Barcelona's defensive ace shares his life story with Joe Arlauckas
One of the greatest basketball players ever from Hungary, FC Barcelona Lassa forward Adam Hanga, tells Joe Arlauckas about the road that took him from small-time basketball in Budapest to play for some of the biggest clubs in Spain and become the 2017 EuroLeague Best Defender.
The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas is available on iTunes, Audioboom, Spotify, Deezer, RadioPublic, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, CastBox, Stitcher and other platforms.
Slowly but surely, Hanga worked his way up to become a Hungarian League all-star and then prove himself with Manresa in Spain before Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz signed him to a four-year contract. However, after a year there, while still dealing with a lingering knee injury, Hanga faced a career crossroads when the club decided to send him away on loan.
"I felt really disappointed at the moment because until that point my career was just going up and up... I was climbing the ladder. And now I fall. So, what now?" Hanga said. "I had never experienced a situation like this. What can I do?"
In the end, Hanga found a clinic in Germany that helped address the injury, and his one season with Avellino in Italy put him back on the fast track. He finished the season by rejoining Baskonia for the Spanish League playoffs. He then led the team in minutes played the next season, 2015-16, helping Baskonia return to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four for the first time in eight years.
"It shows that you can never give up. Whatever you want, if you put your mind to it, you can reach it, you can get it. You have to focus on it," Hanga said.
"When I got back to Baskonia, the coach told me, 'You have to play defense.' Okay, if that's what I have to do to get some minutes, I'm gonna play defense. I don't care about offense. If I score two points, I'm very happy. But I'm gonna play defense like it's the last game of my career."
His defense and team-first approach helped turn Hanga into a star. He left Baskonia for Barcelona in the summer of 2017, and now he's shining in the playoffs while looking to reach his second EuroLeague Final Four.
With a one-hour format of exclusive one-on-one interviews, The Crossover with Joe Arlauckas goes well beyond the playing court with each podcast to delve into the life experiences that have made his guests protagonists and legends of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague.
The Crossover has featured some of the greats of the competition, including Vassilis Spanoulis of Olympiacos Piraeus, Nick Calathes of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens and Kyle Hines of CSKA Moscow, coaches Pablo Laso of Real Madrid and David Blatt of Olympiacos, and retired stars Nikola Vujcic of Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv and Robertas Javtokas of Zalgiris Kaunas, among others.