“It always starts with not turning the ball over” Nigel Williams-Goss talks ahead of Real Madrid & Maccabi Tel Aviv

Dec 1, 2021 | Holyland Hoops

Maccabi Tel Aviv ready to face Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday (21:45) in Euroleague Gameday 13 action as the Yellow & Blue will look to put a stop to their two game losing streak. Los Blancos head coach Pablo Laso has his squad playing brilliant basketball and enters the game sporting a 10-2 record good for a tie for first place overall with Barcelona in the continental competition while Ioannis Sfairopoulos’s team are 7-5 tied for 6th.

Nigel Williams-Goss is one of the players that Real brought in over the summer as the club made some wholesale changes to the roster. The guard has been playing a signifiant role for the team and is scoring at a 7.5 points clip in only 16 minutes of action per game.

Nigel Williams-Goss – Photo Credit: Euroleague.net

Just ahead of the classic continental clash, The Sports Rabbi was in touch with Williams-Goss about a myriad of topics from the keys to defeating Maccabi, to his time with the Utah Jazz and Paritzan Belgrade, playing under legendary Israeli coach David Blatt and of course the opportunity to play for one of the top franchises in the world.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for me. I always considered it to be the best club in Europe so to be here it’s just a blessing I try to make the most of every day here.”
Back in the 2018/19 season, the Oregon native played under David Blatt at Olympiacos and had only warm things to say about the 2014 Euroleague champion and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach, “It was great to play for coach David Blatt, obviously, he’s a Hall Of Fame coach and I was the first player he signed when he’s at Olympiacos so for me, it was a great honor for him to sign me. Obviously, it was difficult that year with him getting his sickness and stuff like that but we remain close to this day and I wish him good health in the future.”

Nigel Williams-Goss – Photo Credit: NBA

After attending Washington and Gonzaga, Williams-Goss was selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft with the 55th pick overall. The 27-year old made his debut in the world’s greatest league in the 2019/20 season and played in 10 games with the club.
“I learned a lot with the Jazz. It’s obviously a first-class organization in the NBA, they run everything super professional and being around great veterans like Mike Conley, Jeff Green, and Ed Davis, so many guys I got to learn from, it was a great experience for me.”
Williams-Goss signed his first professional contract with Partizan Belgrade just after being drafted by the Jazz and had the opportunity to play for one of the all-time great basketball clubs that Israeli guard Yam Madar is now playing for.

Yam Madar – Photo Credit: ABA League

“First of all, I think Yam (Madar) is a great player. You know I have a lot of close friends at Partizan and I tell them all the time that I think he’s a perfect piece for the team. You know just to embrace the culture of Belgrade in Serbia, their basketball is crazy over there and if you get everything for the team, the fans the club will appreciate you.”

Many hoopsters these days are into off court fashion and Williams-Goss is one who enjoys that as well, “I think if you follow on social media then you know that I love fashion. Outside of basketball fashion is definitely my biggest interest.”

As for the keys to victory for Real Madrid against Maccabi, Williams-Goss understands that it all starts with taking care of the rock, “For us, it always starts by not turning the ball over if we take care of the ball and give ourselves chance to score points then we’re tough to beat. And then rebounding, I think if we control the defensive glass and turn the ball over we got a good chance to beat anyone.”

Nigel Williams-Goss – Photo Credit: Euroleague.net

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