Kendrick Ray: Mike James is the player to watch for me

Despite a rather slow start in the season for Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, Kendrick Ray remains optimistic about his team’s potential in the Euroleague.

TalkBasket.net met with him after Maccabi’s loss to Olympiacos in the Peace and Friendship Stadium and here’s what the 24-year-old Euroleague rookie had to say about:

– His condition: “It feels good. I was out for a month and now I’m trying to do what I usually do, to find a rhythm. I think it will take me a couple of weeks. I will do whatever the coach asks me to”.

Maccabi’s performances and the 1-3 balance: “So far, we’re losing games on ourselves. We have to get out there and execute, but once we get it right, we will be good. I guess the energy is not there for us right now due to some injuries and the many new players who joined the team. I think we’re a good team and in a few weeks from now, we’ll be fine. Maccabi is a historic club and I’m blessed to be a part of this team”.

His impressions from debuting in the competition against the Reds: “It’s the highest level of basketball in Europe. You have to be more specific, pay more attention to the details. There are players that do certain things very well on the court. For instance, Olympiacos executed their plays and got easy baskets. Every team is good. You can’t have a night off”.

The players whose career he’d like to emulate: “Mike James is a good guard for me to watch: same position, built, height and he’s also very athletic”.

The bitter taste from last year’s elimination of Nymburk to AEK in the BCL: “It was a tough loss for us because Nymburk had also lost the previous season to Dinamo Sassari by one point (Dusko Savanovic made both free throws with 6 seconds remaining, giving his team the ticket to the next round). It was definitely a surprise for us. We had won by 10 points in Athens and we didn’t expect AEK to make so many big shots at the end, especially Kevin Punter whom I know from New York. His three-pointer at the buzzer really hurt us”.