Catching Up With Greivis Vasquez
While attending the LeBron James Skills Academy yesterday in Akron, Ohio, I caught up with Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez, who was one of 20 college players selected to attend the camp.
Vasquez said he's mostly been resting up his legs and lifting weights the past few weeks after deciding to pull his name out of the NBA draft and return to Maryland for his senior season. Later this summer, Vasquez plans to play for the Venezuelan national team in the FIBA Americas Championship from Aug. 26 to Sept. 6 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
As for next season, Vasquez said he has big plans for the Terrapins. Here is the transcript from our chat:
How’s the camp gone so far?
"It’s been pretty good, man. It’s a lot of fun for me, because all these NBA scouts, I already know them. I’m not really afraid of them. I just want to learn as much as I can. I’m always learning, and so far, so good. I thought [Monday] I had a good day. My team played pickup [games on Monday], and me and [Oklahoma guard] Willie Warren played pretty good together. We won every game. So that’s pretty cool, you know. Plus, he’s my roommate."
Did you guys scrimmage against LeBron Monday night?
"Yeah, we beat him twice. We beat his team twice. It’s fun, man. As far as being here, it’s a privilege. I’m just trying to learn and get ready for our season next year."
What have you been doing since pulling out of the NBA draft on June 15?
"I’ve been working out with the team, been back lifting weights and all that. I got a little rest on the running, because I’ve got to rest my ankles a little bit. I’m going to play with my national team this summer. I’m just trying not to overwhelm myself so I can be ready for next season. The last week of my NBA workouts, I did four workouts in five days."
How was your NBA draft experience?
"It was a great experience. I didn’t think I had a bad workout. I think I did outstanding, and I went to work matching up against Eric Maynor, Jrue Holliday, and I played outstanding. I went to Cleveland and matched up against Darren Collison, first-round picks. I did good. I just need one more year to get my team back in the tournament and go far and get myself ready and do what they want me to do, improve my testing in Chicago, you know, I got to prove that. Other than that, the core stuff I did great. I can only get better."
What kind of feedback did you get from NBA scouts and coaches?
"They look at me and they see me as a big point guard, which is an advantage. But in the meantime, the challenge is I’ve got to guard quicker guards than me, but I’m in the ACC. I’ve been able to guard Tywon [Lawson] and Jeff Teague, guys that went high in the draft, so, you know, I’ve just got to keep proving that I can do a good job guarding those guys and keep those guys in front of me.
"Definitely, I’m happy. I did the whole process just to try to learn. I didn’t do it because I wanted to try to go above Coach [Gary] Williams or saying I’m the best player in Maryland history, I should go, I should make it to the NBA, because as a player and a person I know the NBA is a lot bigger than me and the NCAA and Maryland. It is. I was just trying to do the process with the mentality that I was going to get better and get good competition every day in those workouts against a lot of big-time guys. It was good exposure for me."
On being selected to attend the camp:
"Coming over here, it’s a plus. It’s not like I’m definitely going to get drafted, but it’s a plus. Those guys [NBA scouts] are just looking at me and now I have one more year so they’re going to look at me closely. I’m looking forward to keep working and having a good summer and heading back to Maryland to lead my team because it’s going to be my team."
On the last couple of days before making the decision to return to Maryland:
"It was hard, you know, because I had a couple teams really wanting me, but they weren’t sure. I think it’s not bad for me to go back one more year and get my degree and get a shot to go first round. As of right now, nothing is guaranteed, so I have to work my butt off and get better if I want to be in that first round range. I know I’m capable, so I’m just going to keep working."
On Maryland’s prospects for next season:
"It’s like I said, I’m going to do whatever it takes to take the Terps, my team, back to the [NCAA] tournament and lead them and try to win something in the ACC because I think it’s wide open. I think the ACC is wide open and it’s going to be pretty much even. I already know Coach Williams is going to do a great job coaching us. We got the big guys, we got all the guards coming back, so it’s a matter of putting everybody on the same page and making sure everybody knows their role. I think we’re in pretty good shape. I really believe that we can be a great team next year. I think we’re good right now and throughout the season we can become great, but it’s going to take a lot of work, and I’m going to make sure that everybody understands that because this is my senior year and I want to do something special."
On his plans for the rest of the summer:
"I’m going to get back to Maryland and finish my online class. I’m going to rest for a little bit and lift weights, and then I’m going to go to Birmingham, Alabama, to a tournament [in late July] with my national team. It’s going to be Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic. We’re playing there for a couple of days. Then when we’re done with that tournament, we’re going to go back to Venezuela as a team for a couple more days and then we take off to Puerto Rico. The tournament in Puerto Rico is to qualify for the [FIBA world championships next year in Turkey]."
July 8, 2009; 8:32 AM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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