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Kaspars Berzins: “Enjoyed the atmosphere of the team; want to come back with full power”


Kaspars Berzins.

OlyBet Latvian-Estonian Basketball League player of the month in November – BK “Ogre” centre Kaspars Berzins. 33 years old Berzins helped his team to win four out of four games in November and to step up to the 4th place, by scoring on average 16,3 points, winning 8,3 rebounds and reaching an average effiency of 23,5.

A few years ago, when the Ogre team became involved in the Latvian Basketball League, the club makers said that they wanted to involve as many Ogre Basketball school players as possible, but Kaspars Berzins would be hard to get. However, this season you started in the Ogre roster and it was a surprise to many. You yourself too?


Definitely no! Ogre is my hometown. Two years ago I played some games and also trained together with the team when it was necessary after injury. Before this season we agreed that I'm not tied very closely, but also do not walk away to the first hint of a little finger. I will react to offers that are not able to refuse. I enjoyed the time spent in the BK Ogre and everything that has happened now means that I will continue to enjoy it again - when I will be able to get involved in team training and maybe even in the games.


On the sidelines, it seemed that you needed time to really get into the team and OlyBet Latvia-Estonia league as the performance improved from game to game.


Yes, it was so. Replacing the environment requires an adaptation time, but in order to play well, I need to feel good, confident. Also, it took time for the physical form to reach 100%. When that happened, I was able to help the team even more.


Which game is the most memorable for you?


It seems to be very first one (against Parnu Sadam). When we put our hands together before the start of the game, I said it is the right time to introduce spectators to the new team. We all played together very well and I succeeded in a move that was not previously typical for me – blocked opponents throw, then crossed the whole court and dunked ball in the basket with a penalty. It was a good tone for the whole season.


The “coast to coast” dunk was also one of the highlights against “TALTECH” in November – moreover, it was in time when team really needed some points. Do you feel yourself in this kind of basketball?


You can say so. If the coach does not allow me to do anything - shoot, dribble or anything else - maybe I'm frustrated, but I try not to do it. Coach Artūrs Visockis-Rubenis wants us to play as fast as possible, so if there is no opportunity to make a pass immediately after the rebound, I can take the initiative and go ahead by myself.  If I’m allowed, I try to improve my skills and show them into action.


In BK “Ogre” roster you have many players from city’s basketball school, but from different generations.  Is there any “brand” that unites you all to help understand each other on the court?


It's not that Ogre plays basketball in a completely different way than elsewhere. The style of the team and the character is largely determined by the head coach. Visockis-Rubenis is trying to create a team of fighters who do not look at the scoreboard, but gives all the energy and strength in every episode of the practice or game. It’s an atmosphere that I really like, because I’m used to give myself all out in practice or game. That’s why playing in this team makes me feel so good.


Does the connection with your peer Rinalds Sirsnins has still remain from the time of the Youth League?


I do not know if this can be called a special connection, but when playing with Rinalds, I know I have to be ready all the time that the ball can suddenly be in my hands in a very handy situation. It’s nice to play together. Of course, there are also disagreements and some disputes, but new solutions arises only in the dialogues.


How do you like playing in OlyBet Latvian-Estonian Basketball league?


As a professional basketball player, I have always wanted to play at the highest possible level. By combining the best Latvian and Estonian teams, tournament level is certainly higher than of the Latvian League. It's interesting and challenging to go to Estonia and host their teams in our home.


Is there something specific to Estonian basketball?


I don’t think so. Of course, every player is personality and individuality, but it has no relation to the nationality. Good basketball is a good basketball, no matter where and who plays it.



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