When you meet someone, you can have an overall idea of how he is by just talking to him for 15 minutes. This is what we did with Dyshawn Pierre. BasketNews visited Madrid and had a nice conversation with one of the most impactful additions of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.

The Canadian power forward is gentle and shares his passion for basketball. His eyes shine when the topic is about the sport he has been playing since he was a child.

Pierre lived for 17 years in Whitby (Ontario), even though he was born in Toronto, so if you look for him on Wikipedia, you will notice that the biggest encyclopedia in the world is wrong. 

He won the bronze medal at the FIBA U17 World Cup in 2017, beating Lithuania 83-81. That Canada’s team had well-known players right now like Kevin Pangos or Andrew Wiggins.

Once he finished college at the University of Dayton, he moved to Germany for the 2016-17 season, signing with Loewen Braunschweig.

One year later, he landed in Italy, being an important part of the successes of the Dinamo Sassari team, which won the FIBA Europe Cup and the Italian Super Cup in 2019. 

After an impressive first year in the Euroleague (averaging 9.1 points with 61,4% in field goals), Pierre signed a new three-year contract with Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul this summer and shared his thoughts about the new season with BasketNews.

Pierre, this is your second year in Istanbul. How is everything going?

I love Istanbul, it is an amazing city. I just love playing for this team. The organization is really professional, they are very passionate. People follow Fenerbahce and love this team above everything. That feeling is great.

Did you have any other options this summer or were Fenerbahce always your first choice? 

I signed to Fenerbahce as soon as I had an opportunity to (smiles). I’m not thinking of anything else. I am where I want to, this is the most important. 

Free throws this season

Points made: 9,2
Accuracy: 65,7%
Place in standings: 16
Record max: 13
Record min: 5
Most made FTs: Nando De Colo

I guess there is a big difference between Braunschweig and Istanbul.

(Laughs) For sure. Braunschweig is a small town. People are so kind, they helped me a lot in my first months in Europe.

Then, Sardegna was also a welcoming place. They love basketball, and the community is fantastic. Istanbul is a bigger city, definitely, there are more things to do. It’s more like home. 

Are you already used to the traffic jam?

It’s crazy, man! You do not know if it’s Friday, Saturday, six o’clock in the morning. I stayed at the house, trying to avoid all that traffic jam. 

Did you have time to look around Istanbul? 

Yeah, a couple of times. I’ve been to the Sofia mosque, as well as in the Bazar. The culture is really cool, so different from what I have always seen in Canada. I really love this. I just enjoy it as much as I can. People are really wholesome. 

Let’s talk about your childhood. You spent most of your time in Whitby, a city where ice hockey is the most popular sport. Did it not attract you? 

(Smiles) This is a fun story. A lot of people don’t know Whitby. I was born in Toronto, but I have been living there for 17 years.

I’ve never played ice hockey because my parents were too afraid that something could happen to me. And to be honest, I really loved basketball too much. No one could separate from balling. 

Which are your first memories of basketball?

I was probably like 4 or 5 years old. I’ve been to many camps when I was a child. I had a lot of photos to remember those times. It was great, I loved that. Since I can remember, basketball has been part of my life.

When did you realize basketball could become a job? 

Like every kid in the world, when you pick up basketball, you dream of playing in the NBA.

It’s normal. When I got to college, I realized it could lead to something else. Being part of the national team was great, and moving to Europe made the difference. 

Who has had a big influence on your development as a person and player?

Definitely, it was my dad. He played cricket, which is completely different. I’ve just watched him playing a lot. He sat me down to watch games. Then I remember he took me to be part of super young programs.

We practiced in the morning, we played basketball with friends before lunch, then school and after that jumping programs. It was really demanding but worth it at the end of the day.

Obviously, I do not want to forget all the coaches I have had. They taught me a lot to be what I am now.

Do you have idols?

Michael Jordan at first, but then LeBron. He is my favorite player of all time.

Here in Istanbul, you have Jan Vesely and Nando de Colo as teammates. How are they?

As a player, I am not going to discover anything. They are smart on the court, they make our lives easier. They helped me a lot, especially to focus on such a club like this. They make sure if everything is okay when you may seem frustrated. They are true leaders.

After struggling at the beginning of the season, Fenerbahce Istanbul was one of the best teams in the second half of the season last year. You were close to the Final Four. 

Yes, we were unlucky. Vesely was injured just before the series against CSKA, and we had some coronavirus stuff. It was shit. Who knows what could have happened.

New season, new coach. How is Sasha Djordjevic? 

I think he has similar approaches to Igor (Kokoskov). I have nothing bad to say about both, honestly.

Djordjevic told us to pay attention to the little details. We are building a new team, chemistry with the newcomers. It needs time, but we are on the right way. 

You are having some problems on the road, but you beat Anadolu Efes in the Turkish league by 22 points. Was that a statement for the rest of the teams? 

Well, I do not think so. This was a good lesson for us. We knew it was special for the fans, but for us, it was just a statement to keep working hard. 

Is it a realistic goal for Fenerbahce to reach the Final Four?

Of course. All of us do not settle for anything less than this. We are just working on it. This is a long journey, with a lot of games.

Fans are back, we see close results… There are no easy games in the EuroLeague.

Never! It is an amazing competition. You play against the best players. For me, it is challenging. I’m thankful for who has given me this opportunity. 

And a tough schedule.

We need to take care of ourselves to prevent injuries. Sometimes people do not notice small injuries, but it is hard. Along with the games, there are practices, long trips. EuroLeague is really demanding.

That’s why mental health is becoming necessary.

Absolutely. With ELPA and teams coming together, we are on the right way. Mental health is really important. Taking care of it is as important as the physical part, for sure. It affects your performance. 

What are you used to in your free time? 

I like to watch movies and some series. And video games, I like them a lot. With the team, we used to play ping-pong tournaments.

Who is the best?

I’d like to say it is me, but it would not be fair. Marko (Guduric) is so good with the left hand. But let’s see what happens at the end of the season (smiles). 

Tell me your dream right now.

To win the Euroleague. What could be better?

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Dyshawn Pierre

Dyshawn  Pierre
Dyshawn  Pierre
MIN: 25.99
PTS: 8 (51.28%)
REB: 4
As: 0.8
ST: 0.4
BL: 1
TO: 0.6
GM: 5