Ilian Evtimov: There Are Always Difficult Moments In Sports, But It Is Never Too Late To Turn It Around For The Fraport Skyliners

Ilian Evtimov is a 28 year old 201 cm forward playing his second season in France for Chalon. He has the French-Bulgarian citzenships and played at North Carolina State from 2001-2006. In his senior year, he played 31 games averaging 10.4ppg, 3.7rpg, 2.5apg, 1.2spg, FG: 45.3%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT. After a short stint with Estudiantes Madrid in 2006, he played at VidiVici Bologna in the 2006-2007 season. He played FIBA EuroCup playing 15 games averaging 6.3ppg, 2.4rpg, 2FGP: 65.4%, 3FGP: 47.1%, FT: 72.2%; and playing15 games in the Italian league averaging 3.1ppg, 2.1rpg. In 2007-2008, he moved to The Deutsche Bank Skyliners playing 10 ULEB Cup games averaging 14.5ppg, 3.4rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 48.3%, 3PT: 40.7%, FT: 85%; and in the German League playing 44 games averaging 13.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 2.1apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 41.4%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 86.2%. In 2008-2009, he continued playing in Frankfurt playing 10 EuroChallenge:  games averaging 8.3ppg, 3.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 45.2%, 3PT: 28.6%, FT: 70.0%; and in the German League playing 34 games averaging 8.5ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 43.6%, 3PT: 38.3%, FT: 74.6%. In 2009-2010, he played for BC Levski Sophia (Bulgaria-NBL): 1 game: 6pts, 5reb, 2ast, 3steals; Balkan League: 1 game: 3pts, 1reb, 1ast, 2steals; in Oct.’09 moved to Proteas EKA AEL Limassol (Cyprus-Division EuroChallenge: 13 games: 10.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 46.8%, 3PT: 45.6%, FT: 83.3%: FT-2(90.9%). Last season, he played for Chalon playing  33 games: 11.6ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.9apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 50.5%, 3PT: 39.8%, FT: 84.2%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.

What was your impression recently of ex Skyliner Eric Chadfield who is leading the French PRO A in scoring?

He is a good player that can shoot and really knows basketball. You notice that he is a real player and has been around for a while.

How did you experience the NBA lockout in France?

The NBA lockout was a good thing French basketball. So many guys came back to play here from the NBA like Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum. This really helped bring media interest for basketball to a new level as it was more in the news.

How comfortable are you in Chalon?

I am very comfortable. I signed a three year deal last summer. We kept many guys and want to continue to build a successful team. We want to win titles.

What has been the key to success with Chalon?

Each guy knows its role and with 90% of the team back, all understand the mechanism of the offense.

You played against Asvel and Tony Parker losing by 23 points. Is Parker playing at 100%, or holding back a bit?

He was holding back a bit at the start, because he was trying to incorporate himself into the team. But now he is the Tony Parker that you see with the Spurs. We were leading by two points at halftime, but our defense slowed down in the second half, and its hard to play catchup against a Tony Parker.

What does Malcom Delaney bring to the table?

He is a great player with NBA potential. He has to learn that in Europe the best quality to have is winning games.

Is your role the same as last year?

Yes it is. Nothing has changed much. I am on the court to shoot the ball and play defense and hit my open looks.

Your ex teammate Greg Jenkins is also playing in France with Le Havre. What is going to be the first thing that you will say when you see him?

I will tell him who is going to win this game old Frankfurt boy.

What will you never forget from your ex teammate Marquez Haynes?

He is a great guy and was always a confident talker in the locker room. He was always cracking jokes. I read your interview with him and how he talked about my dunk against Roanne. We used to call him shorty, which he didn’t like. He always got mad.

Haynes said you never dunk?

I just dunk at the big moments.

Who has been your best opponent in the French PRO A the last two years?

Dylan Page of Roanne. He is a position four player and is a great shooter. When he is hot, he is hard to stop and he can make all kinds of different shots.

How tough is it seeing your ex team Fraport Skyliners at 17th place?

There are always difficult moments in sports, but it is never too late to turn it around for the Fraport Skyliners. They have to stay positive and get on a winning streak.

Have you talked to Jimmy Mckinney about the situation?

Unfortunately I haven´t spoken to Jimmy in a while.

Your ex teammate Dominik Bahiense De Mello is playing for the EWE Baskets Oldenburg. What do you remember most about him?

He is a great and funny guy. I will always remember how I called him J.J Redick, because he has the same shot and when he gets hot, its hard to stop him.

Last summer you became a dad. Do you change the diapers?

I don’t really change the diapers. I let my wife do it, but sometimes I do and I have no problem with it. Having a child is special and everything changes. He is watching my every step. He had his first shooting clinic, a day after his birth.

How will North Carolina State do this year in the NCAA?

They have a good team and will do well. They changed the coach and I am a big supporter of my school.

You are known as a movie buff. What movie tips do you have?

I recently saw Hang Over 2 and thought it was pretty funny. I recently saw Immortals which is  a type of 300 or Gladiator movie. There is a lot of fighting and super powers theme in it.

What was the last DVD movie that you saw?

Assassinating Games. It is with Jean Claude Van Damme. He is hired to kill people. He will be in a Sly Stallone movie soon.

Thanks Evti for the chat.

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