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Interviews

Ahmed Al Mutawa: 'I play to win, there's no other way' - Sep 3, 2011


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EUROBASKET CENTER
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Last year around this time, Ahmed Al Mutawa was preparing to move his family from Kuwait to Bahrain, a place all so familiar to Mutawa. This is where he first started playing basketball. Mutawa was recruited by Al Kuwait Club in 2008. There he played a big role in helping Kuwait club secure a regular season Championship and he helped push his team to the Arab Cup Championships Semi finals. Last summer, Mutawa and his agent (LSM) were presented with an offer for Ahmed to return to Bahrain to play for Manama Club. The deal would end with Manama club buying out the remainder of Ahmeds contract with Kuwait Club, leaving room for Ahmed to sign a 3 year deal in his home country. This was a great day for Bahrain basketball, and we expect to see many more of Bahrains talented players signing to neighboring country rosters.

Eurobasket had the pleasure of speaking with Ahmed Al Mutawa (Interview conducted by Corey A. Washington, CEO/President LSM Sports www.lowcountrysports.net ):

Eurobasket: How does it feel to be back playing in Bahrain This is where you began your career, so it must feel great!

Al Mutawa:Yes, Bahrain has always been my favorite place to play, because of the fans that fill up the gym almost every game.

Eurobasket: What were your expectations for this season when Manama expressed their interest in bringing you back to Bahrain? Now that the season is over, was the outcome what you were expecting?

Al Mutawa: Well my expectations is the same for every team I join, I always want to win all the championships, but our outcome was good because we won the Cup and almost made it to the league Championship finals. For a young team I think its a great result and that sets a great boost for us to win it all this season.

Eurobasket: Tell me about your team this year How does Manama differ from other clubs in BahrainDoes the players accept their roles?

Al Mutawa: Thats the beauty of Manama Club All the players know the club's successful history; therefore every player accepts their roles and try to continue their winning ways by playing hard and together as a team. If not, they would not be in our team.

Eurobasket: I know while you were in Kuwait, you played a total different role than what you are playing in Bahrain... Can you tell me how they differ, and how your experience in Kuwait prepared you for this season?

Al Mutawa:I believe my role will always vary from season to season depending on how strong the team is, therefore I always give my best no matter which team Im playing for. Kuwait was a great experience for me, and I got to play with great teammates and awesome imports players like Ira Clark and Andre Pits. Having a great staff and dedicated teammates pushed me to get better every day. I will always remember Kuwait Club.

Eurobasket: Ahmed, throughout your career, you have played in many countries, and against some of the best players that basketball has to offer. You actually played college ball in the USA How was that?

Al Mutawa: Playing in the USA is every international Player's dream, and my experience in College was what really developed my game. The level of talent and love for the sport that I witnessed and experienced in USA is what really convinced me to choose basketball as a career path.

Eurobasket: While in College, all players have someone who they say really influenced their game Who would that be for you? Is there a player or players that you played with or against, that you would love to meet on the floor again today & why?

Al Mutawa: I try to learn from everybody on every team I have played for, But I would love to play with/or against my old college teammates. One of them would be Dwayne Okantey who was one of the guys that always pushed me to stay after practice and take some extra shots. He always pushed me to improve my game. I think that he would dominate if he came and played in the Middle East.

Eurobasket: What does the future hold for Ahmed with Manama?

Al Mutawa: I Hope many more Championships! Ill play for Manama Club for as long as they want me to. Im comfortable here This is home.

Eurobasket: Having played throughout the GCC, you are well familiar with the level of play, and living conditions in these locations What would you say to players interested in playing in the Middle East?

Al Mutawa: I think any player that works hard, and of course that has some sort of talent in the gamecan find the right team for him in this region. My only advice would be to read about the country and culture you are going to play for, like this you can understand more of the culture.

Eurobasket: What do you think about having a GCC draft, for each location? This would obviously include a small camp prior to the draft, giving clubs and coaches a chance to see potential imports in person, and players a chance to see the region and learn a little about the culture before signing. Do you think something like this could bring exposure to GCC basketball?

Al Mutawa: That would be great for this region and I think any idea to improve the Game level in the Middle East is a great Idea.

Eurobasket: Can we get a prediction for this coming season? Will Manama go all the way? Al Mutawa: Yes we will go all the way because I practice and play this game to win, there is no other way I can do it.
  




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