With the European Championships right around the corner Joe Bestwick took the opportunity to shoot a few Quick-Fire questions at some of the guys who’ll be battling it out in Poland.
Part 3 // Ian Sagar (Great Britain)
Who will be your toughest opponent at the Euros and why?
“I think this will either be Turkey, Spain or Poland. Turkey always seem to turn it on for the Europeans, and always seem to face GB in the final. We just played some games against Poland and they’re looking really well rounded, they’ve got three great shooters and their guards finish really well inside. They just seem to make points and keep chipping away, or last test game against them was 92-85, which just shows you have to try and out score them, which is tough. Spain are just powerhouses, a team of big brute powerhouses, so for a centre like me it’s tough, so our shooters will have to do a good job that day to open up space for our big guys.“
Name one coach/player/opponent who has shaped your career the most
“That’s easy, Simon Munn. He was just a big, strong, angry man, who kept it simple, pushed his bits off, got down the floor and just scored points. He was a legend for about twenty years, then I had the pleasure to play with him for ten years, and he retired a legend. He was my roommate too, and not many people can say that they had their sporting idol as a roommate!”
If you could be another player for a day who would it be and why?
“For me that’s a toss up between Patrick Anderson and Phil Pratt, but I think I’ll have to choose Phil. He just moves so effortlessly, the things he can do in his chair are ridiculous, the way he can take a power push and a dribble. I’d love to have those skills for a day.
Outside of your team’s goals, what are your personal goals for the European Championships?
“I want to play a lot of minutes, and even though I’ve taken some family time away from GB I want to have a big role. It’s a different team now with all these young guys who know each other so well, and I want to fit in with and be a part of that. I’ll just take it training by training and game by game, but that’s my goal. I don’t need to be top scorer or a super star, I want to set screens and create space for my teammates like I did in Rio, but now for this new team of young guys.”
Who is your most annoying teammate and why?
“The most annoying to play against in training is Harry Brown. He’s just impossible to play against. He’s so quick and the way he controls his chair makes him impossible to pick, and on top of that he just never relents or seems to get tired, just pushing all the time. “
Who’s going to win gold and who will be MVP?
“We are going to win gold. I’ve won it three times, but the last time I lost in the final to Turkey, so this time I want to get revenge and get our title back. The MVP is difficult as the most important player for GB is Phil. He plays the most minutes, has the ball in his hands the most, he dictates our style of play, so he’s the most important to us. But the current World Championship MVP Gregg is just an assassin. When he’s on fire he just makes so many points so quickly. He catches the ball and “bang”, shot’s up, points, “bang”, shot’s up, points. So it’s difficult but I’m going to give it Gregg just for his assassin abilities, and because other teams have to jump him so hard and so early that I can get inside and do my job.”
Text & Interview: Joe Bestwick | Photo: Steffie Wunderl