“Doing something that you love and getting paid whether it’s professional basketball or not is a good feeling. I’ve worked my whole life to play professional basketball and now I’m finally here,” said Berhanemeskel in an interview with the Fulcrum.
Berhanemeskel averaged 23.2 points per game last year, and was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Player of the Year. Despite his success, Berhanemeskel understands that the slate will be wiped clean once he touches down in Tallinn. “I want to play as many games as possible my first year and show that I am able to compete with these guys at that level,” he said.
Berhanemeskel will be a rookie player in two different leagues with TLÜ/Kalev. The team plays in a domestic league in Estonia as well as the Baltic league, which is composed of teams from Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Finland, and Latvia. TLÜ/Kalev finished second in domestic play and had the sixth-best record in the Baltic league this past season.
“I’m going into a totally different culture. I’ve spoken to some guys on the team and some guys speak English so they’ll help me integrate my way into the community and how things are done,” he said.
As for the language barrier, Berhanemeskel knows he will have to learn some Estonian and quick. “I don’t even know how to say ‘hello’ yet, but I’ll learn the basics. I’m going to embrace it,” he said.
This summer Berhanemeskel will learn how to say “tere Tallinn” as he suits up for TLÜ/Kalev, but who knows where else his talent will take him.