Daron Russell is ready to make an impact with Galatasaray

2023-01-27T11:30:16+00:00 2023-01-27T22:41:37+00:00.

Cesare Milanti

27/Jan/23 11:30


The 24-year-old American guard is ready to take over the Turkish team in the Basketball Champions League

By Semih Tuna / info@eurohoops.net

After four years with Rhode Island and one season spent in Maryland during his NCAA experience, Daron Russell jumped to Europe in the summer. In his first-ever professional game in the Old Continent, he erupted for 41 points in Mornar Bar’s win against Igokea.

Later on, he also produced the best offensive performance of the season so far in all of the European competitions, scoring 47 points in his second ABA League appearance. It should be no surprise, then, if Galatasaray brought him in after Dee Bost left for ASVEL.

After his debut with Andreas Pistiolis’ team against Limoges CSP in the 2022-23 Basketball Champions League Round of 16, the brother of former Treviso player DeWayne Russell talked about his first Gala days. “I’m still trying to adapt to what’s on the field, to our style of play. I made a few mistakes in defense that I wouldn’t normally make, but I’m still learning. The Basketball Champions League is a high-level tournament. I can be better. As a team, we will get better every day. I hope we can continue like this”, he commented in an interview with Eurohoops.

The president of his former team in the ABA League said that 8 teams reached the Montenegrin side to acquire the American guard, and “Fatts” Russell explained why he didn’t leave the team before. “At that moment, Mornar wasn’t ready to let me go. I get it, they wanted to stay in the league, so I was fighting to win games for the team. But at that point, I chose Galatasaray because the fan base is incredible. Basketball in Turkey is also one of the best in Europe. I am very happy that I made the decision to come here”, he said.

Despite not having Dee Bost around anymore, the Turkish team has some BCL star power in the backcourt with Dylan Ennis and Tyrus McGee, but Russell isn’t worried about it. “I don’t think this will affect my game. It will take more of the pressure off me. There was a lot of responsibility on me in Mornar: guiding the ball, making decisions in many positions… Having names like this around makes your job easier and gives you free shots”, he said before praising the new ASVEL guard. I know Dee Bost is a great player. I wish him the best where he is right now. I’m not Dee Bost, I’m a different player. I hope the fans like my style too”, he added laughing.

In his European rookie season, Daron Russell has already made a name for himself, becoming the potential on-court leader of a BCL contender, but in Europe basketball is completely different than in the NCAA, where he played for the last five seasons. “It was hard. In Europe, the game is much more physical. There are so many details and so many responsibilities, you need to pay attention to, especially to the places where you need to be defensive. That was the biggest difference for me. I am still adapting and getting better every day”, he said.

Finally, his decision to come to Galatasaray was made possible also thanks to Jared Terrell, who was Daron Russell’s teammate in 2017-18 in Rhode Island and played with Turk Telekom Ankara last year. “He called me and said that the Turkish League is a very physical league. He told me how good the league was. What he said made me understand what to expect when I come here. He gave me clues”, Fatts added.

PHOTO CREDIT: Basketball Champions League