|"I am the best chef in the championship!" Tom Maayan is ready to cater for his coach and teammates|
After the first six days of competition at the Sportland U20 European Championship in Tallinn, Israel point guard Tom Maayan leads the tournament in assists and his team in steals.
Fibaeurope.com knew that Maayan was born in Montreal, Canada and moved to Israel with his family when he was three years old, but we submitted him to our notorious Half-Court Press to find out more and discover the secret behind his excellent court vision.
How did you start playing basketball?
When I was around six, I started playing for fun with my brothers and my friends and I began to to be good in it so I decided to take it more professionally and play as hard as I can, and I am still doing that now.
Who is your favourite player?
I really enjoy watching Ricky Rubio, he is like a role model to me. We have the same game, I would like to get at the place he is at right now, and I will work hard to get there.
Other than distributing the ball, what are your main strengths?
I can go to the rim, I can attack the basket because I am pretty athletic and I have an advantage over other guards; I still need to work on my shooting, I want to make my three-point shooting and free throw percentage better so I feel more comfortable getting to the line and taking those shots.
This is your last U20 tournament, will we see you at a EuroBasket with the seniors in the future?
I would definitely like to play for the senior national team but I am still kind of young, I have more years to improve and hopefully one day it will come.
Your 20th birthday was just a couple of days before departing for Tallinn, what did you do that day?
I celebrated it with the whole team, we did something nice back home, we had a barbecue all the players together and it was really good.
Speaking of barbecue, what is your favourite food?
I definitely like falafel, which is a traditional dish in Israel, but sometimes I also want to eat things like pizza and hamburgers...
Would you cook falafel if the coach came at your house for dinner?
First of all, I am the best chef in this championship, I can tell you that! I cook ravioli pasta which is the best, I make it really good, and I would definitely cook that for the coach and the whole team.