In a highly anticipated game, Promitheas Patras will seek to overthrow Virtus Bologna from the first place in their Basketball Champions League group. The Greek team stands currently second, with a near-prefect 5-1, while the Italians remain unbeaten (6-0).
Promitheas have proven more than capable of rising up to the European challenge. So has Terrell Parks, FIBA Europe Cup’s Best Defender in the last season. The American power forward-center was added to the team’s roster last, saw most of the first games from the bench or the standings, but since his unofficial debut in the game against Panathinaikos for the quarter-finals of the Greek Cup, he almost never fails to amaze.
His contract with the Patras club was about to be terminated after the game against Beşiktaş, but after the injury of Octavius Ellis, he played with the team without any contractual commitment. Makis Giatras decided to keep him on the roster and Parks returned the favour in an impressive fashion. The icing on the cake in his latest performances was at Klaipeda, where the 27-year-old scored 18 points with 8/11 two-pointers and grabbed 8 rebounds in Promitheas’s win over Neptunas.
Terell Allen Parks talked to TalkBasket.net about the battle with Virtus, his status in the team’s roster, the NBA dream and his basketball preferences which revolve around his defensive skills.
“So far, it’s going well. I’m trying to build up from last year, with the addition of the Champions League. It’s a bit tough playing two games a week but we are getting used to it. We’re still learning a little bit, but I think we will be great”, were the first words Parks uttered after another Promitheas win, this time against Cholargos for the Greek League.
Q: What is there for Promitheas to learn?
A: We have a really good team and once we figure out everything offensively and defensively, we can be great.
Q: After a rather slow start in the season, when you had very little or no playing time at all, how are you adjusting to team?
A: It’s about being a professional. You must be ready when your time comes. That’s the only thing I can do: to control what I can control and once the coach puts me in a game, I just have to be ready. Honestly, I have been playing well lately. I know I can play and I just have to go out and prove it. For sure, I think I could have played more, but we have a great coach and whenever he decides to put me in, I have to play my game.
Q: What’s the identity of Promitheas?
A: We have great guards. We want to run a little bit more, but we haven’t been able to do that. We haven’t really found our identity yet. It’s still the beginning of the season. Everything starts on defense. If we want to get out and run, we have to play defense. Everyone plays for each other.
Q: What about the latest addition to the team, Jake Odum? Did you know him?
A: I played against him last year with Nizhny Novgorod, when I was in Cyprus. We had two games against them, but I didn’t get to see him too much. They had a good team when he was in Russia. I had only seen bits and pieces of him, but now that we’re on the same team, he looks really good.
Q: How far can the team go this year?
A: Right now, we are in a good position in the standings in order to reach the play-offs of the Greek League and make a push in the Champions League and go as far as we can, while keep getting better every day and trying to grow.
Q: You’ve played in the Cypriot League for two and a half years. How is the Greek League so far?
A: It’s pretty good; it’s different than the Cypriot League, where teams are more physical, but it has better players. I am a physical player myself and it was easier to adjust there.
Q: Promitheas has a great game coming up, against Virtus Bologna. Are you looking forward to it?
A: Of course I am. It’s a chance for us to be first in our group and it looks like a huge game. The sky is the limit, always. I never think down on our team. No matter what team I’m playing for, I want to be at the top of everything.
Q: Last year, you were voted as the best defensive player in the FIBA Europe Cup. Are you aspiring to the same title in Greece?
A: For sure because I am a defensive player. Everything starts from defense for me. I’ve always loved to play defense since my college years.
Q: Did you ever think of the NBA?
A: Yes, I actually had some workouts with the Timberwolves coming up from college, but I had a slow start and it wasn’t an easy way up. It would be nice if it happened. If not, I will continue to get better on my own.
Q: Do you believe that playing in the Euroleague is the only way to be seriously considered as an NBA prospect?
A: I don’t think so. If you play well in other leagues, there are always guys from the NBA watching. You just have to make that guy’s mind click at the right point. It’s a matter of timing and also of who you know, sometimes.