Jan Vesely’s Off-Season
posted on September 20, 2012
To kick off the NBA off-season, Jan returned to Czech Republic and spent ten days in June working out with the Wizards’ developmental coach, Joe Connelly. His main focus was working on his jump shots, driving to the basket, and improving his handling. Jan really enjoyed his time with Coach Connelly, especially the time they spent running a clinic for local youth basketball players. Jan and Connelly also visited the local town hall, and met with the mayor of Havirov.
Jan then spent the next few days in Ostrava, Czech Republic, celebrating Jan Vesely Day! (Well, technically, it was Jan Vesely weekend.) He started off visiting his former elementary school, and was humbled by how popular he is with the local kids. He had a long talk and autograph session with them—it was a great time. Then Jan played in an exhibition game with Ostrava Snakes high schoolers (his former team). Honza showed off a couple of thrilling dunks, and his Team White won 89-80. After the game he took photos with almost every fan in the gym, the players, and their families. On Saturday, he ran basketball clinics for more local kids, who watched him with wide eyes, giving him high fives and taking pictures. Jan’s likable persona and true passion for the game earned him quite a few new young fans. Jan will definitely make a return trip to Ostrava in the future.
Honza was then off to Washington, D.C. for the Wizards’ mini-camp. Along with the other players on the Wizards Summer League Team was Jan’s longtime Czech friend, Tomas Satoransky (2012 NBA draftee). Vesely was excited to play with his basketball buddy of the last six years. During the week they had a great time working out together, shooting jumpers, and practicing their pick-and-pops.
After D.C., the Las Vegas Summer League 2012 kicked off, and Wizards’ first game was a loss. However, Jan’s hard work on his outside shot was on display, and he nailed three long 2-point jumpers. Jan scored 11 points, and picked up 4 rebounds; proof that he is becoming a more confident offensive threat. In Game 2, the Wizards bounced back with a solid effort, besting the Houston Rockets 76-70. Jan played his part, picking up 8 points, and 5 rebounds in 21 minutes. On the next playing day, the Wizards were defeated by the D-League Select Team—not a great game, but Jan managed to collect 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, shooting 50%. He even managed to squeeze in a signature highlight, dunking off an alley-oop pass. After that, Jan picked up 9 points again, plus 5 offensive and 7 defensive rebounds in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies, making it his Summer League-high. Jan even showed off his back-to-the-basket repertoire, with a beautiful post move and dunk. In their fifth and last game, the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks, leaving Las Vegas with a 3-2 record. Unfortunately, the game didn’t end well for Jan—he played just 2 minutes due to rolling his right ankle at the start of the game. Nothing serious, though; just a minor injury.
Between all those dunks, passes, and rebounds, Jan and his personal team began work on his new website, 24janvesely.com, and he had a lot of fun in the process. Before long, the Wizards will begin their annual September training camp leading up to Jan’s second NBA season. NBA basketball is less than 45 days away! Last week the Wizards announced their pre-season schedule—their first game is October 7, 2012 against the Bobcats in Charlotte, North Carolina.