He didn't start wearing high white socks until he joined the Euroleague, started dunking around age 11 and prefers to be called Jay. Such are the details that only could have come from the Fan Mail answers of Jeremiah Massey, the Aris TT Bank big man who ranks fourth in performance index rating, fifth in rebounds, 16th in scoring and 17th in blocks so far this season in the Euroleague. Massey attained instant stardom almost upon arrival in Thessaloniki, Greece, a year-and-a-half ago and made fans even happier when he signed to stay there, shortly after Aris fans made sure one of his high-flying dunks was voted the photo of the year in Euroleague play. After just one season together, Massey said, he already felt loyalty to his Aris teammates and the fans. "We went far last year and it seemed to me like we had unfinished business to take care of still," Massey said in one Fan Mail answer. "I wanted to come back and help the team get back to where I felt we should have gotten to last year."
Hello Jeremiah! What's your opinion about the atmosphere you have experienced in Aris, with all your teammates and the amazing fans? Have you been satisfied so far? Thanks a lot! Keep on like that! The sky is our limit!
Angelos - Thessaloniki, Greece
"That was a big part of me staying. We have great fans and I have great teammates, too. I look at it like a family organization here, and it's fun to be part of something like that. You can't help but learn to enjoy yourself and get comfortable."
Congratutalions on such a fantastic season! I admire your basketball skills. What does it take, in your opinion, to become a good basketball player? Best regards!
Linas Jarmulka - Lithuania
"Basically, what it takes most is just hard work and dedication. You just can't give up. Some people are going to doubt you, but you just have to fight through it, and the only way to do that is by being tough and dedicated."
Jeremiah, did you always wear high socks and dunk like you do now?
Yarone - Isreal
"The socks actually started last year. I just wanted to do something different, I guess. And the dunking comes naturally. It's just a gift that I'm blessed with. It started when I was 11 and I just want to do it better and better every year."
Dear Mr. Massey, you entered the Euroleague like a hurricane, but I believe that you can raise your game to an even higher level. Let us know, what is the hardest thing you needed to adjust to playing in the Euroleague?
Mitja Krizan - Ljubljana, Slovenia
"Basically finding a comfort level. It's a big step to take from playing in a small city like I was a couple years ago. I would say it's not so much things on the court as off the court, like being focused and concentrating on a regular basis like you have to in order to be successful in the Euroleague."
Hi Jeremiah, What sort of sports do you like, in addition to basketball, of course? Good luck,
Adam Mikielewicz - Lithuania
"I like to watch American football a lot, and I used to play basetball, so that's one of my favorites as well."
What do you tell to your family and friends in America about European basketball and especially the atmosphere when Aris plays at home a big Euroleague game?
Kostas - Greece
"I tell them it's much different here than it is there. The fans are much more into the game here, and it's a better place to play. At home, fans just sit there relaxed, but here they really get into the game as much as possible. It's 100 percent better here."
First of all, I would like to wish the best to you, Jeremiah. In addition, I would like to ask what you would prefer this year, to join the Greek League final (and take vengeance on Olympiacos) or to make the Euroleague quarterfinal playoffs? Thanks,
Yannis - Greece
"Well, making the Greek League final would be doubly good because it would get us back in the Euroleague for next year, so I'd have to say that. Playing for the Greek League title while already being back in the Euroleague for next year, that would be a great honor to accomplish for the team."
I want to ask you the reason you preferred last summer to sign a two-year contract with Aris, when at the same time you had some better financial propositions from other European teams? You are the most spectacular and one of the most useful players in the history of our team. We adore you,
Thanasis - Greece
"Well, one reason in addition to the fans is that we went pretty far last year and it seemed to me like we had unfinished business to take care of still. I wanted to come back and help the team get back to where I felt we should have gotten to last year."
Jeremiah, since you played here recently, do you agree that two of top five toughest places to play are Alexandrio Melathron arena and Siemens
Arena in Vilnius? Best regards,
GD - Lithuania.
"For sure, you have great fans and atmosphere up there in Lithuania. It's tough there, for sure, and as everyone knows, it's tough for any team to play against us in Alexandrio, so I can certainly agree 100 percent with what you say, yes."