Turkish Airlines EuroLeague
Adidas Next Generation Tournament
EUROLEAGUE FANTASY CHALLENGE
Nov 13, 2012
by Boki Nachbar, Bamberg
Hello, Euroleague fans! This is Boki Nachbar checking in from Bamberg, Germany. As I write this, Brose Baskets Bamberg has won its last two Euroleague games and things look better now, of course! As you probably know, we just beat Partizan in Belgrade. The game was obviously very tough because we played in one of the wildest arenas in Europe. Both teams were under pressure because we all needed to win. I am very happy with the way we played and responded in an environment that is not easy to play in. We were able to pull out the win and all of a sudden, everything looks much brighter for us now, compared to my first blog entry a couple of weeks ago. We got two wins in a row, things look good and we are very confident that we will achieve our goal, which is making it to the Top 16. The game really went down to the wire. We never thought we had lost the game, even being down by a few points in the final minutes. We stayed calm until the end and didn't panic, instead we just waited for our momentum to arrive. We managed to stop them in the last two or three minutes, I think they went scoreless in 6 or 7 consecutive offenses. We were able to play very smart on offense, moving the ball and getting open shots. Our experience and being calm helped a lot. Winning on the road is important and if you want to make it to the Top 16, it is one of the things you have to do - and we proved that we can do it.
One of the reasons why I came to Brose Baskets was being part of a team that gave me the chance to have a big role, especially after the last couple of seasons in which I didn't play a lot for various reasons. I wanted to go back to be the leader of a team, play and help the team to make it to the next level. For Brose, that is making it to the Top 16 and so far it has been great. I have great support from my teammates and I am cooperating really well with our coach. I think we both understand each other well and that is a big plus. Being in a positive environment, in which the whole city supports the team, is great. Everybody is positive and that makes things a lot easier for me. First and foremost, being here is a lot of fun for me. It is something I was searching before the season. I am very happy where I am.
Our next opponent is FC Barcelona Regal. I wouldn't say this game is more important than the others but it is going to be a big one, as one of the top teams in Europe is coming to Bamberg. The whole city is excited about that! We won our last four games in the German League to go with back-to-back wins in the Euroleague, so we are on a winning streak and want to take advantage of that. We realize this is going to be the toughest game so far because Barcelona is also in great shape in the last couple of weeks. Everybody is waiting for the game to start. A win against Barcelona would be a huge success but more importantly, it would give us a chance to get even closer to the Top 16.
Living in Bamberg is nice - it is great to be in such city. Our fans are not as fanatic as in other countries like Greece or Turkey but they still give us amazing support. The city is not so big, everybody is open and friendly and that is a warm, nice feeling. From restaurants to shopping, even if you go and get a haircut, people recognize you and they want to talk about basketball. Everybody is very, very positive. Even if you lose some games, people will not become negative - in fact, it is quite the opposite. Everybody believes in us, supports us and this is nice for a change. I played in countries where the lack of success brings a lot of pressure from fans and media. Here this is not the case and it is nice to be part of this basketball environment.
Something funny happened to us on our trip to Moscow. Casey Jacobsen found out at the airport that he brought the wrong passport, that he brought one without the visa in it! He obviously could not get on that flight and we traveled to Moscow not knowing if Casey would join us or not. Luckily, he came and was able to play against CSKA. At that point, 0-2 and going to Moscow without one of our best players was tough. Things can change, however, and Casey managed to get a new visa and play in that game. We have been playing great since that moment. We just hope nothing like that will happen again.
I would like to take the chance to talk about my basketball summer camp. I believe that the Boki Nachbar Basketball Camp will celebrate its seventh edition in 2013 in Koper, Slovenia, by the seaside. It is one of the biggest and best organized camps in the region. A lot of my friends and active players devote their time to this project. We really want to help the kids to grow up as basketball players and also as persons. I am very happy to say that the camp has grown a lot - we started with 20 kids and have about 200 now. It is not all about the numbers but mostly that our camp has become one of the most recognizable in the region. Basketball is really popular in Slovenia and by doing this, it is my way to give back to Slovenian basketball - what would be a better way than teaching kids the basics of basketball? Personally, I enjoy it and spend all the time at the camp. It is like a second home for me. It is also chance to show people outside Slovenia what we can offer - great basketball, seaside and countryside. Throughout the years, a lot of players have attended the camp to spend some time with the kids. Sani Becirovic, Igor Rakocevic, Primoz Brezec, Gasper Vidmar, Saso Ozbolt, Goran Jagodnik and Smiljan Pavic are just few of the players that visited us. Many Slovenian basketball players have been there, but other players from outside my country endorse it. It is good to have such strong support. My doors are open to all professional basketball players who want to come to visit us. Every year, someone shows up by surprise and the kids love it - they go crazy when they see a superstar, joining them in practice and talking to them about his own experiences. Here is a link to introduce the camp:
And you can learn more about it here:
So, Brose Baskets fans, it is hard to send a message to you - you are doing such a great job already! I really believe, honestly, that you are one of the most amazing fans a team can have. You pack the arena every game, no matter if we play against Barcelona or the last-ranked team in Germany. That is why I have huge respect for you. Let's make a deal - you do your best, as always, so will we, and we will try to reach success - TOGETHER. The positive energy that we have in this city can make things happen!