Emotional Finnish ends – Two basketball players announce the end of their careers

Finnish veterans Petteri Koponen and Shawn Huff have retired.

Finland’s defeat to Spain was the end of both veteran basketball tours. The quarter-finals of the European Championships in Berlin are the final for Shawn Huff, 38, and Petter Koponen, 34.

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The Finns took a 15-point lead early in the second half but conceded 57 points after a long break to drop 90-100 to Spain at the Mercedes Benz Arena. After the last siren, both veterans were honored with a basketball.

Huff and Koponen could not hold back the tears. They poured water as they left the floor wearing basketball equipment for the last time. They also broke up when sharing the latest interview from a basketball player’s point of view.

Koponen is emotional.

“There are so many memories, it’s hard to leave one,” said Koponen, who represents the 16-year-old national team. On this trip I met great people, great coaches, great atmosphere experiences. I’m very happy with where Finnish basketball is right now. When I started playing, we were in Division B and now we are in the Top 8. The future looks bright enough. ”

Koponen first appeared in the national team in 2007, when Finland competed in the B division of the European Championship. He averages 10.6 points and 2.7 assists in 10 games.

After 16 years, Finland with young star Lauri Markkanen reached the quarter-finals of the European Championship for the first time. In 1967, the Finns finished sixth at the European Championships, but at that time the qualifiers were not played.

Koponen hopes such a result will only strengthen the basketball venue in the country where ice hockey lives.

“The Finnish youth can see the level of our basketball,” said Koponen, who scored three points in the final 14 minutes of the game. – Maybe more kids will start playing basketball and that’s the most important thing. I think the future of our team looks really strong. “Next summer I will encourage our team at the World Cup, where I will be rooted for them as fans.”

Players of the game

FF

26

Willy Hernangomez

Score

27

Accuracy

10-13

Bounce ball

5

Effective transit

0

Finland is the first country from Europe to receive a place in 2023. In the World Championships. There are four matches or two windows left until the end of the qualifiers.

Koponen ended his career at a basketball club in his native Finland. He joins the same Huff who has represented the team for the past three years at the Helsinki Seagulls.

Koponen played an average of 14 minutes in 7 matches in the European Championship, earning 5 points, shooting 50%. 3-pointers (8 of 16) and 2 assists each. It was Old Continent’s seventh match.

In 2014, he fought Finland for the first time at the World Championships.

“My body can no longer play,” Koponen said. – Even in this championship, I have to work hard and it is not the happiest stage. But I enjoyed the game and I am very grateful to be part of this team.

Now is the time to do something different from basketball. Time will tell where things go. I definitely miss basketball, emotions and time. First, I had to enjoy something else in life. “You will see me in basketball.”

In basketball, Koponen represents clubs such as “Virtus” of Bologna, “Barcelona” and “Bayern” of Munich. Played in the Euroleague for six seasons.

In 2007 he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with 30 picks in the draft. His rights were transferred to the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks.

The 2008 basketball player joined the NBA Summer League but never made his first appearance in the elite league.

One of Finland’s best players is leaving as the national team has a new leader, Markkanen.

“They are both great leaders who have a voice and have something to say in the locker room.” “I learned as much as I could from them,” Markkanen told BasketNews. – It is an honor to play with them. When I started playing basketball, they started fighting in the national team. It was a pleasure to follow their example. When I joined the national team, it was special to share a dressing room with them. “They are great basketball players who have made a great career.”

The 25-year-old, who impressed, dropped Croatia by 43 points in the round of 16.

The average Utah Jazz rider gets 27.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Remote shooting is 40.5 percent. (17 of 42).

“We want to be in the top four that we are not in yet,” the Finnish star summed up the European Championships. No, ”he said. – We know we have a chance to beat Spain. We did not play our best half. In the end, we can say that we had a great game. We have a large group of supporters who support us. It was the first match for all eight of us and it was a great experience. “We have to be proud of what we have done and stay focused.”

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