have a read of the following interview with Ismail from when he stopped over in Geelong on his way to NZ earlier this year - its good to get his point of view and reasoning on things:
alternatively just read these his following answers:
- So what have you been doing since it was announced that you would not be returning to the Supercats?
IM: I had a few more offers once I told Supercats I wasn't going to be able to come back, but I was looking at things short term so I could make it back [to the US] for June/July. I went to Venezuela because they had a good offer and my agent thought it would be a good situation for me. But I went down there, and I think I’m probably spoiled by living in Geelong for the last three years, because you know it was just so different...culturally, and everything was just different. I found myself unhappy there so I was able to get myself out of that contract. Now I’ve committed to go to New Zealand, which I’m looking forward to.
- After you left Venzuela, you had a few other offers from other places in South America - why did you choose New Zealand over say, Argentina?
IM: Mainly because I had just left a situation in Venezuela, South America, where I was a little unhappy. And coming from three years playing in Australia, I thought New Zealand would be somewhere I would be comfortable living. And also enjoy playing basketball. So I went for the place where I can get the best of both worlds, where [the quality of] basketball is good and I’m happy just living.
- There have been a few skeptics who wonder why anyone would "choose" to play in Australia or New Zealand if they have offers from European or South American countries who are known in the basketball world to pay more money. What is your response to this?
IM: Well…the thing about that is…I’ve never….I’m not someone that’s motivated by money. That’s just…I don’t know…I can’t give you an answer why, thats just me, that’s just who I am. And what you gotta understand is when you’re playing professional basketball, you’re only playing for a small amount of time when you play somewhere like Europe, but you’re THERE for the whole entire time. You’re there six, seven, nine months wherever you are. So you need to go somewhere where you’re happy, somewhere you’re comfortable, somewhere you like the place – because if you’re unhappy you’re just not going to play well, that’s just plain and simple. So with me, I’ve always picked places where I was happiest, where I think, “I could live there.” You know? And on top of that, I do a lot outside of basketball. I don’t play basketball to make a “good” living, I play because I love it.
- So after the New Zealand Basketball League season is over, what next?
IM: Still sticking with the same plan. Still focused on getting on a summer league team. Im gonna start right away training, I wont take any time off after the season. I’m actually gonna train here in Geelong for two weeks after it, then I’m gonna head back to Atlanta and continue my training, and just hope that then I’ll get the call…no, not hope, coz this is gonna happen. Everything will work out this time, and I’ll get on a team, and then later I’ll make an NBA roster