Credit: ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix
Credit ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix

Usman Garuba sat down with AS to talk about his first year in the NBA, his new coach (Stephen Silas), his former team Real Madrid, and his plans with the Spanish NT.

Usman Garuba

Usman  Garuba
Team: Houston Rockets
Position: C, PF
Age: 20
Height: 203 cm
Weight: 104 kg
Birth place: Madrid, Spain

Garuba will be next month between Spain and Houston, as he will keep practicing in order to be at Sergio Scariolo's disposal for EuroBasket 2022, which tips off on September 1. The Houston Rockets big man, who turned 20 on March 9, hopes to improve and gain a place in the best league in the world.

"It has been a learning year for me. American culture is totally different (than the European). It's another way of life," Garuba said initially.

"My expectations were to play, but I knew that the season  could be difficult. I couldn't have expectations this year because I wasn't having consistency. But I have met my expectations in relation to the work I have put in. I've improved as a player, I've improved physically and mentally. I'm a better player now than I was before," he went on to say.

Comparing his Rockets coach Stephen Silas to Real Madrid's Pablo Laso, Garuba noted that they're different. 

"I like Silas very much, he is very clear with me. He is a very good coach, I have seen a lot of details, especially offensive, that I really liked. In the ACB the coaches have more responsibility; the NBA is more focused on the players," he underlined. 

Garuba didn't hide the fact that he gets along well with Turkish center Alperen Sengun.

"He's the one I've had the most relationship with. We are both Europeans and we have played against each other since we were very young. The competition I have with him is healthy," he commented.

The Spanish international also discussed his affinity for Real Madrid ("I follow what they're doing and I predict that they'll win the EuroLeague"), his relationship with fellow Spaniards, like Willy and Juancho Hernangomez ("When we play each other, we talk before games") before revealing that he's willing to join Spain at the coming EuroBasket. 

"I want to go to the EuroBasket and I am at Sergio Scariolo's disposal. We are Spain and Spain always competes. We want to fight for medals despite the circumstances, despite the absences. We are ready for everything," he pointed out. 

 

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