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Vasquez aims for NBA
Greivis Vasquez was sure to emphasize that the most important part of his NBA workout tour is becoming a better player.
It’s not, however, about making a rapid decision.
Vasquez, who worked out for the Washington Wizards on Thursday at Verizon Center, indicated he likely will wait until close to the withdrawal deadline before deciding whether to remain in the NBA Draft.
The Maryland guard declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. Since this is his first time in the draft, he can withdraw without penalty by June 15.
“The whole process is not for me to put Maryland behind my back,” Vasquez said. “The whole process is trying to get better as a player and gaining experience. Why not? Why not do it? I suggest every junior in the country should do it. Why not? Just because you’re going against some good competition, you’re only going to get better.”
Vasquez worked out with Kentucky junior Jodie Meeks, Mississippi junior David Huertas and Louisiana State senior Marcus Thornton. It was Vasquez’s third pro session; he previously visited Cleveland and San Antonio and plans to work out for Minnesota after next week’s draft combine in Chicago.
That would bring Vasquez within two weeks of the deadline. After a season in which he averaged 17.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists while helping the Terrapins reach the second round of the NCAA tournament, it’s clear Vasquez wants a true measure of his value and what he needs to improve upon.
What’s also certain is the junior wants to play next season in the United States - whether at Maryland or in the NBA.
“Let’s make that clear,” Vasquez said. “Greivis Vasquez is not going overseas. He’s not playing in Europe. I would like to get my education and get my degree if it comes down to overseas. I think I’m going to work hard to make it and be a pro one day, but it’s not going to be overseas right now.”
He was equally emphatic about his long-term position. At 6-foot-5, Vasquez could possibly play shooting guard in the pros. Yet his best work at Maryland - and in international play with the Venezuelan national team two summers ago - came when he ran a team.
“I’m a point guard,” he said. “That’s another thing I want to make clear. I’m not a shooting guard. I’m a combo guard. I do whatever the coach wants me to do, but I’m a point guard. I’m a 6-5 point guard. It’s not me trying to be cocky. It’s just me telling people the position I play.”
Vasquez said Stu Vetter, his high school coach, accompanied him during his sessions in Cleveland and San Antonio. He also remains in contact with coach Gary Williams “almost every week.”
His process, though, seems unlikely to end quickly. Vasquez was reluctant to offer an immediate reply when asked how much of him wanted to stay in College Park regardless of the feedback he receives in the coming weeks.
“That’s a hard question to answer right now,” Vasquez said. “I don’t want to be rude. The whole thing is just about me getting better. Why not go against guys like Jodie Meeks? What am I going to do at Maryland right now? I’m going to test the waters and get better.
“If I come back, I come back. If I have to move on, I have to move on.”
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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