Czech The Screen Shots: Vesely and Country Party at EuroBasket for First Time Since 1999 | Wizards Blog Truth About

Czech The Screen Shots: Vesely and Country Party at EuroBasket for First Time Since 1999

Updated: September 7, 2013

Thursday’s 69-68 thriller win over Poland wasn’t the biggest in Czech basketball history, but it was a huge step. This is just their third appearance in the last 14 years at EuroBasket, a tournament traditionally held every two years but will go to every four years in 2017. In 1999 the Czech Republic upset Lithuania and then Greece in their first two opening group games, but then lost a close contest to Germany, and in the second round, bowed down to Croatia, Italy and Turkey. In 2007, they lost three straight opening round games to Germany (against Dirk Nowitzki in overtime), Lithuania, and Turkey. Losing to Slovenia on Wednesday made it eight EuroBasket losses in a row; the win over Marcin Gortat and the Poles broke that.

So you can understand why the Czech players went around hugging friends, family and fans after the win. Let’s go over the night via screen shots of a game played in a decidedly less crowded arena than for the Czech Republic’s loss against host country Slovenia on the previous day.


This is Poland’s Michal Ignerski.

I went to college with Ignerski. He played at Mississippi State during the time when I worked with the team. I know him well. Ignerski only spent two seasons as a Bulldog, meandering his way through the Midwest by going to two different college-type places in Oklahoma prior to arriving on campus in Starkville. My memory serves me that the guy we called “Iggy” was as Poland as Poland comes — and I write this with no real prior context of what that means. Just envision a 6-foot-9 cat; plenty of hair gel; jean shorts that extended to mid-calf; a baggy, long-sleeved, logo’d and branded ‘fashion’ shirt; and a gold chain draped over it all…  dropped into a small college town of 20,000 (plus 16,000 students) in northeast Mississippi.

Ignerski was also all out of fucks to give, in a jovial, ‘why not love life, I’m Polish?’ type of way. He’d fire up a 3-pointer without thought, he’d dunk the ball like it insulted his mother, he’d conveniently know when and when not to understand English, (defense, what defense?), he’d party hard, and he’d refuse to adhere to standards when it came to the fairer sex.

I also genuinely liked Ignerski — nice guy, more sunny, less Cold War-y. Now, at age 33, he’s still kicking around the international basketball scene. He’s played as a pro, seeing playoff action, in all the major Euro leagues — Spain, Russia, Turkey, and most recently, Italy. Good for Iggy.

And on this particular day, Ignerski was a major concern for the Czechs.


Here we have Tommy (Tomas) Satoransky…

He showed a lot of moxie in this game before going down with injury (a cracked rib), scoring 10 points with two assists (but three turnovers) and three rebounds in 22 minutes. Saty attacked the rim when needed, found teammates on backdoor cuts, rebounded as one would expect for his size (and perhaps a little bit better), and displayed an unexpected gear he can kick into on the break. The Polish team definitely aimed to be physical against Satoransky, but he didn’t shy away from physicality, often laying his body on the line for 50/50 balls and the what-not.


And Honza, the day’s hero.

Jan Vesely started the game being more active on the boards, showing his fundamental skills and using his length to rebound. Sure, Ves got abused in the post and on short baseline jumpers a couple times by Poland’s Maciej Lampe, the one-time, almost famous New York Knicks draft pick. But, as usual, Vesely didn’t give up the battle, especially improving his defense versus Lampe late in the game. He even once comfortably pushed the ball off the dribble on the break and calmly found teammate Petr Benda for a layup. And he definitely made short bunnies at the rim and hit a variety of short, one-handed runners en route to a game-high 23 points via 17 shots (and 5-for-6 from the free throw line!). Vesely missed a crucial freebie late in an attempt to tie the game, but that became less of a worry when Lubos Barton saved the day.


Here’s one of Ignerski’s early 3-point bombs. He led Poland with 17 points on 6-for-7 field goals, 3-for-4 from deep. He hit one or so in Vesely’s grill late in the game… from the top of the key. Not sure how he was left that open in that area at that point.


Of course, there were also Vesely dunks to answer Iggy, such as this halfcourt lob throw-down.


This put-back slam, too.

No. 9 is Poland’s Przemyslaw Zamojski, and he is most definitely fueled by khlav kalash, crab juice, and lots and lots of Mountain Dew.


Did this Polish fan ask whomever to autograph his face, head, or basketball? 

Also, basketball heads are clearly underserved by the dentistry profession in Poland. I hope this is some sort of national referendum in Warsaw.


That’s definitely a Wizards jersey to the left… But Who?

Vesely? Custom-made Satoransky? Jordan Crawford?


Satoransky gets hammered, not by a Polish Hammer (Marcin Gortat), but by an Ignerski.


In a separate incident, Satoransky goes down. I believe this is the instance where Saty cracked his rib.


TAI’s Czech correspondent, Lukas Kuba, has the latest via Twitter:

So Satoransky immediately got a sideline rub-down…


The Czech guy with the doo-rag/bandana, which could be the Czech symbol for medic/trainer, tried to Vulcan neck pinch and sweet-talk the injury with stories about grandma’s schnitzel and pea soup.

Satoransky would essentially miss the entire fourth quarter against Poland, but luckily Jiri Welsch stepped up in his absence.


Interesting cultural note: the Poles are coached by a German, Dirk Bauermann, who speaks to them in English. Those of the ‘Greatest Generation‘ would like you to thank them for this, else the entire world would be speaking German, especially those frog-eatin’ French. (Wait, what?)


Just a couple of Czech bros… yellow Reebok jerseys; shades, sunburns and undershirts; patriotic flag face paint; and a fist-pump.


Lubos Barton saved the day by hitting two huge 3-pointers late in the game from each of the corners, both the result of John Wall-esque drive and set-ups (but in slow motion) from Jiri Welsch. This is the second one, and game-winner, with six seconds left… and it certainly made up for Barton’s late mistake of a travel against Slovenia in the first game.


After the final buzzer, Dad Vesely lunged his legs over two rows of seats and met Boy Jan at the side of the court for a celebratory embrace, seen below at the very top middle of the screen shot, amongst other Czech celebrations. (The coaches always start by celebrating in their own intimate huddle.)


Dad Vesely, seen to the right, also sported Czech-theme face paint and his “Jan Vesely Fans” white tee. 


And Mum Vesely.

“My mum is so happy on this picture :)”, Jan Tweeted/Instagramed.



The next game starts about right now… against Spain… and can be seen on ESPN 3.


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.