Ugur Ozdemir: "These investments will increase the quality of Azerbaijani basketball" - INTERVIEW

4 October 2023 10:25
Ugur Ozdemir: "These investments will increase the quality of Azerbaijani basketball" - INTERVIEW

Interview of the head coach of "Khirdalan" basketball club Ugur Ozdemir to

- The team will start the new season with enough changes. What will be your goal?

- Yes, we are entering a difficult season with a new team. Although there are not many changes in terms of local players, we have made great innovations regarding the legionnaires. We continue our journey with young people who have experience in ABL in rotation. We have created such a team that promising basketball players who have just joined the team can go to the games. We will stand out with our strong defense and we will be a team that will fight until the last second. First of all, the goal is to get to the playoffs. We want to become better every day.

- 10 teams will participate in the Azerbaijan Basketball League this year. How will the increase in numbers affect the state of the league?

- The Federation works hard to improve the quality of the league. New teams this season will add to the excitement. Basketball fire will burn in 3 more different regions. This will make people love basketball more. I hope that as the number of teams increases, opportunities for young basketball players will also increase.

- Has "Khirdalan" changed the place where it will host its opponents?

- No, we will hold our games at the Sarhadchi Sports Olympic Center as before.

- Can it be said that the team is fully formed?

- Although we started late, our team has been formed. Fikret Alakbarov, Nijat Mammadli and Elchin Salmanzade, who worked together last season, continue with us. We added Ismayil Mammadov from Sabah, Najaf Babayev, whom I trust very much, and two young basketball players to our local rotation. These are Ali Maysarov and Huseyn Alizade. Their development throughout the process is valuable to us. We will start the season with 4 foreign players. Australian Jesse Ghee, American Jacorie Archie, Xavier Brewer and Caden Sayles will work for the success of "Khirdalan".

- How do you assess the current state of Azerbaijani basketball?

- Basketball is developing day by day. The federation makes serious infrastructure investments in girls' and boys' basketball. The subsequences of these will be seen more clearly in the future. Our under-16 girls' team became the champion, and the boys' national team played in the finals. These are great achievements. These investments will increase the quality of our basketball.

Emin Aga