By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Arlauckas hosts Zalgiris sniper K.C. Rivers on the latest edition of ‘The Crossover’, recorded over the phone during the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
They lived in the same state, started their European careers in small Italian cities, won the EuroLeague with Real Madrid and later played in Greece. Those are just some of the things Zalgiris Kaunas swingman K.C. Rivers and The Crossover host Joe Arlauckas discovered they have in common during their lively conversation for the latest edition of the podcast brought to you by Endesa.
The conversation was recorded via telephone from Rivers’ residence in California, where he traveled when the EuroLeague season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They opened on that topic with Rivers discussing his journey with his family from Kaunas and what life has been like for him at home.
Before long, the topic moved to Rivers’ upbringing. His father passed away from a brain aneurysm when K.C. was just six years old. His uncle, Byron Dinkins, a former EuroLeague player and an opponent of Arlauckas, was the one who put a ball in K.C.’s hands and later helped groom him into a top prospect. In fact, he urged a young Rivers to learn from a promising Greek player whom Rivers would later compete against.
“He brought home a tape of Diamantidis and, because Diamantidis is left-handed and he’s a smooth lefty and I was left-handed, my uncle was like, ‘I want you to watch this guy. I want you to watch how he plays. He’s gonna be a star. Watch him,'” Rivers recalled. “So I used to watch tapes of Diamantidis and how he played.”
Check out the entire podcast below and hear as Rivers also talks about his time in Panathinaikos – where he set the club record for three-pointers made with 71 in his first campaign there, why he stays away from social media, and his plans for the future, which may include “replacing” Arlauckas in the broadcast booth.