Billy Baron: 'Playing at Pionir was a blast'

Nov 06, 2018 by Billy Baron - Belgrade, Serbia Print
Billy Baron: 'Playing at Pionir was a blast'

So far our EuroCup season is off to a solid start. It is nice to be first in the group now, but what is also nice is that we have so much room to improve. I believe last week against Galatasaray was our team's most complete game of the season. Everyone contributed to it, especially the fans. Playing at Pionir when the fans were as enthusiastic as they were made the game a blast.

"When the game actually started, the adrenaline that went through my body was something I had never experienced."

I always heard about how crazy the fan base was here and how much they love their team, but when the game actually started, the adrenaline that went through my body was something I had never experienced. The reputation this team has, along with the amount of fans and the goals to win titles all drew my wife and I to make the move to Belgrade for this season. So far she loves it (for every married man out there you know how important that is). We have been able to experience the Serbian culture along by walking around the city and mingling among the people who have welcomed us with open arms.

Basketball plays a major role in this country and you'll figure that out very fast. Between us and Partizan, almost every person is following a basketball team. Coming from a basketball family and growing up in the game, it is nice to see how big the sport is here. My father was a college basketball coach for over 30 years and coached at a few different schools and used to make trips over to Serbia to scout some players. From a young age I knew how popular basketball was here and how many good players the country produced, so when signing the contract to play for Red Star, I knew that it was a big deal to come here and put this jersey on.

"The hunger to win a title is much stronger than it has ever been."

Being in my fifth season in Europe, the hunger to win a title is much stronger than it has ever been. When Coach Tomic called me this summer, we spoke about what my role on the team would be and what he would expect from me. When I hung up the phone I immediately called my wife and told her we were going to Belgrade. My brother won the EuroCup back in 2013 with Lokomotiv Kuban, and ever since then I knew that was something I needed to do. That is the goal for our team, and not only do we have talented players, but also guys who enjoy being around each other. When you spend 9-10 months with each other, getting along is very very important. This season hopes to be an exciting one in Belgrade. Stay tuned!