Suddenly, they're seniors: Dawid Przybyszewski

In Part 2 of series of interviews with Vanderbilt's rising seniors in men's basketball, Dawid Przybyszewski talks about the burden of leadership, his emergence as an offensive threat, and the biggest differences between American basketball and the European game.


VandyMania: Dawid, looking back over the past season, one of the nicest things that happened was your development as an offensive threat. You had a stretch of about seven or eight SEC games late in the season when you were scoring well into double figures and you broke into the starting lineup, and that coincided with a lot of success for the team.

Dawid Przybyszewski: Yes, it was very nice to come back and be able to shoot the ball the way I know I can. I had a couple of games late in the season that I didn't shoot as well, but I was very happy about those nights when I did.

VandyMania: Your defense perhaps was the weaker part of your game... do you feel that your defense made a lot of progress this year?

Dawid: Oh, there were still times when I made some mistakes on defense. I still need to work a lot on my defense, and that's probably why I sat on the bench more than I wanted to.

VandyMania: Have you thought much about the fact that Freije and Hundley and Lakey are now gone, and your class is now seniors? What's that going to be like?

Dawid: It's going to be very hard. We are going to have to step out as juniors and sophomores as leaders of this team. I think it's going to be very difficult without them. Matt Freije, Scott Hundley, Russell Lakey and Martin Schnedlitz were great players and teammates. We have to learn from them and do the best we can to take over the leadership of the team.

VandyMania: Sometimes it takes taller players a while longer to develop as basketball players. You've progressed a lot in your skills, especially offensively, in the three years you've been here. Has your development been as quick as you would have wanted?

Dawid: I really can't complain about my development. I started playing basketball as a freshman in high school. The last three years, coming to America and playing in college and learning basketball as it is here have all made it a great deal for me. I'm really happy I'm here as a basketball player. I started playing as a freshman in high school because I was so tall! I stuck out, and I had to do something with my height. That's how it started.

VandyMania: Were you kind of forced into it?

Dawid: No, I loved it from the first time I played. I fell in love with basketball, because it's a great sport. I've been working hard at it, and I think some of the results showed this year.

VandyMania: In the United States there's a lot of talk about how big guys develop slower than smaller guys. Had you heard that, or have you ever heard that?

Dawid: I haven't, but I know European players-- European big guys play a little different than American big guys, because we are more around the perimeter sometimes. We are able to shoot. I think in America when you're a big man, you're kind of glued to the post and playing around the basket. Personally, I think I like the European way better.


Next up: Jason Holwerda. Top Stories