By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After two highly successful seasons with Fenerbahce which were capped with a EuroLeague title, Final Four MVP honors and a sweep through the Turkish playoffs towards winning the back-to-back domestic championship, Ekpe Udoh is leaving Istanbul for Salt Lake City, USA.
What’s waiting him there is a two-year contract with the Utah Jazz that brings him back in the NBA. As he said himself in his farewell letter to Fenerbahce, there’s nothing more he’d want in his life right now, other than earning this chance of proving once more that he belongs in the best league in the planet.
Eurohoops had a Q&A with the 29-year-old forward/center about what he takes back to USA from his two-year stint with Fenerbahce, the possibility of returning overseas one day, the messages for former teammate (and now fellow NBA-er) Bogdan Bogdanovic and his opponents in Europe that suffered to make a bucket in front of him
– How did these two years of Fenerbahce make you a better player Ekpeh? Which elements did you improve in your game?
– “These two years brought back the love for the game. They helped me appreciating a different grind. Being a better overall player and having the confidence to show it. I also became a better passer for sure and better at reading the game.”
– What you’ll never forget from this period?
– “The fans for sure. The best moment was winning the Final Four in Istanbul.”
– Do you believe that there is any possibility for you to come back to Europe in the future?
– “There’s always a possibility. But my focus is on the Utah Jazz and doing whatever I can to help them.”
– What will you say to Bogdan (Bogdanovic) when you’ll meet him as an opponent in the first Utah Jazz – Sacramento Kings game of the season?
– “Don’t come in the PAINT!!!”
– Your opponents had a really hard time scoring against you. How do you think they felt when they learned you’re leaving Europe?
– “I don’t know but they better be ready. Because Fenerbahce will be an elite team this year.”