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Saudi Arabia Internationally

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Ali Ahmed
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Middle East
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SBL Standings
 1. Al Ahli Jeddah 0-0 
 2. Al Ansar 0-0 
 3. Al Arabi 0-0 
 4. Al Fateh 0-0 
 5. Al Hilal 0-0 
 6. Al Ittihad 0-0 
 7. Al Nahda 0-0 
 8. Al Nasr 0-0 
 9. Al Noor 0-0 
 10. Al Salam 0-0 
 11. Al Wehda 0-0 
 12. Uhud 0-0 
Last:9/26/2016
D1 Standings
 1. Abha 0-0 
 2. Al Hidaya 0-0 
 3. Al Jabil 0-0 
 4. Al Kweldeeh 0-0 
 5. Al Rawda 0-0 
 6. Al Safa 0-0 
 7. Al Shrooq 0-0 
 8. Al-Taraf 0-0 
 9. Al-Trgee 0-0 
 10. Al-Watany 0-0 
 11. Hajer 0-0 
 12. Mder 0-0 
Last:9/19/2016

Articles
Interviews
Interview with Rashad Phillips of Al Ansar - Jan 29, 2009


POSTED BY:
EUROBASKET CENTER
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Rashad Phillips (178-G-78, agency: Interperformances, college: Detroit Mercy), experienced PG, has been taking the Saudi Arabian league by strom with he Ansar Team in Medina. We had a chance to sit down and speak with him.

EU: Hello 'shad, How have u been doing? It is nice to see you finally here in the Middle East. How did u get to Saudi? How are you finding things?
Everything is going great here I'm enjoying the season as much as I'm enjoying the beautiful weather. Saudi actually found me, its strange because I have always wanted to play in the middle east. Especially after playing in Turkey. I really loved it there. Things are a little bit different here but after awhile you get use to the routine and you can start to focus on your job. With technology nowadays you never seem as far as you really are. Internet is the greatest invention bar none.

EU: What brought about the change? U started last yr in Australia then to Poland. Why Saudi at this stage in your career?
What brought the change. Lets see I could go on forever but I'll try and sum it up in a couple of sentences because no one has heard my side of the story or I should say the truth on what happened. Last season I signed to play in Australia. Which by the way is a beautiful country with a lot of nice people. Great weather and most importantly there is really no big change from America because everyone speaks English. So I could bring my family there and my daughter could attend school. With all that being said I easily turned down numerous contracts from everywhere else for the convenience alone. The coach at the time was Scott Fisher who was a former player who played in Australia for most of his career but after he retired he wanted to coach. But what I did not know at the time was that he had no prior coaching experience so basically he was learning how to coach on the fly. As pre season ended we were like 9-2. Then as the regular season started we were 5-2 which was at the time second place in the league. Our next three games coming up were against the worst teams in the league by record. So I assumed we would have won those next 3 games to move to 8-2. But it never got that far for me. I was taken out of the starting line-up the game before as we still won that game, the GM pulled me aside and told me that the club wanted to release me. I ask why because I was leading the league in assisst and double doubles from the point guard position. And he clearly stated, 'Hey don't shoot the messenger.' So Scott Fisher went to the media telling them that they were releasing me because I wasn't in good shape from when I arrived. It was October at that time and I had arrived there in August. Which to the media it seemed strange about the coach's sudden remarks because we were winning and I had already broke two single season assisst records in 7 games already. My teammates and fans which (I would like to thank again) wanted to boycott the next couple of games and practices because they did not agree with the decision to release me with no real explanation or no valid references. A supporter of mine released a youtube video of my 7 games showing the fans what I was doing as a player an teammate to dis credit Scott Fisher's comments about my play. After two days there was 4,000 views with media wanting a real explanation from Scott but I refused to fight an stay or go to court and I just came home. After that the team lost the next three games against teams that we had once beat by 30 points when I was present. Also Scott Fisher was relieved of his duties shortly after and the team suffered a dissappointing season by losing by 30 points to Syndey in the play-offs. After that I went to Poland but I was a day late because I missed my intial flight so I miss the cut-off deadline to be signed. At this stage of my career I'm looking to win as many championships I can with any team that is willing to give me a fair opportunity so luckily this year it was Saudi. And I'm enjoying my stay here.

EU: How do u find the level of play in the league? How do u feel about your successes in singlehandedly changing the nature of the Snsar team who had been historically low level BUT NOW sit in the 2nd position in League Play???

The level of play to me is very intense. Last night we had a game against Ittihad which is the strongest team in Saudi and they double teamed from the moment I stepped off the bus to the moment I boarded the plane back home. So with that being said there is a big challenge for me every game because every team that we have played so far has put literally two guys on me from the start of the game to the end. What has lead to my success as well as the teams success is that our coach believes in giving his players freedom. He allows me to make calls on the fly, he also allows me to be creative during any situation in the game. When any good player is given freedom then there will be more positive results than negative. So with my freedom our team has been hard to solve over the first 11 games.

EU: How do you handle/deal with the change in social patterns here?

I know from living in the region that there is a loack of social activity in comparison to Europe or the US, what have u done to keep ur game sharp and stay on top of things?Thats a good question. But for me individually I think it was best for me at this time of my life to get away an be alone for once. I'm in the workings of writing my first book called 'MISUNDERSTOOD' I have that word tattooed on me and people always ask me to explain why so the downtime here has really been beneficial to my thought process in writing this book to answer a lot of questions. To keep my game sharp me and coach get up every morning an he runs me two miles then we go to the gym and do court work for an hour an a half. This has kept me very sharp thru the season.

EU: What are you predictions on the remainder of the season?

For us to stay healthy as a unit and keep winning.

EU: What are your plans for after this season is completed? Maybe a stay in the region? Arab Championships? GCC?
There are a lot of options but I'm not a futuristic thinker. I like to take it day by day but we will see. Hopefully win a championship. Thats what we all play for.

EU: Anything that you want to say in closing to your fans/supporters?

I like to thank everyone for the support and emails I recieve. Please continue to support me in this long journey we call life.

IT WAS OUR PLEASURE TO SIT DOWN WITH RSHAD PHILLIPS AS HE CONTINUES TO AMAZE AND IS PUSHING TO TAKE HIS TEAM TO THE CROWN IN SAUDI ARABIA. WE WISH HIM THE BEST AND HOPE TO BE ABLE TO SIT DOWN WITH HIM AGAIN VERY SOON!

Interview made by Eurobasket correspondent Ozell Wells

  




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