Matt Scott is another one of our high performance athletes who lives and plays professionally abroad--he has been in Turkey for six years! Read about his playing experience overseas and his favorite parts about his new home:
Name: Matt Scott
Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey
Current Country of Residence and amount of time you’ve been there: Turkey for 6 incredible years
Current team (other than USA): Sedat Incesu
How and why did you decide to move overseas to play?
MS: My dream as a kid was to be a professional athlete and I'm living that dream everyday. the competition level in Europe is very high year-round and the game schedule is more challenging and demanding since we have games every week. Basketball is my number one priority and by moving overseas and pursuing a career in it proves how important this game is to me.
Is the strategy/game overseas different?
MS: For me, basketball is basketball—it’s universal, and when it is played at a high level with other great athletes, it’s easy to go with the flow. I love to play, I love to strive to be better, and I love to win. My team shares those loves with me so there wasn't much of a learning curve once I got over here.
Is there a community of American players abroad that you keep in touch with?
MS: I share a bond with my fellow national team members. Many of them have played abroad and we keep in touch often. We always have a lot of fun off the court during tournaments when we see each other and I have even enjoyed going to battle with them on the court. Ask Mikey Paye, and Steve Serio about the overtime championship game for Champions Cup. One of the best games I've ever been apart of. Plus we won… haha!
What do you miss most about being in America?
MS: I'm a social guy and my family and friends are what mean the most. I hate missing out on birthdays, graduations, weddings, good days, and bad days…But I'm lucky enough to have an amazing circle of friends and a very supportive family who understands that I can't always be there but still keep contact with me through outlets like Skype and Facebook. Also, the second I make it back to the states we always make up for lost time.
Favorite “traditional” food in your current country?
MS: Iskender kebab!! Baklava!!! I can go on and on about the food here. I love it all
Favorite places to travel in your current city:
MS: Istanbul is a beautiful city. I like to go to places close to the sea when I'm here because I don't get a lot of that back home being a Midwest boy.
Will you be spending the upcoming holidays abroad?
MS: Turkey is a Muslim country so I live in a world where Christmas doesn't exist. I've actually played games on Christmas day. It was difficult at first but this is my job and I love doing it. Lebron plays on Christmas so why shouldn't I?? This year we have national team tryouts very close to the holidays so I may be able to sneak back for a few days and get some Christmas cheer!
How many years have you been playing for Team USA and what has your experience been like?
MS: I made my first national team in 2003 and I've proudly represented in every major tournament since. Playing for team USA is what I'm most proud of. My dream is to put a gold medal around the neck of our country for the 2016 games.
From Team USA member Kaitlyn Verfeurth: What makes you a champion?
MS: My dedication, my willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed and my overall passion for the game.