Hapoel "Shlomo" Tel Aviv BC | Official site | "I came to help Hapoel achieve it’s goals this year, it's completely possible"

"I came to help Hapoel achieve it’s goals this year, it's completely possible"

Tyler Ennis played against Kyrie Irving and alongside James Harden and Giannis. Now he is here with us, and it is clear to him what his role is: "I have always been a playmaker who also helps others.". the influence of his father, the early introduction to the team's players and his bet on the NBA champion

19/05/2024

When Tyler Ennis makes his Hapoel debut this evening, his wife and four children will watch him from home, as well as his father, a high school basketball coach, who makes sure to call him after every game and give comments. Just before the debut of our new number 2, let's get to know him.

 

How do you summarize your first two weeks at Hapoel?

It was great. Although I haven't played yet, I used this time to learn and watch the team from the sidelines, understand what the coach wants and how the guys play. As a point guard, I try to see where the other players like to receive the ball and how I can help the team.

 

Who did you know before you came here and how much did it help you? 

Kyle and I grew up in Toronto. He is a few years younger than me but we knew each other before I came here. Brian and I have known each other for years. He played with my older brother last year in Turkey (Dylan Ennis - who now plays in Murcia) and he is probably one of the first people who knew I was coming here. I don't know how he knows everything (laughs). X and I went to the same high school but not at the same time. I played against Dusty in the NBA development league and of course I played against coach Dedas in Turkey. I'm coming to a new team, but I have connections or a past with quite a few players here, I think it helps a little, it certainly doesn't hurt. It gives me some idea how the players here play and what the coach wants.

 

You arrived here after a good season in Napoli, which included winning the cup. Why did you actually choose to come to Hapoel and not rest until next season? 

We finished the season really early, more than we expected. I had no plans to go anywhere, and I received calls from several other teams that I was not interested in, but when the hapoel called, told me the goals for the year and the direction they were trying to reach, I was convinced. I think with this roster and staff, it's totally possible. They told me they wanted someone who could produce for others and pass the ball. So I think there is a match here.

  Apart from the desire to return home to my family, I think that in terms of basketball it was the right decision for me. I have quite a few friends who have played here before and they all enjoyed it. Of course I heard about the situation here but Brian reassured me and told me about life here.
 

You came here when the team was in second place, just before we start the playoffs, did you see Hapoel's games from the season?

 

When Jordan McRae played here, I would watch the games, especially in the Eurocup, so I know some of the abilities of my teammates. The coach has coached games against me so I know he knows exactly what I can do and what my strengths are, and I think that will help me get into things. We are right before the playoffs. There's not much time to adjust, but he knows my strengths and what I can do and how I can help the team. He can put me in a position to do that. I saw videos of the fans, I know Hapoel has a lot of fans, I remember the Hapoel game against the London Lions away last season, the crowd there was amazing.


You were selected 18th in the draft and you have a lot of games in the NBA, tell us about your experience in the league? Are there players in the league that you are still in touch with?

Yes, most of my best friends are players I played with or against. Sam Decker, Jordan Clarkson, you build a relationship with them when you spend time with them every day. It was great for me, I was super young. I was drafted at the age of 19. I was a kid trying to figure out what was going on. I learned a lot, there were many ups and downs: getting minutes, not getting minutes, success and failures. But I think it just helped me adapt to any style of basketball, in any situation. I think if I had a lot more opportunities, I could play a lot better basketball, but when you pick a 19-year-old kid, it's understandable.

 What is the best memory from this period?

Playing for the Lakers was great. This is a historic group. I also think that's where I got the most minutes. I could both show everyone my abilities and show myself that I can play at this level. Playing for the Rockets was good, first time I really played for a team fighting for the playoffs and you know, they had real goals. You can see the difference between players playing on their contracts and what was there, where there was a big and common goal, I enjoyed it.

How different is the life of an NBA player compared to a basketball player in Europe? Which life do you prefer?

Life in Europe is more like college, where the whole day is planned and everything is taken care of for you. In the NBA, you're kind of on your own. They give you your time and tell you "see you in practice", everyone does what they want until practice. You have a lot more responsibility to train on your own and make sure you are in the best shape possible. While in Europe, you, the staff and everyone are taken care of. I think I prefer the NBA way because everyone's needs are different but this is my 10th year playing professionally so I know what I need to do to be in the best shape and be in the best place mentally to play well.

Did you get to see Tel Aviv yet? Walk around the city?

I didn't go out to eat too much. I've ordered a lot, but haven't had a bad meal since I've been here yet. I ate at GDB and loved it, I follow Brian everywhere (laughs).

Your father coached you and pushed you to play basketball from a young age, if you weren't a basketball player, what would you be?

It's hard to say, because I've been playing since the age of four... probably something in the financial world. Like I said, I was drafted at the age of 19, I had to learn a lot of things on my own - about paying taxes, investments and everything. So that's pretty much what I did in the free time I had. I might have been a high school teacher or something.

Do you still talk to your dad about basketball? Does he give you reviews after your games? What did he think about the move to Hapoel?

 

Yes, he calls me after every game and there are usually time differences. Sometimes he calls at five in the morning and if I don't respond right away, he keeps calling me (laughs). I think he has a list of things he asks me, also mentally and then he has the professional side. He understands that now there's a team of coaches talking to me about basketball, so we just talk about life. My older brother plays in Spain, then he does the same with him, he's definitely a basketball freak, he's also still a high school coach.

 

There are some players here who are basketball freaks, watch games endlessly, from every league, including youth, women, everything, are you one too?

 

Depending on the time of year, I watch basketball especially when the playoffs start around the world. Sometimes in the seasons when you play a lot of games, you don't want to watch basketball, it really depends. I mostly watch replays of moves from the NBA and the Euroleague.

 

What do Hapoel fans need to know about you? As a basketball player and as a person

 

As a basketball player, I am a playmaker, more than a point guard. I know how to play with and without the ball, do whatever the team needs, you know, whether it's guarding the other team's best player, scoring or looking for other players when they're on a good day. I've always been a playmaker, so I'm expected to look for other players more than produce just for myself. You have to find the balance and know when to do everything.

Personally, I have four children - three daughters and one son - who was born a month and a half ago. I saw the opportunity to play in a team that is currently in second place in the league and has the goal of winning the championship, I got a chance to come in here and help. I think it's an amazing opportunity. I'm happy to be here.

 

Quick questions to finish

The first word I learned in Hebrew? Hello

favorite food? Cinnabon

The app you use the most? Instagram

Your favorite pastime? Play Call Of Duty

Who will take the championship in the NBA? Denver

Best player you played with? Giannis or James Harden

Best player you played against? Kyrie Irving

 
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