Our former player Marques Green, who played for Fenerbahçe in the 2008-09 season, told Ayberk Acar from Salon Tribünü crew about his career, his season with our jersey and his playing habits.
• Dear Marques Green, thank you very much for accepting our interview offer as Salon Tribünü crew. It will make us very happy to be interviewed by a valuable person like you. Let’s move on to the questions. You were born on March 18, 1982 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA. What was your childhood and youth like? How did you get into basketball?
My childhood was great. I was always busy. With sports and going to church and just hanging with friends and family it was great. My family always did Sunday dinner after church and celebrated holidays together. With my friends the neighborhood that I lived in was always busy with things to do. I loved it. I got into basketball because of my dad and just because everyone was playing all sports in Philly.
• Norristown High School, St. After your adventure at Bonaventure College, you didn’t find what you were looking for in the 2005 NBA draft. How would you describe this period?
After high school and college, I just wanted to be an professional honestly. When I graduated in 2004, I was upset about the NBA like most people. But I didn’t have too much time to dwell on it because I wanted to get ready for life in France.
• After this process, you came to Europe and had a successful period. You fought in France between 2004 and 2006. Then you made your way to TED Ankara College. What would you say about these years and your transfer to Turkey?
During the years of 2004 and 2006, I was just hungry to build my career. I had many good veteran people helping me and showing different ways I can get better. My family really helped too with supporting me and I started to embrace the European lifestyle.
• In 2008, you signed a contract with Fenerbahçe, headed by Bogdan Tanjević. Would you like to tell the story of this transfer?
With Fenerbahçe, my coach in 2008 in Italy Matteo was a great friend of Bogdan Tanjević, so thats how the transfer came about. I really wanted to play on a high level and in EuroLeague, so that’s how it happened.
• After coming 3rd place in the 2008-09 EuroLeague regular season Group C, we were unsuccessfully eliminated from the Top 16 groups. How do you evaluate the team and your own performance? What do you think went wrong in the EuroLeague that season?
That year we really had a chemistry problem along with injuries also. It was unfortunate, because I felt we had a really good team.
• Again in the same season, under the leadership of coach Tanjević, we lost the championship to Efes Pilsen in the final series, which was marred by a doping scandal, although we were ahead 2-0 in the Turkish League. What would you say about this series and Tanjević?
Yes, that series really hurt. Being up 2-0, I think we stopped doing what we did in the first two games. I didn’t play good either so I take fault in that series for sure.
• The matches played against Galatasaray and Efes Pilsen in your period were always tense and competitive. As a player who took the field in these matches, what were the things that remained in your mind? How important do you think it was for the team and the fans?
Those matches were the best. The fans of Fener were great as always. The mindset is really just to make plays to win the game no matter what.
• During the two seasons you spent in Fenerbahçe, you played with names such as Damir Mršič, Willie Solomon, Devin Smith and Ömer Onan. Who was your favorite player to play with and team up with?
I can never say any teammate is the best. All are great and bring different things to the team and to myself which I appreciate for sure.
• What were your thoughts about the atmosphere and the fans in Abdi İpekçi Sports Hall when you wore the Fenerbahçe jersey? In the rest of your career, you played against Fenerbahce. What was it like playing against Fenerbahçe?
Yes my first encounter with Fenerbahçe was as an opponent, but if I can remember the fans weren’t allowed at the game so it wasn’t the same atmosphere. But yes when playing there its a certain feeling that is really unmatched. You always felt like you would win there.
• Have you had any regrets in your career?
Only regrets in my career… Of course is winning more games.
• Who are the names that contributed to your success in basketball?
Those who contributed to my success first and foremost is my father and grandfather, because they instill in me the discipline, hard work and dedication thats needed to be a professional. I have had coaches and mentors such as Binky Johnson and Mike Fink also who helped my game to develop and my mental. Also the late John Hartnet really helped shaped my game on the professional level.
• Considering that you have won assist leaderships in Italy and Turkey, we know that your assisting side is quite strong. Who was your favorite player to assist? And how would you describe Marques Green on the field?
I have always loved to pass the ball. It’s a science within itself. I don’t have favorites with that. I just really love getting all players involved in the game. It makes me happy when everyone on the team is happy with their production.
I would describe myself as kind of a dog on defense. Always trying to disrupt the other team in many ways. And on offense kinda like a coach on the court. Almost like a surgeon. Making sure everything is perfect in a sense.
• As you know, our Fenerbahce has taken a big leap forward in the last fifteen years and brought the EuroLeague trophy to our museum and has become one of the giants of Europe. How do you see the process and the situation of our team this season?
Yes I have always followed Fener the last few years. Unfortunately this year I haven’t so much, because I am really busy. But I will always have a love for Fenerbahçe.
• Finally, what is your message to us Fenerbahçe fans?
Thanks for everything with my experience.