Ilian Evtimov is a 28 year old 201 cm forward playing his second season in France for Chalon already having won 3 French titles. He has the French-Bulgarian citzenship 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 the Chalon 2012 cup win.
Congrats on winning the 2012 French cup. You have won three titles with Chalon in your second season. Does this all feel like a sweet dream sometimes?
Yes it does. It feels great that we could keep the cup in Chalon for a second year. Now we are in the playoffs looking for our third title this season.
When you arrived in Chalon in 2010, did you ever think that you would win so many titles in such a short time?
No not at all. I was very ambitious, because I want to win so much. The titles we didn´t win, we went to the final.
You beat Limoges last season in the cup final 79-71 and this year 83-75. Was the second time easier?
No not a all. The second time was more difficult. Last season they were in PRO A and didn´t have a rhythm. This season they played PRO B and somehow beat three PRO A teams. They were playing with a lot of confidence.
You were MVP of the 2012 French cup final with 28 points, seven rebounds and 8 three pointers. Was this your best game as a professional player?
I think that it was my best game, because the game had much meaning. It was more important that we won the game though.
Would you have liked to have shared your MVP trophey with Blake Schilb who had 24 points?
Yes not only with him but with all my teammates. I want to thank all my teammates for putting us into position to score so much. However the win was a collective effort.
Where would Chalon be without Blake Schilb?
I don´t know, but he is the motor of the team. He scores and creates for us. He is very important for the success of the team and a reason why he was MVP of the PRO A this season.
Did you dedicate the cup win to your son Alexander?
Yes of course. I want him to remember one day that this win was for him.
Were you in the zone on this day with your 28 point performance?
Yes I was. I made my first shot and missed my second shot, but we got the offensive rebound and I got the ball right back making the shot. From that point on, I knew it would be a good game for me.
Chalon swept Roanne 2-0 in playoffs. What was key for advancing to the semi finals?
We played them 10 times this season and knew what to expect. We limited Dylan Page in the paint which was key.
Chalon next plays Orleans in the semi finals. You beat them twice by 11 points and 33 points. Is there a risk of underestimating them?
No there isn´t. Coach has told us that we can´t think that this will be easy. They are a good team that finished in third place this season. They are a physical team and we have to remember that the series is at 0-0.
How much of a challenge is it playing against Brian Greene who you played against as a rookie with Frankfurt in 2007 when he was with Cologne.
Greene is a good player, but they use him at the position three. I will have a good matchup against Sy Amara. They play very good collective basketball. We can´t focus in on one guy. They have many that can score 10-12 points.
You played two seasons with Skyliner Jimmy Mckinney. What advice would you give him on staying for a seventh season in Frankfurt?
This is a situation where Jimmy wants to stay and the Skyliners want to have him. Jimmy Mckinney has been a role model for the Skyliners for 6 years and I hope the Fraport Skyliners make the right decision to keep him. Jimmy seems to have been there almost as long as Pascal Roller.
What are your NBA semi final predictions?
I think that the Spurs will get past the Thunder. The Spurs have more experience and I really like Tim Duncan. I am really rooting for the Celtics. It will be nice seeing old school vs new school with the Miami Heat. I would like to see an old school matchup Spurs-Celtics.
What was the last DVD movie that you saw?
The Avengers. It was a great movie with a lot of action.
Thanks Evti for the chat