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Andrew Wisniewski preferred Ural Great to NBA

Andrew Wisniewski

In his interview to a Perm local newspaper Andrew Wisniewski told about Ural Great, Perm, his family, food differences and language problems.

Question: What is your first impression of Ural Great and our city?
Answer: I like it. The guys are friendly, we have a very food atmosphere in our team. Fans are so hot supporting us during the games. I played with Drazen Anzulovic last season in Cibona and this made my transition into a new place faster. As for the city, ten years ago I could not imagine I would come to work in Russia. Perm is a good modern place. Shops here are the same as everywhere else so I do not have problems getting all what I need. My first day in Russia though was very hard: I did not know the language nor the city. Your alphabet is very different from our, I could not read the signs, know the directions. But now I got used to living here and feel much more confident.

Q: Hows Russian food different from the American one?
A: In Europe everythings smaller. In the US we like everything big. When you order something in American restaurant they bring you big portions, while the same course in Europe is served in small quantities. But on the whole food is pretty much the same everywhere.

Q: Do you cook yourself? What is your favourite dish?
A: Yes, I can cook. I am from New York but studied in college in Louisiana, so I am used to live by myself. I can buy food and cook for myself. My favourite is chicken with parmesan.

Q: How did you start playing basketball?
A: My father played basketball, my older brother and sister did so too. So I had nothing to do but to play basketball as it was our family tradition. I learnt a lot from my father, he was a very good player.

Q: What was your first professional club?
A: After my college graduation I was invited to the NBA team Toronto Raptors. Then I received a guaranteed contract offer from Serbian Crvena Zvezda and decided to go to Europe. It was my first European experience.

Q: How does it feel for an American to play in Europe?
A: The European clubs now are very strong, so there is no actually much difference where to play: in the US, Europe or Russia. European leagues are very competitive, not every player receives a chance to perform on such high professional level.

Q: You have played in different European clubs. Which ones are the strongest?
A: I think the Russian championship is one of the strongest now. ULEB has the best European clubs participating in its tournaments.

Q: What was your main incentive to sign with Ural Great: coach Anzulovic, money or the chance to participate in a strong Russian Superleague?
A: A bit of everything. I am very happy to be in the team coached by Drazen Anzulovic. Ural Great offered me good financial conditions. My friend whom I know from Cibona Brent Wright is also playing here. So I feel very good being in Perm.

Q: Who of the other teammates (apart from Brent Wright) you like to be in the same team with?
A: I know Brent from last season in Cibona and it makes our communication easier as we know each other very well. But I am a playmaker and may not have favourites on the floor. I pass to any of my teammates who are open and may attack the basket.

Q: What are your advantages as a player?
A: I am fast and have good shooting skills. Besides that I believe I am an intellectual player. I know when I have to run fastbreaks and when to slow down a bit.

Q: What are the prospects of Ural Great this season?
A: Russian championship is almost the same as the Spanish one. Every game here is important, there are no easy opponents. All teams are equal and you may not feel confident of the outcome of any game. At the start of the season Ural Great lost two away games and won two at home. So we have to work a lot.

Q: Your last name is Slavonic. Do you have European roots?
A: My father is from Poland. But our family is multinational. We have Polish, Irish and Scottish roots. My son has also some Puerto-Rican blood.

Q: Tell about your family.
A: My wife Christina together with our youngest one-year old son Andrew visited me recently in Perm. Besides my son I have two more daughters: Daijana (7) and Aleja (5). They have to go to school, so they stay in New York. But we plan my whole big family come again to visit me in January.

Q: Do you want your son play basketball?
A: Why not, if he wants so. He is very fast for one-year old boy, so he could be a good player.

Q: Would you like to play in NBA?
A: Every summer I receive offers from the NBA clubs. This year I had calls from Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings. But the NBA camps are held in September-October and at this time official championships in Europe start. So you have to decide for yourself whether to stay in the US and have a chance to get to NBA or sign a guaranteed contract in Europe. I choose the latter.

Q: What are you going to do after you finish your playing career?
A: I am 26 years old and it is too early to think about that yet. I grew up in New York and know problems of my city. I know how hard life is for children in the families where there is only one parent. So I would like to help these children, show them they can succeed in life. In the nearest future I plan to open a gym in New York.

08--2007 We are on the right way
04--2007 Ecoprombank is general partner of Ural Great
04--2007 Anzulovic on-line
03--2007 Ural Great signed Sergey Krasavtsev
25--2007 VIP game
21--2007 Russian national team in Perm
18--2007 Anzulovic won Cibona
18--2007 Alexey Zozulin is the captain of the team
16--2007 Second win over Helios
15--2007 Big win
13--2007 Ural Great lost to KK Zagreb
09--2007 Anzulovic wins compatriots
08--2007 Ural Great won Slovenians
04--2007 Ural Great lost to Zlatorog
03--2007 First victory in the season
31--2007 S. Goryachev signed with Ural Great
28--2007 A.Zozulin: together with the team
27--2007 A.Agishev: We analysed our mistakes
25--2007 News from the Balkans
23--2007 Control is the matter

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