Every week BRUZZ visits a child in Brussels in his or her bedroom. This time it is with Iannis (14), who lives with his mother in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe. He has been playing basketball for Toumani Camara’s club, who now plays in the NBA, since he was four. “If I lose, I won’t talk to anyone for a week.”
Do you always have your curtains closed?
Actually yes. I don’t think about opening them because I’m not in my room that often. I’m usually outside with friends.
What do you do with your friends?
We usually play football or basketball.
When did you start playing basketball?
I went with my mother to a match when I was three, then I wanted to try it myself. I haven’t stopped taking it anymore.
What do you like so much about it?
Playing style, actions, nice throws, exciting matches, everything.
You’ve won a lot of medals, I see.
I have achieved a lot especially in recent years. Last year I became champion of Belgium. This year our goal is to become champion again. We are playing well, we have only lost twice.
What do you do when you lose?
Then I’m sad and I don’t talk to anyone for a week, until the next match.
And what do you think about?
About why we lost, because that is not normal. We have to play better.
What do you do when you win?
Then I am happy and celebrate. Then I talk to everyone. Lots of shouting and laughing in the locker room.
What qualities do you need to be good at basketball?
Being able to work hard and have a lot of self-confidence.
How do you gain self-confidence?
By playing a lot of basketball. I don’t think about anything else.
I heard you’re good at languages too?
I know English, French and Dutch.
What language do you speak with your friends?
The three languages, because some come from America, France, Serbia or Croatia. I know most of them through basketball.
What do you want to be when you’ve grown up?
Professional basketball player.
Do you also have a plan B?
Not currently. There’s nothing else I want.
Is there one basketball player who is your role model?
Stephen Curry. He plays for the Golden State Warriors. It is my dream to be able to play for that club, but if there is another team, I will not say no.
What is it like to live in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe?
Calm, but I have a lot of friends close by, so it’s a good environment. But I want to leave here, I want to live abroad. In America, the country where basketball comes from.
How do you notice that it is a country of basketball?
When you’re there, all you see is basketball. New York is very beautiful at night, there is a lot to visit and take pictures of.
What would you improve about Brussels if you were in charge?
More basketball halls and better prices in the store, because everything is so expensive. If I want to buy a simple T-shirt, it costs 50 euros. Why is it so expensive?
Do you ever worry about something?
Sometimes when I lie in bed I think a lot about school, for example if I have a test the next day. I find things with percentages or partial sums difficult.