|13 July 2013|
|Pasta for the coach, Pizza for me: Kaspars Vecvagars |
Latvia have played crowd-pleasing basketball in Tallinn and concluded the First Round at the Sportland U20 European Championship as the top team in Group C, thanks in great part to the performances of Kaspars Vecvagars.
The point guard leads his team in scoring with 20.3 points per game on 43.6% shooting from the floor and his excellent ball-handling skills have forced opponents to foul him more than any other player in the tournament, 6.5 times per game on average.
Fibaeurope.com submitted Vecvagars to its ruthless Half-Court Press but the young Latvian dribbled his way through with characteristic ease:
How did you start playing the game?
My father played basketball and I remember when I was seven years old he was playing in Austria and I had nothing to do at home, so I went to play with the older guys. Actually Kamil Novak (the current FIBA Europe Secretary General) was also playing on that team and I was going together with his son.
Who is your favourite player?
I don't want to be like somebody in particular, I just take everything I can from various players, I like [Ricky] Rubio, [Juan Carlos] Navarro, I like Kristaps Valters, lots of players, I just take something I like from them and try to be myself.
Is there any game in particular that has marked your young career?
I hope it is yet to come, in this championship!
What's in the books for Latvia after that?
In the future with the senior national team, I want us to reach the goals that we have never achieved, like playing in a World Championship or the Olympic Games. I think that in the future, it will be possible for us to do it. We have great young guys like [Dairis and Davis] Bertans, [Janis] Timma, we could have a very good team.
What do you want to achieve personally as a player?
The maximum I can do with the talent I have. If it is [enough for] the NBA then it's the NBA, or if it is Euroleague or EuroChallenge, whichever one is the maximum I can reach.
What is your favourite food and what would you eat if you were allowed everything?
As a sportsman, every time I eat pasta and chicken; but if no one was looking, I would probably eat pizza [he laughs].
Would you cook chicken if the coach came around your house for dinner?
For the coach I would cook pasta because it's easy and I don't know how to do anything else.
Which city should every European visit once?
Of course Riga, the most beautiful city in Europe, it has so great architecture and nice people, everybody should come and visit it at least once or on vacation to relax.