola Ola'"...

- What's the strangest thing a fan has asked you to do?

"In the first year we had a game against Maccabi Rishon Lezion, and our fan cursed me. Then she became my number 1 fan. Every time I see her, she reminds me of what happened then. What made her turn around? I don't know, maybe I started playing more Good?".

- The opposing fans you miss the most.

"Maccabi Haifa. I haven't seen them in a long time."

- The biggest compliment you received in Israel.

"They told me that if I had run for Prime Minister, I could have been elected... It was at a time when the security situation was not good, and I walked around a lot with the Israeli flag."

- The most insulting review you have received.

"They said we don't win because of my fault."

"Favorite song? It starts with the name, then there's 'Ola, Ola, Ola'"

- Sorry for the cliché, but what do you think is most Israeli?

"Sabbath night meals. I had a lot of those, with quite a few people."

- Hebrew words that you still use.

"There are several: come on, what is it, sure."

- The funniest teammate you had in Tel Aviv.

"Angelo Cloiaro".

- The partner from Maccabi that you would copy and bring with you to Fenerbahçe.

"Well, you already got the answer to that when Tyler Dorsey joined last week...except him? Tarik Black."

"Who would I copy from Maccabi to Fenerbahce? The answer has already been received."

Wilbkin with Tyler Dorsey (photo: Danny Maron)

- The player who gave you the most difficulty in defense in Israel.

"Yam Medar. He is a good guard."

- The opposing trainer who managed to neutralize you.

"Stephanos Dedas. Hapoel Holon did a good job on me when he coached it. Today, when we work together at Fenerbahce, he still reminds me of that from time to time."

- The part you most look forward to when visiting Tel Aviv.

"Going to eat at my favorite restaurant, and of course, experiencing again the atmosphere of a Euroleague game in the hall."

- What would you like to be remembered as in the history of Maccabi Tel Aviv?

"As someone who gave everything for this team, and loved the club and the city."

  • sport

  • basketball

  • Euroleague and European basketball


  • Scotty Wilbkin

Source: walla

All sports articles on 2023-03-08

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