BCL Podcast is back with another Basketball Champions League star. Omar Prewitt of ERA Nymburk is the latest guest on the podcast. A significant part of the Group L winner touched on a variety of topics with Kemal Rutkay Özcan.
The success and the winning culture of Nymburk, the role of distributor Omar Prewitt takes, Coach Oren Amiel’s effect on him, last season with Teksüt Bandırma, and the Final Eight matchup against Pınar Karşıyaka were widely discussed. The 26-year-old forward also gave advice to the younger players who are about to or considering playing overseas.
You can listen to the podcast on SoundCloud and Spotify. Here are the highlights of the conversation:
“Not one guy you gotta contain”
I think everybody was fine with whoever we drew. At this point, eight teams left. We all made it here for a reason; we’re all very good teams. So, it didn’t really matter who you draw at this point. You’re gonna be playing the team that’s on the same level as yourself. I don’t think anyone can have a bad game and win. We’re excited to be here and ready to go out to have a good game.
[Karşıyaka is] so experienced; they just have so many guys that can hurt you. Tony Taylor, you can’t let him get hot; he’s the guy who runs the show. You gotta keep a hand on him. Amath M’Baye, to me, is their x-factor. He’s a stretch four, tough guy to guard. He’s so big, but he can put it on the floor. Raymar Morgan is obviously having a great season. I didn’t even name guys like DJ Kennedy. I can’t say there’s one guy you gotta contain. You can’t let any of them get too hot.
The winning culture in Nymburk
I’ve really, really enjoyed this [Nymburk] team this year. Everyone is very willing passers. We all like to run and shoot. I learned a lot from watching Hruban this year. He’s a guy that’s been so successful overseas [and has] a lot of characteristics that I’d like to take my game and help my game even better. And having a guy like Retin on your team, who just gets after it on defense. You know he’s gonna get 6-8 points every game just from getting a steal. He’s a great passer also. It’s nice having that luxury on your team.
We got Jerrick Harding, who has become a great scorer; we got Lukas Palyza, who exploded when he got his chance. We’re one of those teams with a next-guy-up mentality. Stephen Zimmermann has really stepped up lately. The list just goes on and on.
We got a bunch of guys that are slightly underappreciated. Nymburk is not the highest budget team in the BCL. If you went on that standard, we shouldn’t even be where we are. Nobody gets timid when we go up against these so-called “bigger” teams. We expect to win. We have such a winning culture here. When we get down in games, we know how to come back.
[at Nymburk], you’re playing on a smaller scale but you get to show your worth to all these higher clubs because you’re right there with them all. It is a little sad that knowing how good this team is if you can put us in any domestic league and I feel like we would have a very good team. We know our worth. Having a coach like Oren and an assistant coach like [Aleksander Sekulic] – he’s the head coach for the Slovenian National Team – getting to learn under those guys is great.
Coach Oren Amiel’s influence on Omar Prewitt and the team
In overseas, the point guard and the 2-guard have the main roles, coming off ball screens, which is fine, I’ve accepted that. I’ve had to up my shooting, spot-up shooting, and everything. This year, Coach Oren has put a lot of trust in me to have that role. And that’s a role I thoroughly enjoy. Also, I become a very efficient scorer off of those pick-and-rolls with having the ball in my hands. So, I appreciate he’s giving me this role this year. And I think it’s definitely shown Europe what I can do.
He just has a great trust in all of us. I think that’s one thing Nymburk does very well: they recruit guys for their system. All of us are very capable of putting the ball on the floor. We can all shoot; we all fit the system he wants very well.
Bandırma and his favorites overseas
I really enjoyed that team; I really enjoyed the Americans and the Turkish guys we had. It’s good to see that all those young guys are having really good years. Alperen Şengün, obviously, he’s on the draft lists. It’s really good. Bandırma was an interesting city to be in. Not much around you, you have to travel far to get to anything. I enjoyed it, though. It was a year when you just got to focus on basketball. I didn’t have any outside distractions. I got to focus on my basketball and I thought I had a very good year.
Basketball-wise, I would probably pick Turkish League. That was my favorite league that I’ve played in. Against every team, you had to come out and play well every night. That’s something I thoroughly enjoyed. My favorite city I’ve been to was Warsaw. It had a very American feel to it. Everything I needed was around me. There were a lot of people that spoke English, a lot of American citizens, who came through, to interact with.
Omar Prewitt’s thoughts on the way the season is handled and F8 powerhouses
It’s been a tough year. When you’re dealing with COVID I didn’t really have expectations as far as anything. I think the BCL handled the season very well.
There’s something good in having that one-game tournament, too. Win or go home. You’ll get everyone’s best. Everyone’s going to be playing as hard as they can. That definitely adds some excitement for me.
I guess I would say Tenerife [could win it all], just simply off their experience. Or Burgos. They’re playing in the Spanish League, traditionally, you look at those two teams and you probably think they have the best chance. They have high-level guys who have been known across Europe for a very long time. They’re very well-respected. If I had to pick someone, I’d say Tenerife, but at the end of the day, if they get beat in the first round, it won’t be surprising.