Jan Vesely’s Worldly Wizardry: ‘I devote my summer to improve my shooting’
[Editor’s Note: Lukas Kuba (@Luke_Mellow), TAI’s correspondent for all things Jan Vesely/Czech Republic-related, provides an update on the recent world of Vesely, including a translation of Jan’s interview with a Czech basketball magazine, one which Jan appeared on the cover Photoshopped as a wizard. Hopefully continued things like this will eventually mean the death of the Wizards nickname for the Washington professional basketball franchise. —Kyle W.]
While we wonder about the possibilities of another Jan Vesely nickname (after the cover of June’s Czech Basketmag was revealed), Jan has recently spent 10 days of June in Havirov, Czech Republic working out with Washington Wizards developmental coach Joe Connelly. The main focus of the workouts has been shooting jump shots, driving to the basket off the dribble and improving Jan’s handle.
“He has to make a progress in these three things in order to become a more valuable player,” said Connelly. Jan said he’s enjoying Connelly’s stay and that together they ran a clinic for local youth basketball players.
Jan and Joe also recently visited the local town hall and met with the mayor of Havirov.
Seems like Jan’s having the time of his life. This includes … recent media appearances.
Shoot, shoot, shoot. Instruction for Vesely’s summer workouts sounds clear.
June 14, 2012 Interview with Jan Vesely from basket.idnes.cz
He enjoyed his family, friends. He found time to visit teams where he began to play basketball — Pribor and Ostrava Snakes. But now he thinks primarily about the NBA, about his Washington Wizards. He’s coming to D.C. on June 20.
I’m going back to America this soon because of the Summer League, in order to prepare for it. After the Summer League, I’ll continue to practice in the U.S.
So the next season should be even better than the last one?
I hope. I’ve got a lot of time for individual practices, the whole summer. I’ll go through the training camp. In addition, I can be in Washington one month before the camp. At least for two months I’ll practice with the team, which didn’t happen this last season because of the lockout.
What do you have to improve mainly?
My shooting. I devote my summer to improve my shooting. I’ll try to refine my shot every day.
You’ve never been an excellent shooter, right?
It’s true. And I think I’ll probably never be an excellent shooter, but I want to refine it in order to score on jump shots consistently and not being afraid of it.
You’re in the nomination of Czech national team coach Pavel Budinsky for the Eurobasket qualification, which starts on August 15. Do you know whether you will be representing the Czech rep.?
I’d rather not comment on playing for national team, because Mr. Zidek (George Zidek, Czech national team GM and vice-chairman of the Czech Basketball Federation) issued a statement that everything will be clear in a month, but I’ll be in America at that time. Seriously, I don’t want to deal with it now.
But you would help the national team a lot.
All depends on communication, whether we’d come to an agreement on such and such cooperation. But it’s about this: I won’t make a living by playing for [Czech] national team, whereas I will by playing basketball overseas. I hope that I can remain there for a lot of years. I have to subordinate everything else to my future career, because I’m just beginning in the NBA.
Tomas Satoransky (NBA Draft 2012 prospect) could be the fourth Czech ever to play in the NBA. Can he succeed?
I hope so. I wish him this so much, and I’d be very glad if he were in the NBA. We’d see each other certainly more than now, where we meet together maybe once a year. I’d be just glad.
Do you have any close acquaintances in Washington at all?
The Dusan Kecman family. He played with me for Partizan Belgrade. His brother’s got a family there. I’m in contact with them. And I hope everything works out fine and my girlfriend will be there with me come next season.
You’re the only white playing for Wizards. Is it odd for you?
No, it’s not, we are all pros, nobody looks on the color of skin. The important thing is, we have to pull the same rope.
What was your biggest NBA experience?
That I could play against all those stars that play there. My idol is Dirk Nowitzki and to play against him, defending him, it was a huge experience for me.
Jan Vesely, Sr. on his son:
From Belgrade he was used to playing collectively more, while in Washington he was getting used to individual play. The team still counts on him, but now a lot will depend on a quality preparation for the season, how he’ll work on his shooting and individual skills.
Dusan Hrdlicka, Jan’s youth coach:
Last season was fragmented due to the lockout, so Jan didn’t even get going to the proper 82-game season yet. However, I believe that he’ll still go up performance-wise.
Jan Vesely Day in Ostrava (June 8)
Tweets via @Luke_Mellow:
- Jan #Vesely Day at his elementary school in Ostrava, CZE. Jan had a discussion & autograph session with local kids. Photos with school kids.
- Jan #Vesely Day in Ostrava was a success. He played in an exhibition game with Ostrava Snakes high schoolers (his former youth team). Air Wolf showed off a couple of dunks & alley-oops, his Team White won 89-80. After the game, he took photos with players and almost every fan in the gym. That was Friday. On Saturday, he ran basketball clinics for local kids. The youngsters were in awe of him, high-fiving Jan, taking pics and stuff. Photo gallery of the game.
- Jan got beat by a school girl in the free throw contest. No joke lol
Vesely Said WHAT?
- “When I was young, I didn’t dream about the NBA, I just played ball.” #veselyonradio
- What swear words do NBA players use in the locker room: “I cursed in Serbian, generally players swear ‘Fuck You’ and all those F-words.”
- “During the season I learned a lot of ghetto slang words from my Wizards teammates.” #veselyonradio
- Drugs in the NBA? “I don’t know, I don’t have experience with that, but NBA does drug testing 4 times a year, it’s a very strict process.”
- Biggest issues for tall baskeball players: “Buying clothes, shoes, pants and I got problems choosing a car. I drive Passat CC in the Czech rep.”
- “When I go grocery shopping, I usually buy bread and rolls.” #veselyonradio
- What team would you like to play for someday? “I’m content in Washington so far, but when I’d have to say one team, probably L.A. or Miami, in California or Florida because it’s hot all year round.” #veselyonradio
- Re: swear words — Vesely said his Serbian favorite is “Jebem ti mater” #veselyonradio Man he was so funny on that radio
- Btw, Jan said he’s content in DC & WANTS to play for Wizards.They forced him to say one other team, he didn’t want to say any #veselyonradio