“If a coach like Xavi Pascual is calling, it’s impossible to reject”

3 October 2022
“If a coach like Xavi Pascual is calling, it’s impossible to reject”

This summer, a scout Kuzey Kilic joined our club. We asked him a few questions about his job and a move to Saint Petersburg.

– Kuzey, can you describe your job as a scout? What do you do?

–My job is basically watching basketball, reading and writing about basketball, and talking about basketball. As a scout, I have to follow every basketball competition in the world. With the technologic conditions we have in nowadays world, there is no player that you can define as hidden gem. You can use only YouTube or scouting devices to watch any player from either NBA or Puerto Rico League.

So, my job is following players that can be option for our team in every position. Most of the watching is on computer but when time comes on to watch a player live, a scout needs to travel to see the player in person. It is not only about watching and writing; as a scout, I need to communicate with the coaching staff & front office & teammates of the players. Players skills always important but factors such as personality, work ethic, off court life, mentality, medical history… these are the things that make difference about many players.

Basically, my job is knowing players all-around – at least trying to. Also, staying updated on new developments on basketball, following them, and creating archetypes for the players is quite important when it comes classifying level of the players.

– What about the within-season work? What does it look like?

– Main work is having a list that I name “urgent list”. That means, every scout has to have a list just in case of any injury. Let’s say if any player gets injured – hope no… – in our team for long term, I need to give options immediately for that player’s position. The other job is watching all European competitions, NBA, and staying connected with the people all over the world.

– You worked with Djordjevic, now Pascual. Not bad! What’s the best thing you learnt from these coaches?

– That’s unbelievable to me! I’m just 22 years old and I didn’t play basketball. I didn’t go to any coaching class. I know about basketball but since I never done it as professional on the court, it was a bit tricky to understand what’re the perspectives of coaches and managers.

I worked with Igor Kokoskov, Sasha Djordjevic and general manager Maurizio Gherardini in Fenerbahce. I’m working with two geniuses, Manos and Xavi here in Zenit. The best thing is learning about their experiences. Absorbing them and creating my own ideas & ways on basketball. I can say I’m extremely lucky to have all these amazing people around myself.

– Was it hard to take a decision to move to Russia?

– It wasn’t as hard as many of my friends thought. Leaving my family was for sure tough but I got use to live alone. The situation in Russia brought some question marks but I spoke a lot about it with Xavi and it was all good. At the end, if a coach like Xavi Pascual is calling, it’s impossible to reject.

– How do you like Saint Petersburg? Any favourite places?

– Haha, due to work, I honestly haven’t seen any “famous” places of St Petersburg yet – including restaurants. Yet the relaxness, freshness and calmness of the city very good. After having big intensity and traffic in Istanbul, here is very calm… I like the park that next to our gym a lot! Walking there is fun.