Czech-ing Development: Tomas Satoransky vs Jiri Welsch | Wizards Blog Truth About

Czech-ing Development: Tomas Satoransky vs Jiri Welsch

Updated: October 20, 2014

[Ed. Note: TAI’s Czech correspondent, Lukas Kuba (@luke_mellow), checks-in with an update on Tomas “Saty” Satoransky, current piece of Wizards Euro-stash who was drafted 32nd overall in 2012. –Kyle W.]


[All photos courtesy of Czech Basketball Federation’s official Facebook page.]

Since his debut on the Czech Republic men’s senior national team as a 16-year-old greenhorn in the summer of 2008, Tomas Satoransky has been learning the tricks of the trade under the wing of resident Czech team gentleman Jiri Welsch (who played in the NBA from 2002 to 2006 with four different teams). The duo have since been seen battling against each other during practices inside hot summer gyms across Europe. As people associated with the national team through the years say, the energetic young’n and the measured, experienced vet have become basically inseparable.

Last summer, which you might remember as the summer of EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia, made them especially close and filled their fellowship with a sort of sparkling, bragging rights-like competitiveness. Lubos Barton, another wily veteran on the team and a good buddy of Welsch’s, have frequently remarked that Tomas makes Jiri ten years younger. (Barton played for Valparaiso University in the States from 1998-2002.)

See the Saty Effect in full bloom?


Last month on an off day, Jiri Welsch sat in front of the camera and revealed some very interesting insights about Saty in a video titled “Jiri Welsch versus Tomas Satoransky.” Unfortunately for most readers of Truth About It, it’s in Czech … however, here I come to the rescue, bullet-points style (video embedded below):

  • Tomas is a cheerful character, likes fun, joking, and enjoys competition. He’s always inventing various challenges for teammates and friends around him. They’re often non-traditional. Welsch gladly accepts each and every one of Satoransky’s challenges, of course.
  • One of the most unique challenges issued by Saty? The Spider Challenge: to climb up the walls in an Italian hotel’s hallway (as you can see in this photo from the summer of 2012). The Spider Challenge happened all of a sudden… They were sitting on a carpet in the hotel hallway at night, surfing the net on free Wi-Fi, and talking about all kinds of things. They just couldn’t fall asleep after an away game a couple hours earlier — that’s when Tomas got his crazy idea.
  • Saty’s speciality is challenging Welsch to do clap push-ups at different places, at any time — in the morning, before breakfast, in the evening, before dinner. What kinds of places? In the street, in public, or at airports. “You just can’t reject doing this,” says Welsch. The vet claims that double-clap push-ups are the hardest: “I always fall and hit my mouth.”
  • Satoransky, like the Czech Sidney Deane, is always mocking Welsch: “You can’t jump, you can’t dunk.” This came to a head in July when Satoransky challenged Welsch to stand with his back to the basket, throw the ball between his legs and off the backboard, and then throw down the self-alley-oop. Saty supposedly did it on his second attempt … and then every member of the Czech national team watched how Grandpa Welsch (that’s how Tomas usually calls Jiri) finally succeeded on his 98th try, totally worn-out and exhausted.
  • They make bets between each other all the time, but as Saty is fond of saying, the bets are not for money, just for “honor and glory.”
  • Saty loves to play Welsch one-on-one, but this summer he played more against Lubos Barton because Welsch recently hasn’t been too eager to play Satoransky. “More than once I saw Saty frustrated after a game of one-on-one with Lubos,” Welsch laughed.
  • Satoransky often uses “harsh words.” Once, he ridiculed Welsch’s haircut. “It’s interesting that he criticizes my hairstyle but these days he basically lets his hair grow into the same hairdo as mine,” Welsch said. Tomas speaks “bluntly and without embellishment” to anyone and Welsch said it’s necessary to return the favor.
  • And if you’re wondering whether Satoransky is ever serious, here’s Welsch: “He‘s serious in the locker room before the game, then he’s quiet, focused, concentrating [on the task at hand].”



BONUS: Watch the chemistry and laughs between the two in this behind-the-scenes footage from a photo shoot.


And check out Saty making a cameo appearance in a Czech rap music video.


Lukas Kuba