Chavis: Catching up with Vasco

Former Tar Heel Vasco Evtimov was in Raleigh on Tuesday night playing in the Chavis League, which he using to tune up for the NBA Summer League next month. He spoke with <i>IC</i>'s J.B. Cissell ...

So what brought you to play in the Chavis League this summer?

"This is the first that I knew of this league. I had heard of it before, but I had no idea they were playing. Shammond Williams talked to me and said that he wanted me to play with him, because they were looking for a big guy.

"And right now, I'm looking to be in good shape, because I want to play with the [Utah] Jazz in the summer. I have four weeks to prepare myself, and this is a great opportunity. I just came here tonight to play with the guys. But I have to remember to come back to the American game a little bit because, in Europe, the game is a little bit slower. But I'll pick it up and be ready four weeks from now."

Is the competition level good enough to test you?

"There were really no big guys out there. Right now, I play the four or five – mostly five – and most of the guys out there (tonight) they want to dribble and shoot 3-pointers. I'm really not looking to test myself. I just want to be in good physical condition."

Does running up and down the court in the faster pace help your conditioning?

"Yes, it does. And it helps you keep the feel of the game. You always have to keep the feel of the game, because if you just go and practice by yourself every day, it's not the same.

"I also play with the guys in Chapel Hill. Every time they play pick-up, I'm always there. Like I said, I'm just trying to keep the feel of the game."

You've been playing in Chapel Hill?

"Yeah, I've been playing for like two straight months, now. I've been back since the end of April, and I've been working out with them. We play five-on-five and it's exciting."

Who are some of the guys you've been playing with?

"I've been playing with Jawad, Manuel, Scott, and all of them."

Any of the old guys?

"The old guys? Really, Shammond and Ed came back in town like a month ago, and we've been playing. Terrence Newby has come back a little bit. And Michael Brooker, but he only shows up for the counselor's games. He's a coach now, around here.

"Some of the guys have come back, but it's not like it used to be before. The big pro's used to come, like from the NBA. But I think now Coach Doherty is happy for guys like Shammond and myself to come back. I think it's good because we help them to improve.

"Shammond, for example, I think will improve Scott because they play the same position, and I bang around a little bit with Will Johnson and the freshman coming in -- Byron – so it's a good opportunity for them and for myself to get into good shape."

In this league, it's hit-or-miss in that sometimes guys show up and sometimes they don't. Do you think you'll be playing on a regular basis?

"Yes. I told the coach last week – this is my second game – every time that I'll be in town or in the state of North Carolina, I'll try to make the game. I gave my word to him, so I don't want to say, 'I'll just play tonight, but I don't know about next game.' I want to be honest with him, and, if he needs me, I'll be happy to play."

Inside Carolina Top Stories