Shot of claw and character for the inside game of CB Gran Canaria. The Venezuelan Michael Carrera, the latest addition to the Claretian group to replace the injured Damien Inglis, lives a dream, his debut in the ACB. On Sunday, first derby.
It’s been a week in granca. What has surprised you the most about the club?
I prefer many things, starting with the Island. I did not know that there was such a Caribbean place in this part of Europe. I am very happy here, because you feel the Latin heat and, above all, the support of my people from Venezuela. I am very happy for that part, you feel at home. And as for the team, for me it is a dream to have arrived here. In just one week they have already made me feel like one of them. For me that has been a blessing, because it makes it easier for you to adapt. It was demonstrated in my first game, against UCAM Murcia; Although I didn’t know much about what I was doing, I think I did it well. And that’s why I came here, to do the work entrusted to me and to try to contribute my grain of sand.
And after his debut against UCAM Murcia, on Sunday he is preparing to experience his first derby.
I already found out a little about what a derby between Tenerife and Gran Canaria means. Glad to be able to enjoy it. This rivalry match is another challenge for me, for my career. I feel good, looking forward to the game, focused and concentrated. Every match is important in the ACB. We need victory yes or yes. For all of us it is of great importance. The Granca lost the duel of the Copa del Rey. It wouldn’t be bad at all to vindicate ourselves with a victory at the home of Lenovo. He would be very good morally for what lies ahead. I am excited to have the opportunity to play in this great Canarian derby.
I don’t know if you were aware of the strong bond that exists between the Canary Islands and your country, Venezuela.
In my first match, in the stands of the Arena there were two or three people with Venezuelan flags, and that gives you a little more inspiration. Many Venezuelans have written to me telling me that they are going to the derby on Sunday; They tell me that in Tenerife there are more compatriots than here. That makes me very happy.
In Venezuela you were born in the city of Barcelona, in the northeast, a coastal area. Have you already been able to enjoy the beach here with your family?
Right now our girl is a little sick, that’s why we haven’t been able to go yet. But we have walked through The pits and we liked it very much. My wife loves the beach, even though she is from the capital, Caracas. I am from a beach area. We are happy because she has had to live in a beach area, something we had always dreamed of. I told my wife, what if we get to Gran Canaria, do we leave? Of course we’re leaving, she answered me. God gave us this great gift and we took advantage of it 100%.
How did you experience your express transfer to Gran Canaria? Did they call you Willy Villar or Jaka Lakovic to tell you what they wanted from you?
It happened overnight. It was Monday of last week. Jaka -Lakovic- did not call me or anyone from the club. My agent did it. He had already said no to an offer from the ACB, from Fuenlabrada. He had told my agent that he wanted me to stay in Lleida, that he was very comfortable. And it was true. Until the moment we came, my family and I were very comfortable there. When my agent tells me that we have an offer from Gran Canaria and he began to explain it to me, I stopped him and told him not to tell me any more, that he wanted me to come here. I knew that Gran Canaria was a team with a lot of basketball. Between that and the fact that my wife really likes the beach, it was a double dream. I said yes without thinking once, not twice or three times… Everything happened very quickly and here I am.
He comes only to play in the Endesa League. How will you manage this circumstance?
Just being in the Granca dressing room and sharing it with players that until recently I watched on television already makes me super happy, it’s already a dream. Being with players like Vítor Benite or Nico Brussino, whom I’ve always faced in national team matches… Just being on the bench celebrating victories, or whatever comes next, I’m already very satisfied.
“I have already achieved my dream of playing in the ACB with Granca, but I am not a conformist, I want more”
You had your ups and downs with the Venezuelan league when you defended your rights as a player. Do you consider yourself an active person in this field, a trade unionist on the pitch?
Of course. Every player has his rights, and also his duties. I don’t like to talk about it anymore, because what happened, happened. But what had to be fought was fought for and important things are being achieved. Right now they were going to place five imported ones -foreigners- and they stayed at three. We want Creole players to be taken into account more than others. I understand that basketball is a show, but it gives work to a lot of people. It is not a secret what is happening in my country. Nor is it that a player charges you ten or 15 thousand dollars. A 16-year-old player can charge you $500 and that for them is a lot. But this sport and what surrounds it helps more people, for example those who sell food at matches. There in Venezuela you live from day to day. I say it, my dad and my mom are teachers and they don’t live from that, they live from day to day. Thank God that I was able to take that professional leap and I can help you. Not everyone can do the same. That moment of the demands was very embarrassing. Maybe the way I did it was not correct, but I am a temperamental and emotional person. Now I stay on the sidelines, what I do is follow the meetings because I have many friends there. The only thing I want is the best for basketball in Venezuela. The national team players are already coming out. Those who are already 35, 36 or 37 years old are going to live their last World Cup in the summer. We need that Creole basketball to continue bringing out new values so that the coach has a choice. That is what is being fought for.
You are a man of the world. He counted 13 teams throughout his career in eight countries. Why hasn’t he managed to settle in a club if he always has remarkable statistics?
Everything has happened for a reason. Every place I’ve been has been an experience for me. I am very sorry, in Germany it was the year of the pandemic and everything broke. Two years without work, sabbaticals. I leave everything to God, he has made me get here, obviously through my effort. Anyone who knows me knows that he delivered me on the field, it’s my job and I love it too much. God gave me that talent and I try to exploit it 100%. I have an obsession with winning. I think it’s not wrong to think like that.
Do you consider getting to Granca a fair reward for this work?
Yes. I have achieved a goal, I live my dream. I have already achieved my dream, but I am not a conformist. I want more. I want to help the team, contribute as much as I can; If the coach gives me the opportunity, I’ll take advantage of it 100%, whether it’s playing two minutes or five, whatever. I will always play 120%, which is what has characterized me in my career. You have to live day by day to see how we are doing here. But I already feel blessed by the opportunity that Gran Canaria is giving me; It’s worth a lot to me.
Beyond your relevant statistics, it is said that you are a player who stands out in other intangible aspects of the matches, such as the fight, the claw that you give to your game, protesting, gesturing…
I think that this comes from the passion I feel for this sport. When you’re there on the little table, things happen so fast that you don’t even think about them. Anyone who plays a sport knows that any situation happens, and you have to complain. I don’t know why everyone gets upset about those. There are people who gesticulate more than others, we are not all the same. It is something that I have always tried to improve and I am working on it.