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Happ: "Olympiacos is the ideal destination for me"

His name surprised many people and after he was announced by Olympiacos, google search was on fire! Ethan Happ nevertheless, is coming to Greece to persuade even the greatest skeptics that he’s a project capable of making the difference in the future.

The 23-year old center – with excellent recommendations following his NCAA career – found it easy to decide to take the trans-Atlantic flight for the Piraeus team. “There were many reason that I chose Olympiacos to be my first team as a professional”, he said to “My agent and I examined all the facts and tried to find what the best step for my career would be. Olympiacos was at the top of that list. It is a team of the highest standards, with experienced and capable players. I know that this is going to make me a better player, playing with them, as well as against them at practice. I have also talked to coach Blatt and that factored in for me, because I immediately felt a connection. From there on, of course Olympiacos played a very important role, the fact that it’s a team with tradition, they have won titles and remains at top level. I feel that I’m a perfect fit of this program, because I’m a player that loves to compete. I always do the best I can for my team and that’s what I intend to be doing for Olympiacos”.

Asked how he felt when signing his first professional contract, as well as what the reaction of the people close to him was, he replied: “When the deal was finalized, I was really excited! My family, my friends, they were all excited for the next step in my career and for the fact that I would be playing for such a good team and such a beautiful country like Greece”. The information he had gathered for the club before committing were exactly what he needed … “Just like I said before, I knew that Olympiacos has had a very good program and it’s a team with significant historical presence in Europe. Also, I knew coach Blatt. He has been an NBA coach and is very well known. All of these made me realize that Olympiacos is the ideal destination for me”.

Just like he admitted, in the talks he has had with David Blatt, they did not go into deep basketball analysis and explained why: “We talked a few times and to tell you the truth, we did not talk as much about technical matters. We mostly talked in order to get to know one another and to realize that I’m a good fit for the team. We obviously got to talk about the style of the game, however, we mostly wanted to get to know one another as human beings. I immediately felt there was good connection”.

He did wish to comment on the fact that many people were surprised when he was announced by the team. However, he felt the need to describe himself in a few sentences. “I always felt that I help my team mates become better and they do the same for me. I want to be helping my team win at whichever level I get to be playing and to improve myself every passing year. I intend to take that with me in Greece as well. That is to always become better and bring any role I get to have to fruition”.

When asked to talk about his playing style and what it is he can attribute to the Olympiacos’ game, he said: “I’m very agile for a tall player. I move my feet very well on both ends of the floor, however, what distinguishes my game from that of other big players is my ability to handle the ball and create plays for my team mates. I still don’t know what my exact role is going to be, however, I feel that my ability to handle the ball and my passing are going to be useful elements for the team when the coach utilizes me”.

Finally, asked about his goals, both his personal as well as the team ones, he replied: “My original goal is to fit in. I want to be a great team mate and in time, win the respect of my veteran team mates. They already have my respect, given they have been professionals for so many years and all the more, successful ones. As a team, I have said it before, that Olympiacos has history, it’s a winning team and certainly our goals, although they are going to be set in the locker rooms, are going to be high. Our fans want us to play at the highest level and to succeed, so our goal is getting the victories that are going to lead us to success”.