Europe

Jamar Smith: “My goal with Kazan is to win the Eurocup”

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FROM USA TO OVERSEAS: All there is to know about the life of American basketball players in Europe 🏀📖

Important player of UNICS Kazan for now three years, the experimented american shooting guard Jamar Smith (6’3″, 32 years old) is an elite shooter. For 3ptshot.com, he talks about his path and career until now, but also his determination to win the Eurocup at the end of the season with the russian team.

How did you started playing basketball?
I started playing basketball when I was young but wasn’t very good. I grew up looking up to my cousin Howard Nathan Jr and my sister Britney Jordan who were basketball Gods in my city.

At the College level, you played first for the university of your state of place of birth. Then, after two years, you moved to Southern Indiana. What was the recruitment process for both universities?
The recruitment process was the same both schools. The coaches liked the way I played and thought I could help their team win and both schools had a tradition of winning and I wanted to be apart of them.

After starting your pro career into the Gleague, you played during the summer in Venezuela, then you moved to Europe and more specifically to Czech Republic. How were those experiences? Did you excepted at that time to live that type of probably tough experiences to begin your career, comparing to the situation you got now?
Yea I expected it to be difficult. Nothing in my basketball career was easy, everything was earned and I started from the bottom and fought and worked my way up. I wouldn’t change that it makes me the person and player I am.

Over the years, it look like you had a constant progression year after year. Do you have the same feeling regarding your personal career?
Every year, I want more and want to continue to improve. Also, I get to play with different players that have different strengths and weaknesses that help me to work on all of my weaknesses and improve.

You recently started your third consecutive season here in Kazan. After changing team every year at the beginning of your pro career, it seems that you are now trying to stabilize yourself into an environment. Is that what you were looking for at this part of your life?
I played two years in Malaga and won Eurocup. My goal here is to do the same. This will be third time having a shot at it with Unics and I’m thankful they believe in me to give 3 years here to connect with the organization and the fans. It’s become a second home for me.

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You are now 32 years old, so we can defenetivily say that you are an experimented player. What are your goals for this season and also the futur?
I want to continue to play at a high level and compete. More importantly, I want to continue to improve no matter how old I am, the journey never stops.

Earlier in your career, you had a shot in the NBA with the Boston Celtics. Can you tell us more about that experience?
It was a great opportunity playing pre season with them but although pre season seems close to some people, it’s really not. But I’m thankful to have had that because most players will never get a chance to play with NBA legends like Ray Allen KG and Shaq.

You are very well know overseas to be a great shooter, no matter the distance the bucket is from you. Is that a skill you are never stop developing since you are growing up, or is that a natural gift?
Shooting was something that I feel came naturally along with hours and hours of shooting alone. You will start to make shots when you don’t want to run all over the gym to get your own rebound.

You have played in a lot of countries and you won a lot of games and titles (Balkan league, French D1 championship and Eurocup). Which country/city and which trophy did you enjoyed the most?
I enjoyed everywhere I played for different reasons. The trophy I loved winning the most was eurocup because you take the time to another level of competition by qualifying Euroleague.

To conclude, do you have something to tell to your fans over the United States and Europe?
I would tell my fans to be fearless in your dreams and what you want accomplish in your life. Sharpen your mind daily and stay disciplined and try to improve daily mentally physically and spiritually.

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