Krejčí’s confession: I was driven by the fear that I would not give my best. My ceiling is high

He remains the only Czech player in the NBA. And in September, he could be one of the secret trumps of the national team selection in the most anticipated EURObasket: young, inexperienced, full of energy and passion. At the end of the 2021-22 season, Vít Krejčí enjoyed an unexpectedly high playing time in the Oklahoma City Thunder jersey, but he knows that things will be different in the new season – injured stars will return, his role will change . “I am ready to fight for everything again,” declared the determined native of Strakonice.

When you talk about Víto Krejčí to people from the basketball environment, everyone immediately mentions his hard work and commitment. The 22-year-old winger crossed an unconventional path – at the age of 14, he went to Zaragoza, where he was improving in the local team, until he was pointed out by Sam Presti, the general manager of Oklahoma City Thunder, in the 2020 NBA draft, and he was immediately acquired by the Washington Wizards.

Attention: this is a big name among the leaders of the NBA, after all, Presti drafted players like Kevin Durant, James Harden or Russell Westbrook in the famous league. Krejčí got his attention despite the fact that before the draft, the player from Strakonic seriously injured his knee and it was clear that he had to rehabilitate for almost a year. Perhaps Presti also believes Krejčí’s hard work will bear fruit for the Thunder in the future. In addition, Oklahoma is an ideal destination for the young Czech; the team is betting on young players and the pressure to win is not yet the same as other teams.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word basketball?
“Love.” (no doubt)

Where does passion come from?
“I was fond of ball sports from a young age. Always. People say that they only saw me at the ball. I was always in the hall: my sister was training, my father was training, and then I went in basketball by myself. That’s all I care about. Basketball, basketball, basketball. I still have the ball in my hands. Even though I can’t dribble yet, I just throw it, kick it, whatever.”

You never fail to mention how much of an influence your father, a former basketball player himself, had on you…
“Dad didn’t directly push me in basketball, he didn’t even have to, but he pushed me as much as possible. He always believed that I could become something one day, he saw the potential in me. And he didn’t bother me at all. He is a soldier, now he must be on a mission in Egypt.’

How was a military-basketball upbringing like from your father’s point of view?
“I’ll give you an example. When we were training together, he passed me and I caught the ball badly. You know, the basketball classic. Then my pinky hurt so much, I didn’t train properly, and my father told me that put my finger in cold water and came back. I continued training, but it was very painful. About 14 days later, we played a match in Jindřichov Hradec, where I fell on that finger – and I knew immediately that it was bad. We had an x-ray, where the doctor told me that I had broken a bone two weeks ago. Then I realized it was at training with my dad… But I’m glad he pushed me like that to be better.”

Don’t you envy the free regime of others?
“Sure. But I looked ahead and believed I could make it this far. And I’d rather make a sacrifice now than go somewhere, miss training and then regret it.”

With your two meters, you stand out on the perimeter between point guards and lower wings even in the NBA. Was it clear from childhood that you would play facing the basket? They don’t want to get you because of the height of the pivot?
“Look, I’m not the biggest! I’m so small.’

Forgiveness? Baby boy?
“Of course. I’ve always played with guys three years older than me, and here I am

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