Ekpe Udoh: I’d like to play in EuroLeague for the next two years and finish out my career

2021-05-24T15:16:49+00:00 2021-06-08T16:41:14+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

24/May/21 15:16

during the 2017 Final Four Istanbul Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Champion Trophy Ceremony at Sinan Erdem Dome on May 21, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ekpe Udoh talked to Eurohoops about his run with Fenerbahce and the crowning achievement of the 2017 title and Final Four MVP, his thoughts on the “Zeljko Obradovic in the NBA” and the goal he has to return to Euroleague.

By Eurohoops team / info@eurohoops.net

2017 EuroLeague champion with Fenerbahce Beko and Final Four MVP Ekpe Udoh revealed to Eurohoops that his goal is to return to the competition before hanging his shoes for good.

“I almost had an opportunity to join a EuroLeague team but I had a commitment to the China team so I wasn’t able to make that move. The door for EuroLeague isn’t closed. I would like to play in EuroLeague for the next two years and finish out my career,” Udoh told Antonis Stroggylakis and Bugra Uzar on the Eurohoops Live Show.

“It will be interesting to see if I do play in EuroLeague and I’m not on Fenerbahce what the reception will be when I play a game there,” he later mentioned while talking about the chants of Fenerbahce fans had for him.

Udoh looked back to his two-year stint with Fenerbahce and the two Final Fours: His memories from the heartbreaking loss to CSKA Moscow in the championship game of 2016 and the Final Four of 2017 when he pushed Fener to the title while becoming the first center to win MVP since Zeljko Rebraca in 2000.

“When the game was over and went back to my hotel room I could hear the chants in my head,” he said on the 2017 semifinal vs. Real Madrid. “Pulsing and pulsing. I couldn’t sleep for two hours because of the adrenaline”

Udoh also shared this thoughts on the “Zeljko Obradovic in the NBA” debate. “Can he coach in the NBA? Of course he can, there’s no question about it,” he said. “Do I see him in the NBA? I don’t know. Especially if it’s not with a team that has its sights on winning. Not a team that’s trying to tank. That’s not in him. If he wanted to coach in the NBA, he could adjust. It would be a tough adjustment but once they got out there on the court, and he pushed them through the drills and his schemes, that’s where he’d build the trust.”

Throughout his EuroLeague run, Udoh faced current Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic during many and big battles of Fener against Real Madrid. Did he see him becoming the player he is today?

“Yes,” Udoh answered. “Because he was playing against grown men since he was 15 and a half. I think people in American didn’t understand how big he was. He’s 6 7, big kid but can move and get wherever he wants on the court. And now he’s showing it at the highest level. The help defense isn’t the same. The day in and day out grind isn’t the same as it is in Europe.”

“He’ll be Top 5 in the league for a long time”