10YS: Tell us a little about your journey from getting into basketball at a younger age, and when you finally figured out that you had a chance to play basketball at the highest level.
My journey with basketball, it’s a bit different at first I played baseball thEn soccer.
I was always playing soccer and everyone told me I should play basketball because I was tall I never played basketball. All my friends use to play basketball after soccer break.
I was on the soccer team was really good and played defender.
One day after practice I was shooting the soccer ball on the basketball court out there by myself while waiting on my mom, and from there I fell in love with the feeling when the ball went through the net.
For the next two weeks I started playing ball at lunch time with my friends and a month later I quit soccer to play basketball. I didn’t make the team the first year, but the second year I made the team.
After that I continued to grow and I realized this is what I wanted to do and I had to get off the island. People told me that if I wanted to take basketball seriously and get a scholarship I had to get off the island.
I went to the states and played in a tournament in Miami and was able to get a high school scholarship, and when that happened I promised my mom that I would get a college scholarship.
I busted my ass and I got a scholarship at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi went there for 4 years then started playing pro ball after that. I lived in Houston when I finished college. I played pick up games with players who were playing overseas and NBA and that’s what made me realize I was better than what I thought I was and it was important for me to get into the best situation I could get into.
You have played professionally in a couple other countries France and Japan. What were the biggest lifestyle changes you had to make?
When I went to Japan the hardest thing was the language barrier.
We had a translator to help but one of the biggest adjustments was the food. Sometimes you don’t know what you are eating and the portion sizes are really small.
The atmosphere is very different. The way the people act, they are very clean people, so things we are use to in our culture may offend them and that’s something I had to get used to and embrace the culture and appreciate another part of the world.
I was in Poland also and it got very cold over there.
Was there a particular country you enjoyed the most?
France is where I was at the last 2 years. I really enjoyed France and I was close to Paris and I loved it.
Everyone always wants to go there but the language barrier was the biggest challenge but other than that I loved my time in France with the Big city right next to where I played.
This summer you played against some high level college players. What did you get out of that and long term how do you feel it helps players who are looking to get a professional contract?
Summer of thunder showed me how much more complete of a basketball player I have become and how different the college level is than the pro level.
It was a good workout to stay sharp with my skills, and it shows the players who have aspirations to play college or pro to see the hard work and level you need to be at.
We all thought that you would be headed back to France, but no one ever plans for the unexpected.
What was it like getting a contract offer from POAK?
ZANE: France was where I was the last 2 years and I had some offers from France and definitely was compatible in France.
I was sitting at home training and it was coming towards the end of the summer and I get a call and offer from POAK in Greece, and if anyone knows anything about basketball in Europe they have won a couple of euro leagues in the last 20 years and it’s a strong and respectable organization in Europe.
When they made the offer my day lit up, I was on such a high and with them playing on champions league and being on the fringe of getting back to the power they were I knew it was a great spot.
I spoke to the coach and liked my game, didn’t judge me off my past team results but had a plan for my game specifically for his team and let me know that I had qualities that his team was looking for.
What is it about the team and city you love the most?
The basketball atmosphere here at POAK is great, from off and on the court.
They have great facilities and they are known to have coached some NBA players, Dennis Schröder as the last player who played was coached by Kostas Flevarakis Im learning new things everyday and as a player I appreciate the coaches on giving me tips that will help me succeed.
You are a couple games into the season. What has been the biggest adjustment and how much more comfortable are you logging more minutes as the season progresses?
The city is great, I couldn’t have asked for a better city. It’s almost like Miami, and it’s right next to the water and just the locals are crazy(sic).
It’s just like the USA and everywhere you go people know you. It’s a culture for the fans of POAK. They consider you family and they support the team until the death.
Everyone in the city speaks English and the greek food here is wonderful.
Bahamian Basketball has been growing tremendously over the past couple of years. How does it feel to be a part of the growth of basketball?
ZANE: Bahamas Basketball has grown through the years and im happy to be a part of that. The past summers I’ve been training in the US and this summer I wanted to do it differently and one of the main things is being able to spend more time with my family.
I’m happy to be apart of the National team and I think we are going to do great things and shock people. We have a lot of high level pieces especially having NBA players( BUDDY AND AYTON) and the overseas pros.
We saw that during the Summer you took some time out to help fellow National Team player Kino Burrows. How important is it to give back and be able to not only teach the game, but tell your story to future basketball players, Showing them the great option of playing overseas when an NBA dream doesn’t work out?
ZANE: Kino is my cousin and we both are always trying to give back to the country. You know he started RAW talent and we are trying to find the players who we think have the skills and mindset to be able to go to Europe if the US isn’t an option.
There are a lot of leagues around the world and sometimes it’s about making a living and doing what you love. If you can’t make it to college or NBA you should give it a shot overseas, especially if Europe is an option. You have to have hope because not everyone will be in the NBA.
There are always more options out there and you want the players have hope. Doesn’t matter where you are from in this world once you put your mind to it, there is nothing you can’t do. Only you can stop yourself from achieving your dreams.
How do you pace yourself?
I’m a few games in, averaging a double double and I want to maintain that. It’s a long season and it’s a difficult league to play in.
I just try and go out on the floor and play the best I can. It’s not always about the stats it’s about how well I can do the job that the coaches ask for.
It’s about being focused all the time and taking advantage of the time you get. I play 20 mins and come off the bench and when I hit the floor I make sure I give it my all.
I know we call you the Viking, how did that name come about?
A few years ago when I made the national team they gave me the nickname. I feel like it’s from the way I play on the court and my mentality that I will play until the death.