PAOK and Josh Carter met for the very first time in Smyrna, five and a half years ago. It was a tournament, when PAOK faced Pinar Karsiyaka (champion of Turkey at that time).
Last year he did not manage to face PAOK, as the game that was to take place in Rethymno, was never played due to the pandemic. The Greek Basket League stopped and finally this season it’s time for PAOK and Josh Carter to meet again…
The experienced forward has already talked to coach Aris Lykogiannis, he already knows several things about PAOK and he shared several of them with us in his first interview, at www.paokbc.gr, after his agreement with our team…
-You are coming back in Greece, this time for PAOK. What’s your thoughts about the new chapter of your career?
“I’m excited to be coming back. It’s always a blessing to be able to have a job doing what you love especially during a pandemic. So I’m excited to be back on the court playing for a historic program like PAOK”
-Did you talk with coach Lykogiannis? What did he asked from you?
“Yes I talked with him. I played against him last year a few times during my time in Rethymno. Regular season and during a scrimmage and played well. He told me he liked my game. Wants me to come and play my game help create for myself and others and just help the team keep improving and winning games”.
-It was difficult and strange year for everyone because of coronavirus. Are you in a good shape after long time without playing basketball?
“I have been training during the break. Lots of conditioning and individual basketball work with my trainers. I will need some time for sure to get back in 5 on 5 rhythm but that rhythm will come quickly. I’ve played this game for a long time so I know what to expect. It will be about getting my body back used to the intensity, finding my place on the team and getting familiar and comfortable with the plays and teammates”.
-PAOK has very passionate fans, as you probably know. Because of coronavirus, unfortunately we still play without them. An empty arena sounds weird to you?
“Yes. I am well aware of PAOK fans and how great they are. I also had a Greek coach back when I played in Russia Steph Dedas who I still talk with from time to time and he used to always talk to me about PAOK fans. Playing without fans I’m sure will be very strange but I’m sure I will get used to it quickly. I also will have in my mind that our fans are definitely watching and we still want to make them proud. I will say to the fans thanks for the support I’m happy to be a part of PAOK and I hope I can contribute to the team’s success and help us win games”.
Why you choose no23? Because of MJ?
-“Yes. I grew up a MJ fan. I’ve always worn 23 when it is available because of him”.
-You played for Texas A&M, as Elston Turner did as well. You did not play together in college, but you were rivals several times starting in Italy in the 2013-14 season, Siena vs Cremona. Do you know Elston?
“Yes I know Elston very well. We would work out and play together and against each other during summers at A&M. He is still a friend of mine and someone I have talked to and kept contact with over the years. Awesome person and also a great player I am looking forward to playing with him I think we will compliment each other nicely”.
-Do you know any other player from PAOK?
“I don’t know any personally. I played against Griffin and Love last year. Also Kamperidis, I played against him last year and played with his older brother so I heard about him from time to time. The others I do not know but am looking forward to meeting and playing with everyone”.
-What do you remember from this game vs PAOK, back in October 2015?
“I don’t remember too much. I remember my team winning the game and I also remember Steph Dedas calling me and saying I was playing against his brother and that his brother was a better shooter than me. Haha that’s about all I remember”.