Playmaker Taylor Rochestie of Nizhny Novgorod is fully aware that dreams come true. Growing up, he dreamed about playing professional basketball in Europe. He also had the dream of owning his own clothing label. Nowadays, Rochestie is a Euroleague star with Nizhny Novgorod and has his own company, Rock Out Be You. He will tell us all about his team — and surprise us with some crazy trick shots along the way!
Just got home after a long trip back from Sardinia, Italy. Back-to-back road wins in the Euroleague has brought a new outlook and a positive feel into the four remaining games in the regular season. With a tough schedule, we played four of our first six games on the road. As a newcomer in the Euroleague competition, Nizhny Novgorod should feel great with a 3-3 record. The best thing about being in this locker room is that we expected to be here, and we are not satisfied yet with our result. It’s always fun to be the underdog, but you have to play each game with that mentality. Coach has been pushing us to understand this; we have to play harder and smarter than our opponents.
Our momentum started with a road win in Kazan during a VTB League game. We stayed an extra couple of days in the same city to play them again in Euroleague. Winning on the road against such a talented team gave us the confidence we needed to really put together a great month of November. Then going on the road to Sassari, we knew we had to play even harder and not forget that we should always have an underdog mentality. I think Sassari is an environment that all players should get a chance to play in. It’s a small gym, but it gets extremely loud with their loyal and amazing fans. We were very happy and fortunate to leave this place with a W.
Being with Nizhny last season, a lot of people did not expect us to do so well. We won a lot of close games down the stretch. That gave our team, and our players, a lot of confidence and experience that we have carried into this season. Many games already this season have been decided late in the fourth quarter, and our team plays even stronger in the second half. This month we have shown that we can compete at a very high level, and I think it’s because we have different players who have been stepping up for us each game. Khvostov gave us a huge lift in our games in Kazan, controlling the game and dishing out assists, while the return of Kinsey after just a week or two off has given us balance. Between put-back dunks, key three — pointers and solid defense, having Tarence back has jump started our team at a key part of the season.
I could fill pages talking about each player on the team and how important they have been, which is part of our success; a team working together and playing for each other is a dangerous team to play against. We still have our growing pains, suffering big loses in Madrid and Kaunas, but that’s part of the process. We don't have time to do anything except improve and learn from our mistakes. We are still the newcomer in the Euroleague, but we don't plan on playing like it. The next two games for us are against these two teams that have given us our biggest loses, so hopefully we can show that we have improved and become a better team with each week.
Since this is a blog, and I've been asked to talk about the team, I’ll give away the secret weapon to our early success. Enjoying the Game. One of the biggest reasons I came back to Nizhny was the idea of enjoying the game of basketball, on and off the court. Coaches, players, and trainers have created an environment here with great competition in practice as well as enjoying the process. It’s getting pretty cold out here, so I'm happy that I play an indoor sport, and I enjoy each day. I am blessed to play the game that I love.
Thanks for reading, and follow me for more news and things from the team on my social media. Some great trick shots still to come in Instagram and Twitter.
Till next time.