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Smush Parker: "I came to Mongolia with intention to become champion"

Smush Parker is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Mon-Altius Madimos Falcons (Mongolia) of the Mongolian National Basketball Association. He arrived in Ulaanbaatar in January and played for Mon-Altius Madimos Falcons for three months.
We are delivering you the short interview with him.
Why did you choose to arrive in Mongolia?
I chose to play in Mongolia because I have never been here before. I wanted to play some places I have never been. I wanted to discover something new, meet new people and learn a new culture and life. Mongolian team contacted with my agent and asked me to play for their team. So, that`s how me and Mongolia came together.
Please share on your first impressions when you landed in Mongolia?
My impression when I arrived here was cold and snowing. But I was excited, because I was in a new land and I discover new environment and new life. I was very excited and took lots of pictures.
So, you arrived in Mongolia during Lunar New Year?
Yes. There was great experience for me to being part of Lunar New Year here in Mongolia. My neighbor invited me into his home. His parents were in Mongolian traditional costumes and there was lots of food and big lamb on the table and crowded with kids and relatives. It was very nice.
How many families did you visit during Lunar New Year?
Only my neighbor.
Lunar New Year has tradition to give present to their visitors. What was your gift from your neighbor?
My neighbor`s mother gave me a bag with leader gloves and magazine on Mongolia.
What was the most exciting or difficult thing during playing for Mongolian league?
Difficult thing to play in Mongolia is a language barrier. I do not speak Mongolian. The communication between teammates, coaches and fans was difficult. 
The most exciting time during my play for Mongolia was when I first arrived here, I played for “All Star” weekend. Lots of people come around and they supported the game. They were excited to take pictures.
What would you advise to youth of Mongolia, who are thinking to become basketball player?
I would suggest them, if they want to be good, they should focus more on little things like the techniques of basketball, not so much as the big things, the fundamentals. Most of them do not take the time on learning proper technique.
How was playing for Mon-Altius Madimos Falcons?

As I said before, the difficult thing being in here is language. It was fun. Unfortunately, we lost in first round. As a player, I wanted my team to play for the second round and I wanted to become a champion. Hopefully, I was able to help the young guys of my teammates to be better basketball players as I am older than them and I was playing for NBA and I travelled the world.
Sanchir is one of the best three players in Asia. How was playing with Sanchir?
It was interesting to play with him. It reminded me to play with Kobe. As a basketball player, he likes to shoot and he likes to score just like Kobe. It was almost a déjà vu like playing with same player.
As being a professional basketball player, how would you rate Mongolian basketball players? What is their advantage?
Advantage of the Mongolian basketball is that it is really new and it is growing, getting bigger and players are also getting better. With time Mongolian basketball can be competitive to the world, they can compete with other Asian teams or Asian countries. There are lots of good players here with a potential of a lot of growth.
How about disadvantages?
Disadvantage is being new. They need to travel more or have more outside influences. For example, I played in China for two years. They sent the coaches travel to US every summer and they study American culture and American basketball. They come back during the season and they teach the players what they learned in America. In China, they even hire American and European coaches and they hire American and European trainers. Chinese league is growing because they bringing outside experience into their league. Mongolia should decide to do something like that, they have a lot of room to grow.
Thank you for the interview and good luck to you.
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