By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After six years in the US, former Sixers guard Tony Wroten moved on overseas and spent three years playing across Europe.
His first stint was with Kalev after which he played for Anwil Wloclawek and finished the season with Joventut Badalona. He experienced the Estonian, Polish and Spanish leagues as well as the VTB and Basketball Champions League.
Wroten has noted that it helped him grow overall and that includes the off-court life: “Honestly, it’s crazy how much it helped me off and on the court. Because, off the court — me, personally — I always had my friends with me. [They] lived with me, came to the games all the time. You know what I’m saying? And this was the first time I was able to go by myself to a different country. Different culture, different food. The most important thing that helped me is [that] I was able to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. You know? Getting out of my comfort zone, not being around family. Not having friends at [my] games, not eating what [I] normally eat. And once I mastered that, I was never out my comfort zone ever again,” he told the Liberty Ballers’ Steve Lipman.
Differences are also big on the floor and Wroten is of the opinion that it’s much harder to play in Europe, despite the NBA players being the best:
“And on the court became easier. Because — Luka [Doncic] would tell you this, and I’m telling you this — overseas is harder than the NBA. When I say that, I don’t mean — obviously, NBA players are the best of the best. No one’s better than NBA players. But as far as defense, there’s no ‘3 in the key,’ you can post, you can stay in the key, you can run zone, it’s more of a team defense. NBA players — they’re too good to run zone. Whereas overseas, you have different rules — hitting the ball off the rim, it’s a lot of different things. And I think I realized that I just know, once I come back to the NBA, I’m gonna do ten times better than what I did when I was there. Because I’m in a different mindset and I’m a ten times better player. Like I said, I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable. So, whatever situation you find me in, I’m gonna fit in just right.”