By Huseyin Yesilkavak
The five years he has spent in Turkey with his family playing professional basketball have been happy ones, expatriate U.S. hoops star Samuel Mejia told Anadolu Agency.
Dominican-American Mejia, a shooting guard for Spor Toto Basketball Super League team Tofas, said he moved to Turkey in 2012 to play with Banvit before joining Tofas in 2015.
"I loved Turkey in the first year,” he said. “There’s a love for basketball. I especially loved the people and the culture. I’ve been here for a long time now and really like Turkey. The way people live here and how friendly they are makes me feel like home wherever I go.”
“I am very impressed by the way people live in Turkey, most people are very comfortable and calm,” he added. “People are also hard-working and work really hard for their country. I especially respect the country and the people living here.”
When Mejia goes to U.S., he says many people are curious about Turkey, asking what it’s like.
"I usually talk about meals when I go there. They especially talk about tea and ask questions, and I like to say that it’s better in Turkey. I also make tea in the U.S. but it is not the same. I also really like the history of this country. I think that Turkey is one of the most important historical countries in the world. Wherever we go with the team for camp, everyone tells us a historical story about the area, I think it's a very nice thing.”
About the rash of terrorist attacks in Turkey in recent years, Mejia stressed his regret, just like anyone who lives in Turkey.
Saying that such attacks happen not only in Turkey but all over the world, he explained, "I am very pleased with the reactions people have here. In Turkey people are fighting terror without surrendering and living fearlessly. I respect that. Of course everyone is nervous in these hard times. I also have a bit of a mixed feeling because of my wife and my two children but in the end, this good will beat evil and bring balance back to the world."
Mejia also said that both his wife and children are very happy to be in Turkey and have been learning Turkish.
The player added that his family hopes for tranquility, peace, and happiness for Turkey.