“I want to do the best to help the team” Jalen Reynolds Unplugged – Maccabi Tel Aviv’s new center looks ahead!

Maccabi Tel Aviv’s latest signing Jalen Reynolds lands today in Israel and will join the team immediately unto the end of the Euroleague season with an option to extend the big man until the end of the Israeli league campaign. Reynolds arrives after playing in a number of countries including Italy, Spain, Russia and China most recently with Aaron Jackson who just landed as well to help out the Yellow & Blue backcourt due to injuries to Nate Wolters and John DiBartolomeo.

The Xavier product will provide Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s squad with some muscle in the front court due to the absence of the injured Omri Casspi and Tarik Black and will aid Othello Hunter who has been shouldering the load in the paint over the past month.


Just ahead of Reynolds first game for Maccabi on Thursday against Zalgiris, Yakov Meir of Israel Hayom newspaper spoke to the center about a myriad of topics including playing with Jackson and Israeli guard Gal Mekel, having the opportunity to feature in the Euroleague, his childhood in Detroit and coming to play for the Yellow & Blue:

“I know that this is a really important club and the guys before me made the past great and I’m coming to fill in the shoes to help the team and I’ll do the best that I can. I know the fan base is amazing and that the support the team is great.”

Having the chance to play in the Euroleague:
“I know it won’t be a walk in the park and the coaches will make sure that I’m prepared in the right way and that I’m ready to showcase my talent. It’s a very high level and I want to do the best to help the team whether it’s diving for loose balls or grabbing rebounds. I’ll do what the coach needs me to do.”


Friends with fellow new recruits Aaron Jackson:
“When I knew he signed it was a no brainer for me. We have a great connection and we played in China together. It’s always good to have that connection and that we have history together. He’s not just my teammate but a really a good friend of mine, I’m looking forward to playing with him and taking it to the top. He’s a very good player.”

About playing with Gal Mekel at Zenit St Petersburg last season:
“That’s also my brother. We’re very good friends and he’s always trying to take my game and make it better on the court. He’s a great point guard and knows his stuff. He feeds the ball to the big men and he’s a great guy on and off the court. That’s my buddy and he knows his basketball.”


Growing up in Detroit, Michigan:
“I grew up in a household with three boys and I wouldn’t say we had it all but my mother made sure we had enough. I was never one of those kids with a nice fancy car and I had to work for everything that I got and that’s what makes it more special. For me I’m just ready to get there (Israel) as is my family. But I’ll always be there for my brothers and if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Detroit is a tough place and it’s not all glitz and glamour, but fortunately I made it out of there and for that I am blessed.”

How did the tough experiences influence you:
“I think it definitely bettered me as a man and as a dad as I have a daughter. It put me in the position where I don’t want to see my daughter go through what I went through and I want to give her the world and make sure he has everything she needs.”

Other hobbies:
“I like to play video games and I’m a big movie guy and big family guy. I like to be with my family and enjoy my time with them. I’m like a big kid, I just like to have fun.”


Playing with emotion:
“It comes from my passion for the game. I love the game and I love everything about the game. I’m just an emotional player. If you don’t have it in your heart the you shouldn’t be doing it. My emotion shows how passionate I am.”

Joining Maccabi on a temporary contract:
“I’m just going to take it day by day. I’m not looking at the future and I’m focusing on the present. I just want to get in where I can fit in and whatever way that is to help the team, that’s what I’ll do.”


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