Andrew Wisniewski is a 28 year old 191 cm guard playing his first year for top European club Maccabi Tel Aviv.
He is originally from New York and played at Centenary from 2000-2004. In his senior year he played 28 games averaging 21.9ppg, 3.5rpg, 4.3apg.
He then went overseas and started his professional basketball career with KK Crvena Zvezda Beograd in the Adriatic League playing 23 games and averaging 12.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.3apg, 2.4spg, FGP: 50.8%, 3FGP: 31.2%.
The next season, he went to Germany to play for The Telekom Baskets Bonn playing 32 games averaging 20.6ppg to lead the BBL 2.8rpg, Assists-5(4.2apg), 1.5spg, 2FGP: 56.4%, 3PT: 40.0%. He also played 6 FIBA Europe Cup games averaging 13.5ppg, 3.3rpg, 2.8apg, 1.2spg, 2FGP: 51.4%, 3FGP: 37.5%, FT: 64%.
In 2006-2007, he started in Italy for Amatori Snaidero Udine, but soon left to play for KK Cibona VIP Zagreb where he played 47 games averaging 12.3ppg, 2.2rpg, 2.8apg, 2.1spg, 2FGP: 66%, 3FGP: 43%, FT: 76%. In 2007-2008, he went to Russia to play for Ural Great Perm where he played 10 FIBA EuroCup games averaging 10.4ppg, 2.7rpg, 4.3apg, 2FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 35.5%, FT: 82.9%; and in the Russian League playing 23 games averaging 15.7ppg, 5.1rpg, Assists-4(4.6apg), 1.3spg, 2FGP: 58.3%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 85.1%. In 2008-2009, he stayed in Russia, but moved to Spartak St.Petersburg playing 26 games averaging 14.4ppg, 3.6rpg, Assists-4(4.2apg), 1.4spg, FGP: 60.5%, 3PT: 42.5%, FT: 84.9%.
Andrew spoke to German Hoops after a team practice in Frankfurt.
Andrew, welcome back to Germany. How does it feel to be back and what have you missed the most?
I had a great experience playing in Germany. The Bonn organization was great and so were the fans. I enjoyed every minute of my time in Bonn. It is too bad that I could not contact more people in Bonn, but we are only in Germany for a short time and have little time.
You beat The brose Baskets Bamberg the other night 80-72 in OT. Is there a big difference in the skill level between a Bamberg and a Maccabi Tel Aviv?
I don’t really want to comment on this question other then I think that both teams will be very competitive in their leagues. I told Bamberg coach Chris Fleming after the game that I thought that Bamberg will be very good this team. Bamberg played very hard against us and it was a great experience playing in front of so many people in an exhibition game.
What Bamberg player impressed you the most?
I like Casey Jacobson. He played well, but I also like Brian Roberts. I told him to keep working. I think and you can see that the BBL is a great league where players can advance on too top leagues. I don’t know any players that regretted playing in Germany.
Tomorrow you will play against The Deutsche Bank Skyliners. What do you remember the most from the thrilling overtime game in the Festhalle in Frankfurt in 2005?
I hit the game winning three pointer after we were down by two points. That was a moment that I will always remember. The place was packed and it was just a thrilling win.
You played two seasons in Russia for Perm and St Petersburg. What will always stick in your mind about your two years in Russia?
What I will probably remember most is that it snowed for seven straight months in Perm. In all, Russia was a great experience. I was blessed to play for two teams that were successful and where I played well. The crowds were always good and Russia was atop league if not the best domestic league in Europe. I am happy that I could be there for two years.
It took you five years to reach Maccabi Tel Aviv. Do you recognize a big difference playing for this top team in comparison to your other basketball destinations?
Yes of course I notice the difference. Maccabi is an outstanding place and organization to play for. All the other teams like a Cibona ae recognized in all of Europe, but a team like Maccabi is recognized in the whole world. We will play the New York Knicks on October 18th in Madison Square Garden. But I don’t like to look past the steps that I took to get here. But I have had six great years in Europe and don’t want to discredit any of the other places that I played at. My whole stay in Europe has been great!
Maccabi last won the Euroleague in 2004 and lost in the final in 2006 and 2008. How much pressure is there on you guys to win again?
Well yes and no. The whole Euroleague experience is more like a positive pressure. We just want to play good. Nobody can be perfect. If we stay together as a group than we will be ok in the Euroleague this season.
What kind of coach is Pini Gershon? How ahs he been different to other coaches in your career?
Gershon is a good guy that is very open. He is fun to be around. He is a lot different than the other Eastern block coaches that I had. But every coach is the same to an extent. He likes the up tempo game up and down and scoring in the open court.
Maccabi Tel Aviv has four ex BBL players. That must shed a bright light on the BBL for shaping players?
It does put a good light on the BBL. As I said before the whole BBL experience was fantastic up to the Allstar Game. The BBL is getting better each year.
How does a typical Andrew Wisniewski day look like in Tel Aviv?
I have to take care of my three kids. We like to go to the beach. We live in a nice complex with a pool and playground. After living in Russia this is a nice change for my family. Now we can go out and do more whereas in Russia we mostly stayed in.
You are from New York. Is this the year where the New York Yankees finally win the World Series again after a ten year drought?
I am actually a Met fan. The New York Yankees are playing pretty well. I think this could be the year.
Whatw as the last DVD that you saw?
The last DVD that I saw was Traitor with Don Cheadle. It is a movie about terrorism.
Andrew thanks for the chat. Good luck this season.