Freimanis: "It all comes down to our teamwork"

Kalev/Cramo’s Rolands Freimanis was dominant throughout November and to no surprise, became the second player to win the BBL monthly MVP award this season.

 

The 26-year-old played a key role in helping Kalev/Cramo stay undefeated in the month of November, as they faced two of the top teams in Group A. Throughout those two games, Freimanis averaged 19 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

BBL.net had a minute with Freimanis and he was happy to tell us a bit about his team's mentality, his training regime and his Latvian national team experience.

Congratulations on the achievement, Rolands! What does an award like this mean to you?
I’m happy that I received this award and it’s clearly a big honor for me. But I want to say thanks to my teammates and coaching staff, who put me in the position to succeed. And only because of them we started the season so well.

As you mentioned, Kalev/Cramo has had a terrific season so far, winning all their games in the Baltic Basketball League and the Estonian League, while displaying solid results in the VTB League. What has been the key to this success?
The key to our success is that we are working hard and trying to get better every single day. We play hard on defense and try to apply our strengths on offense. The coaches do a great job guiding us, motivating us and trying to prepare us for every game as well as possible. It all comes down to splendid teamwork.

In three adjectives, how would you describe the Kalev/Cramo team? 
We’re aggressive defensively, confident in our capabilities and a group of guys who never give up.

What do you think is the ceiling of this team and what are your expectations for the year – both personally and as a team? 
Our main goal is to give 110% every game no matter who our opponent is and fight till the very end. I believe we can accomplish big things this year in every league we are playing. Personally, my main goal is to help the team achieve as much as possible and just help the team win.

You played in the third division of Spain just a couple of years ago, later moved to Italy’s top league, played in the Eurocup with Khimik. Now you compete in a couple of international tournaments with Kalev/Cramo. What direction do you see your career moving in in the next couple of years? What are your aspirations and goals? 
It’s hard to say really. I try to take it day by day and just get better every game. I think I have everything required to become a really good player. All I have to do is stay focused and work hard.  

You’ve also played for the Latvian National Team for the last half of a decade. What does this opportunity mean to you and how has it helped your game? 
First and foremost, it is a very big honor for me and I love everything about the Latvian national team. We grow year by year and I believe that the best is yet to come for Latvian basketball. 

Who was your basketball idol or role model growing up? Whose game style do you take after? 
My number one guy is Kobe Bryant, but I try to be myself and work on it both on and off the court. 

Talking about your game – where do you think you need the most improvement and what has been the focal point of your practices throughout the season and over the summer? 
I need work on my defense and rebounding. While I think I’ve gotten better in both these aspects, there is still a lot of room for improvement. During my summers I try to work a little bit on everything, but this year my focal point was my post game. 
 
And last but not least – the fans. Kalev/Cramo is second in attendance with over a thousand fans lining up for every game. How much of a boost does it give to the players when you know you’ve got such a big group chanting and cheering for you?
The fans here in Tallinn are great! It may be a bit cliché, but they really are our 6th man on the court! No matter what, we can feel their support each and every game. It’s safe to say that Tallinn loves basketball!