Willy Workman again impressed on Monday night helping his team to victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the semifinals of the Israel Basketball League with lots of hustle and hard work. He spoke to the Sports Rabbi about what the keys to the Greens success have been during the playoffs.
“We didn’t preach anything differently than we have all season. We were aggressive and energetic and that’s it. That’s been our motto for us this season, stick together and bring great energy. We aren’t the biggest budget in the league, we win games by grinding it out and playing with more heart.”
It looked like you added that little extra hustle as you do each and every game, but how can he keep up that consistency:
“Well, I disagree, there are a lot of skills in basketball that players utilize, obviously shooting is the most recognized one of them all, but there is a lot of skill you can’t duplicate every day. But even though we are human we can replicate energy and mindset. That is my game. That’s why I’ve had success and it’s why I am a professional basketball player, heart and hustle.”
Do you think you wanted this game more than Maccabi?
“There is no way to be able to say that. I don’t know many of their players and their mindset, but we can just worry about ourselves. There is a synergy and interconnectivity between teammates and that’s the real job, not to bring just you up but bring each other up. If everybody holds the shield for the guy next to him, then everybody is covered.”
Molding and building the team to maximize its potential:
“I mean it started last summer, when we signed who we signed. There is wiggle room in every skill, but playing hard, together and for your teammates is also one of them. They are skills just like shooting. Certain players have that in their nature and we signed guys that we know are going to give to the team and connect the team. Starting in the summer, you preach it, you practice it, it’s a thing you have to work at and practice just like shooting.”
Thursday night Haifa faces Jerusalem for the league title:
“Humans have a short memory. If we lose the championship, the story of the season is not going to be how we won in the semi-finals, that is not how people think, they remember the championship game. Od Pam, Arbayim Dakot, Lets get it.”