The leading scorer in Eurocup history, Mire Chatman, retired from the game of basketball after Ventspils’s run in the Eurocup came to an end on Wednesday. The 36-year-old Chatman is hanging up his shorts after a brilliant career that saw him make his mark in European basketball and win the 2006 ULEB Cup, despite first arriving in Latvia a dozen years ago as a relative unknown. He surpassed Todor Stoykov to become the Eurocup’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season and walks away with 1,187 career points from 75 games. His career scoring average of 15.8 points per game is the highest of any player among the top 10 career scorers.
Sadly for Chatman, his final game was a defeat, 51-58 at the hands of Stelmet Zielona Gora. But he went out with another fantastic all-around performance, totaling 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and performance index rating of 21. “We fought, played good defense, but were unable to score points. I really wanted us to win tonight, because I knew that it is the last game in my career,” Chatman said after the game. “I tried to help the team, but it did not work. Overall, I feel good because I know that I am not ashamed of my career. I’ve always tried to play with all my heart, and in that sense I do not have anything to be sad about. Before the game I thought of my whole career, but I did not have a lot of time because it was my goal to help the team. I think my career was quite good. I really hoped that it will be able to conclude with the victory, we really fought, as we did the entire season, but this time luck was not on our side.”
Chatman reflected further on his career to the Ventspils web site: “Probably my biggest career achievement was winning the [ULEB Cup] in 2006. Then I had one of the best index ratings in the competition, which has always been important to me. Of course, it is good to score points, but the most important for me, however, is to play in the interests of the team.” Looking toward his future, Chatman said, “First of all, I will be with my family and will try to recover from these four months. I really want to be with my children. I will resume coaching children, because last summer I opened a basketball school. And I also completed hairdressing school. ”
Chatman returned to Ventspils this season to finish his professional career where he started it. He averaged 13 points on 43.9% three-point shooting, 5.1 rebounds and 5 assists in 10 Eurocup gams for Ventspils this season. After eight Eurocup seasons, Chatman walks away as the Eurocup’s all-time leader in performance index rating (1,472 index), steals (167), turnovers (228), free throws made (300) and attempted (409) and fouls drawn (418) and is third in career assists (296). Ina ddition to two Eurocup seasons with Ventspils, Chatman has played for Dynamo Moscow, Triumph Lyubertsy and Unics Kazan in Russia and Besiktas in Turkey. He won the 2006 ULEB Cup with Dynamo. Chatman also spent a season each in the Euroleague with Pau-Orthez of France and Lottomatica Roma of Italy and one season with Pinar Karsiyaka in Turkey.