By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
Explaining his offseason decisions regarding the next step in his career, Achille Polonara also recalled missed opportunities to make it to the NBA.
Polonara, 30, talked to the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport about his career. It has been a long run leading him to Turkey and this summer opting to stay in Istanbul switching from Fenerbahce Beko to Anadolu Efes, despite the interest shown by Virtus Segafredo Bologna.
“Ergin Ataman called me. Explaining he wanted me to help defend the EuroLeague title, with an almost perfect Italian accent, I could not refuse,” he noted, “I was really close to signing with Virtus Bologna but considering the possibility of competing alongside players such as [Shane] Larkin and [Vasilije] Micic cleared all my doubts.”
The Ancona-born forward expanding his career beyond Italy landed him in Kirolbet/TD Systems Baskonia from 2019 to 2021. The next stop was in Turkey as a member of Fener. The last three seasons produced a total of 90 games played in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
“I am 31 years old, not that young anymore. Built my name in Europe,” he replied to a question about a potential move to the NBA, “There have been links to the NBA in the past but I did not want to travel to the other side of the ocean simply to watch other people play. I think it is very difficult to get an opportunity.”
Coming off production of 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.5 blocks per EuroLeague contest at Fener, and before the 2022-23 campaign with Efes, Polonara is determined to help the Italy national team be successful in September’s 2022 EuroBasket and late August’s 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net
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