Alec Peters is currently playing on his 4th EuroLeague team in four seasons. He often jokes that by the time he will finish his career, he will put on the jersey of every EuroLeague club. But with changing teams and environments also comes experience. That is something that Alec brings to the table alongside his big personality and unquestionable basketball quality.
Those were also prime reasons why he became a frontrunner for one of the open spots on ELPA’s Players’ Board, which serves as the highest body of the association. He was officially elected on the Players’ Board during ELPA General Assembly, prior to the current season.
Alec took the time to answer some questions regarding his career, the ELPA and the future of the competition.
You started your professional career in the NBA before coming to Europe. What were the biggest differences you’ve noticed? What was most challenging?
When I arrived for my first Euroleague season in Moscow I tried not to have too many expectations. I knew everything was going to be new to me and I didn’t want to make any assumptions. I just wanted to get into the routine as fast as possible. The big differences I noticed, after being in the USA all my life and playing one year in the NBA, were things in everyday life that were second nature to me at home but now I had to relearn and get used to doing it in a completely different country. Things like going to the grocery store, getting to practice every day, having to ask for translation for a number of things. All things that were easy to me in the USA were hard for that first month or so. Basketball was the easy part because I looked forward to going to the gym and doing what I knew how to do.
You are now a member of the ELPA Players’ Board. How important is it that players are united and have their own representatives who put the players voice in front of different stakeholders?
The players are the most important part of the basketball business. Every serious league needs to reflect that. Without great players that we have, we don’t have the following or supporters or the product that is the EuroLeague basketball. As players we need to understand that and capitalize on it. Uniting and becoming a strong singular voice is a start to becoming what the players should be. We should be part of the decision making and in some instances we need to be given the power to make changes and decisions that we know can work. Players nowadays are smarter than get credit for and sometimes it gets overlooked how credible and informed we are.
You’ve played in Russia, Turkey, Spain and now Greece. How do you feel about the love for the game in these countries?
I love every country that I have played in. Each one had a different feel and love for the basketball and the players. Here in Greece I feel the love on such a larger stage than I have ever felt before. The supporters and fans have been remarkable towards me and welcomed me from the day I signed to play here. Good or bad the love for Olympiacos in Greece is unmatched. It just makes it infinitely better when the team is winning and aiming for championships.
Which crowd was the craziest?
I still remember my very first road game as a EuroLeague player. It was when I was playing for CSKA Moscow and we traveled to Tel Aviv for my first away game. The arena might not be the biggest but I’ll never forget the first time I experienced a crowd that was loud from start to finish. I remember going to the free throw line in that game and I thought the basket was shaking. I had never seen a crowd like that. Since then I’ve been a part of some great atmospheres.
Where do you see the Euroleague in 5 or 10 years?
I believe that Euroleague will continue to grow and have more than 20 teams in the best and biggest markets in Europe and nearby. I expect there will be about 60-70 regular season games and then the full playoffs. No more long, drawn out seasons with periods of down time. Standards will be raised even more in terms of travel conditions, gameplay, scheduling and infrastructure. If you believe you are the best basketball product in Europe then you need to own it. And I think the EuroLeague can get there.