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Andrew Wisniewski: I like to play basketball

Andrew Wisniewski

American guard of our team Andrew Wisniewski is the leader of Ural Great and Russian Superleague as per minutes spent on the court. Andrew averages 36,3 minutes per game. We asked him give an interview for our website:

Question: You play more minutes than anybody else in the Russian Superleague. Can you feel tired one day?
Answer: I always played a lot. Last year in Cibona we had 76 games in the season and I played 36-37 minutes per game, sometimes even forty. I hope I will be able to continue like this.

Q: In the 41 minutes played in the game vs. Dynamo you committed only 2 turnovers. How did you manage that?
A: I am a point guard and it is my job to control the ball as much as possible and do not allow it turn over. I believe 1 or 2 turnovers per game is my average.

Q: It was for the first time in two years that Ural Great won such a big team as Dynamo. How did it happen?
A: The most important thing in the games against such good teams as CSKA, Dynamo, Khimki or Uniks is to believe in yourself. In the beginning of the season we played vs. CSKA at home and it was a very close game. We had a chance to win CSKA but did not believe it.

Q: Dynamo has a very strong backline. They have Domercant, Hansen, Bykov and Domani on this position. Was it difficult to play against them?
A: Dynamo has very good players on every position. It is true that they have rotation on guard position which we cannot allow. I am used to be guarded by two or three players. It is not bothering me much. I just go out and do what I have to do.

Q: Ralph Biggs shot the ball into Dynamos basket from the middle of the court. Brent Wright did the same earlier in Rostov. Both are Americans. You are an American too. When is your turn to surprise the fans?
A: I do not think how to surprise the fans during the game. I score my usual balls and do not think how to do a show. If I can score a ball from the middle of the court, okay I will be glad. But if I am not, it will not be a big problem.

Q: Ural Great is playing much better in the second half of the game and the opponents score less points. How do you comment on this?
A: Yes, Ural Great has been kind of a second-half team. Our coach Anzulovic keeps telling us that we have to play consistently 40 minutes on the same high level. And I think we are improving in this sense. We are in our good physical shape now. We play pressing. If we can steal the ball 5-6 times in a game and get easy shots, it gives us advantage of 10-12 points. I believe we will perform better and better with each game now.

Q: In the game you prefer to drive to the basket. Cherkaski Mavpy tried to guard you from the basket and you shot 2— and 3-pointers with 100% statistics. How do you prefer to play: close to the basket or shoot from perimeter?
A: It is difficult to answer this question. It depends on the team we have to play against. I like to drive to the basket and make easy shots. But if they guard me, I can shoot a three-pointer. I never know what I do next moment, everything depends on the situation on the court.

Q: Ural Great qualified to the quarterfinals of the FIBA EuroCup but has not yet secured itself first place in the group. How realistic is it for us to keep on top of the group as we have to play two more road games?
A: We have good chances to retain the first place as we won so far all our opponents in the FIBA competition. But you should remember that we have a very tough game schedule in January. We played four games in the last nine days. We have to play in Kazan on the 19th, in Turkey on the 22nd, vs Samara on the 25th at home. This game vs Samara is very important for us to qualify to playoffs of the Russian Superleague.

Q: In the quarter finals of the FIBA EuroCup Ural Great will most probably have to meet either Samara or Estonian Tartu. Which team would you prefer to play against?
A: Whatever team we have to play, we will play. But I would prefer Estonians. This is the sense of international competitions to play against teams outside of your country. This attracts fans, raises public interest in basketball. But if we have to play against Samara, I will play it.

Q: We have passed the first half of regular championship of the Superleague. What do you remember?
A: Russian Superleague is the strongest in Europe together with the Spanish championship. Russian clubs participate in all and every international competitions in Europe and they retain first places each in their groups. It says a lot.
Professional life of an athlete is very short. Even if you are young you never know when you have to finish. That is why I remember every game in my career, wherever I play in Europe or USA. I remember Moscow, it is a very big and nice city. I remember our recent home win over Dynamo Moscow and very close game vs CSKA. I hope my opponents also remembered me as a good player and respect me same as I respect all of them.

Q: Tell us your All-Star five players of the Superleague.
A: It is hard to tell you because I have not seen all games. If to look at the role which the players have in their teams it would be McCarty (Khimki), Domercant (Dynamo), myself, Askrabic (Triumph) and Brent Wright (Ural Great). If we would talk about European competitions I would say Holden of course.

Q: Lets talk about the game Ural Great vs. Dynamo Moscow. Both teams have foreign coaches and five foreign players in each. However these are teams participating in the Russian Superleague. Some people say they do not find reasons to support such teams. What do you think about it?
A: Sports is universal. It is a talent of people in this sphere. I think people should support talented players and not nationalities. It is indeed important for any league: Russian, Spanish, Greek or Italian that there are national players in their teams. But sports is developing very fast. For many years already in Europe and across the world clubs try to sign the best players to their teams. And these players may be of any nationality. Number of foreigners is increasing everywhere including basketball, football or ice-hockey. New York Knicks have not so many New-Yorkers in its roster but lots fans come to support the team. Many fans of Dallas love Dirk Nowitzki. And he is German.

Q: Perhaps, it would help if foreign players try to learn the language of a country where they play?
A: It would be very helpful to know language of a country where you have to work and live at the moment. But it is not easy for a professional athlete who may change clubs and countries every year. I played in Germany, Croatia, now I am in Russia. I know and try to use few Russian words when I can. But I really think it is more important to respect the culture of a country and its people.

12--2008 Ural Great signed Dedushkin
20--2007 Congratulations on the anniversary!
15--2007 Andrew Wisniewski: I want to win games with Ural Great
10--2007 Vladimir Shevel returned to Surgut
28--2007 First woman referee in Perm
16--2007 Team for life
09--2007 Andrew Wisniewski preferred Ural Great to NBA
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

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