Hapoel Jerusalem visits the Antwerp Giants on Wednesday night in Belgium on Champions League Gameday 3. To get ready for the upcoming clash The Sports Rabbi had a conversation with the Antwerp captain Dave Dudzinski about playing in Belgium, the club’s expectations and much more!
1) What does it mean to you to be captain of the team?
I enjoy having a leadership role with this young team. It makes me a better player because I know I need to set an example with the way I act, on and off the court. It’s also important for the guys to hear my voice every day, both when we are doing well and when we are not.
2) How has the experience playing in Belgium been?
Belgium has been great for me. The organization in Antwerp is very professional and we have set some ambitious goals for ourselves. Antwerp is a great city to live in.
3) How has that compared to other countries you’ve played in?
Every other country I played in seemed to lack something in a way Belgium doesn’t. The league, organization, and lifestyle in Belgium are all really solid. In other countries, one or more of those things have been missing. I’m glad to be here for the second year, especially with this opportunity in the Champions League.
4) What are your thoughts about playing Hapoel Jerusalem with players such as Amare Stoudemire and James Feldeine?
Jerusalem has a very talented squad from top to bottom. These games are the reason we worked so hard to get into champions league, to play against the best. Those two guys I’ve watched for a few years. James has a great story that all of us can relate to because he started in a lower league from a mid major college and has played at the top of Europe. Amare is Amare, I saw him play when I was 12 years old (2004) in Phoenix. I even found the box score!
We will treat him like any other player though and scout him for his current strengths and weaknesses.
5) What are your goals both domestically and internationally this season?
Last year we made it to the finals of the Belgian playoffs and this year we have the goal of winning it all. For the international competition, we would like to advance into another round, which means finishing top 6 in our champions league group. Right now the most important focus is on the work it takes to accomplish those things. At the end of the competition, we will see where all of that work takes us.