The Armenia national basketball team is preparing for the European Championship for Small Countries in Yerevan. According to the regulation of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) the national teams have a right to invite one foreign player. Bryan Dunston became that player for the Armenia national team. He was born in Kentucky (USA) in 1986. He started his professional career in 2008. In 2014 and 2015 he was named the Euroleague Best Defender. In 2013 Dunston became the winner of the FIBA International Cup, in 2015 he won in the Greek League playing for Olympiacos, during the same year he became the winner of Turkey’s Presidential Cup and then moved to the Turkish club, Anadolu Efes. He is a very direct person and agreed to answer our questions with pleasure. In a conversation with the ANOC press service the best European defender spoke about the offer of joining the Armenia national team, his teammates and the Armenians.
-How did you get the offer of joining the team?
-Well, I was in the middle of the season, and my agent came to me with an offer. He told me that Armenia wanted me to play with them in the national team. I thought it was a great opportunity. You know it’s the first time I am playing in FIBA, so I want to be a part of them and help them to bring off the program.
-Have you had other offers?
-Last year Slovenia asked me to play but, for some reason, it didn’t work, so I didn’t play.
-Why did you choose Armenia?
-Because, like I said, it is the first opportunity to play in FIBA and, you know, I thought national team is something to be proud of. And I know you have a lot of pride here and I want to be a part of that.
-Before accepting the invitation, what did you know about Armenia?
-Before I accepted, nothing, I didn’t know anything at all so I wanted to look and saw a lot of things. Actually, you know, it a very nice place, since I have been here, I’ve learned the life; I’ve seen the people…
-Did you know about the Armenian basketball or basketball players, maybe, in other countries?
-No, I didn’t. I knew there are a lot of Armenians that came to the Unites States and I knew them there but I didn’t know anything about players.
-What can you say about your teammates?
-They surprised me a lot, I didn’t know what to expect from the basketball players here, but they are a lot better than I thought they would be and there is really a high-level team.
-And how would you describe the Armenians?
-Very welcoming people, I mean, for me at least. When I came here everybody was happy to see me. I was nervous because I thought, maybe, they don’t want me to play because I’m not Armenian but everybody said, “Oh, welcome,” and they helped me a lot.
-Have you seen Yerevan?
-Yes, but not a lot, not too much.
-But what did you like best of all?
-I’ve only been here for a little while, I haven’t seen much, but I hope I’m going to have a chance to see more.
-What can you say about today’s match?
-It was good. I think we came out with a good amount of energy, we played with energy on both ends: defense and offense and later in the game they started to make a little bit more of a run but I think we had a good focus in the beginning and we had to work on keeping it during the whole game, but everybody played well today and it was good to play as a team.
-The European championship for Small Countries will kick off soon. What do you think, what results will the Armenia national team achieve?
-I know the goal is to win the gold medal but as long as we play together, we play as a team and if we play defense and everybody becomes one then it will be good.
ANOC press service
The Championship was attended by 63 athletes from Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor
The first metal pins were created for the Paris 1900 Olympic Games
We have a young team and it’s very laudable.
I won’t rest until I get the desired qualification.
Arthur Aleksanyan has become the winner of the Bolat Turlykhanov Cup.
The victory was celebrated by Robert Hovhannisyan and Hayk Martirosyan.