Shaquielle Mckissic(Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus) Told Sasha Vezenkov ToKeep Going At Halftime As He Exploded For 31 Points In the 84-80 Win Over Alba Berlin

Shaquielle McKissic (196-G-90, college: ASU) is a 30 year old 196cm small forward from Kent Washington playing his 6th professional season and second with Olympiacos S.F.P. Pireus (Greece-Euroleague). Last season he played with Besiktas Sompo Japan Istanbul (Turkey-BSL) averaging 17.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 64.7%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 75.0%; in the Turkish league and in the BCL averaged 16.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 2.8apg, Steals-5 (2.1spg), FGP: 53.8%, 3PT: 36.1%, FT: 76.5%. In 2018-2019 he played with Gaziantep Basketbol (Turkey-BSL) playing 31 games averaging 13.5ppg, 3.2rpg, 2.3apg, Steals-3 (1.6spg), FGP-2 (70.7%), 3PT: 27.7%, FT: 69.3%. He also got further experience playing with teams like Usak Sportlif Basketbol (Turkey-BSL), Herbalife Gran Canaria (Spain-Liga ACB) and Avtodor Saratov (Russia-VTB). In his rookie season he played with Consultinvest VL Pesaro (Italy-Serie A) playing 9 games averaging 15.9ppg, 5.2rpg, 1.4apg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 45.9%, 3FGP: 40.8%, FT: 75.0%, in Dec.’15 moved to Changwon LG Sakers (South Korea-KBL) playing 28 games averaging 16.1ppg, 5.2rpg, 2.0apg, 1.4spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 71.8%. He began his basketball career at N.Idaho JC (JUCO) and played a season at Edmonds Community College (NJCAA). He ten played at Arizona State (NCAA) from 2013-2015 playing a total of 66 NCAA games and as a senior played 34 games averaging 12.4ppg, 4.7rpg, 1.7apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 49.5%, 3PT: 33.9%, FT: 67.4%. He spoke to following the 84-80 Euroleague win in Berlin.

Shaq thanks for talking to germanhoops

.com Congrats on the 84-80 Euroleague win in Berlin. Was this your first time playing in Berlin? What kind of an experience was it playing in the beautiful Mercedes arena?

It was different. The Mercedes arena is one of a kind. I remember having a friendly about 45 minutes away earlier this season. This is one of the most amazing arena’s in the Euroleague.

How disappointing is it seeing such a beautiful arena like this and not seeing it full of fans and having that breathtaking atmosphere?

I have got used to not playing with fans. I really respect the pandemic. It has changed the world forever. I got over not seeing fans in the arena’s quickly. I hope we can find a way to play through it next season with fans.

This was a huge win for Olympiakos Pireus. How realistic are the playoffs for the team?

I think it is always realistic. If we win out the rest of the games we can see what happens. It was tough having these growing pains and having that big losing streak. This Euroleague season has done wonders for me in that I could see how quickly things can change especially during a losing streak

Alba Berlin had the slight lead at the break. What was key for them having the lead?

This is their home and they are super comfortable here. It took us a while to get going. We have done a good job coming together as team this season. We weren’t concerned about their runs.

In the third quarter you guys fought back and retook the lead. What adjustments did the team make especially on the defensive end?

Key was slowing them down as much as possible. We knew that if we could get out on transition more, we could change the dynamics of the game. We did a good job exploiting this and staying aggressive.

In the fourth quarter you broke away and led by 10 points with five minutes to play. They made a 6-0 run and made it very exciting. What was key in the last minutes for you to pull out the win?

Key was staying calm and getting stops and getting to the free throw line. Sasha Vezenkov hit a huge three from the corner that sealed the deal. I was very happy that he hit that shot. If he hadn’t made that shot, it definitely could have changed the game as they had the momentum.

You limited Markus Eriksson to 7 points. How key was he in your game plan after he hit 10 three’s recently?

I played with him at Gran Canaria and know that he is a hell of a shooter. Sometimes guys that had the type of game that he had making 10 three, they tend to be less aggressive in the next game. He was aggressive, but just couldn’t get going. He hit some tough shots. We caught a huge break that he didn’t have a better shooting game.

Sasha Vezenkov exploded for 31 points and 10 rebounds. He had many big offensive plays, but was his block at the end his biggest play?

I don’t know. I think his block was equal with his three at the end. We see him doing this in practice all day. When he gets on a high and gets going it’s over. He never puts himself over others. He played only 26 minutes. He was tired and wanted to come out. He then came back later and made that huge three.

Sasha Vezenkov had his best Euroleague game as a professional. Was this performance something that was bound to happen?

Yes for sure 100%. I couldn’t have been more happy for him. I told him at halftime to keep going. When he plays like that then we are so hard to be beat. It really helps the team when he is so interchangeable at the positions.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber and Shaq Mckissic in Bonn Germany in 2019

You scored 9 points. How content have you been in general with your first complete Euroleague season?

This season has been very fun. I’m just learning to get my feet wet at this level. I’m continuing to understand the Euroleague game. Next year will be my coming out party. I really needed this year to see what is needed to become that impact player.

Did you see Coming To America 2? How did you like it and shouldn’t they just have stayed with the original?

Yes I have seen it. I saw the first one 20 years ago and I showed my wife the first one recently and she liked the second one. The second one obviously wasn’t as good as the first one, but it was good. Overall it was a feel good movie. It wasn’t a complete bomb. I wouldn’t make a third though.

Thanks Shaq for the chat.

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