After two spells at Crvena Zvezda, Khimki guard Charles Jenkins has been looking forward to facing off against his former team, and he gets his chance on Tuesday in Moscow.
Jenkins spent two years at the Serbian giants between 2013 and 2015 before leaving for Milano in 2015. The native of Brooklyn, New York returned to the Serbian capital a year later and during his time with Crvena Zvezda, the 28-year-old won two Serbian League and Cup titles as well as two Adriatic League crowns, securing the MVP award last season.
The veteran guard signed for Khimki in the off-season and has been an integral part of the Russian side’s unbeaten start so far, and he gets the chance to host his former team-mates on Tuesday night.
“It’s gonna be a tough game,” Jenkins said.
“Crvena Zvezda is a defensive team; they play really hard with a lot of motivation. I know the mentality of their players and it’s really tough. I think it will be very important for us to master intensity. I haven’t seen my former mates for a few months now. It’s not the same team that I was a part of. There are a lot of players who are gone but there are few players who stayed there and I have a close relationship with.
“It will be good to see them before the game and after. But it’s a business and I play for Khimki now; so for me now it’s important to win the game and then we’ll handle friendship and stuff like that. It will be nice to see them but nice to beat them as well.”
This will be Khimki’s third straight home game this season, before they begin their away venture on Thursday against Olympiacos. Coach Georgios Bartzokas explains that they still have work to do in order to protect home court.
Of course, we need a special preparation for this game, not only tactically, but mentally,” Bartzokas said.
“No matter, where we play – at home or away – we need to be ready and well prepared. By the schedule we have three home games in a row and we need to protect our home court. But it’s all about our performance, I mean how ready we are.”