Michael Fusek Interview
Michael Fusek is a 7-foot-5, 21 year old center from Slovak Republic who shined in front of NBA scouts at the 2016 adidas Eurocamp, earning the top bigman award. Playing for Spirou Charleroi in Belgium, he shows surprising mobility and intensity for a player his size. With developing skills, Fusek is an intriguing prospect who could be drafted for his long term potential and is eligible for the 2017 NBA draft.
NBADraft.net: Who’s been the biggest influence on your basketball career?
Michael Fusek: Definitely the biggest influence in my basketball career has been my Mom. Since I was a little kid till now. She also played professional basketball for a couple of years so for sure there is something she can give me advice on.
NBADraft.net: At what age did you realize basketball was something you wanted to pursue? I started with basketball when I was 9 years old. Until I was 15 years old basketball was for me just afternoon fun. After I really started to like basketball and realized that it's something I love and I want to be part of something bigger than a small club in Slovakia.
NBADraft.net: How would you describe your playing style?
Michael Fusek: I would describe my playing style as similar as DeAndre Jordan because also like him most of my finishes end up hanging on the rim after the alley-oop.
NBADraft.net: Who’s your favorite pro player?
Michael Fusek: As I mentioned DeAndre is my guy. I would say he is my favorite player but to to watch and learn form other players I do like to watch old footage of Tim Duncan, as well as Kristaps Porzingis and Steven Adams.
NBADraft.net: What expectations do you have for next season. What are your goals?
Michael Fusek: For this season my goal is to get on the court and show what I have been working on the last couple of years and get ready for the 2017 NBA draft and I want to be the best European in the NBA in rebounds and blocks.
NBADraft.net: What's the biggest thing that you need to work on?
Michael Fusek: Definitely the biggest thing I have to work on is my body. I’ve had problems in gaining weight but with the help of my agent Phillip Parun and my strength coach Blair O'Donovan we are making big strides and making a big difference between before and now.
NBADraft.net: What was your experience like with Team Slovak?
Michael Fusek: During Last summer I was with the Slovakian national team. I really like it over there because there a lot of young players and not just working on the team stuff but also individually. And preparing not just for this year but also for the future. But sadly I could not complete the whole camp and the qualification for the European championship because I had to come back to train with my team in Belgium.
NBADraft.net: What kind of stuff do you like to do off the court?
Michael Fusek: Off the court I like to watch movies, and cook if I have enough time because I like good food, also hanging out with my friends and watch some NBA games and play some video games but right now there is not that much free time so mostly I am focused on working and becoming a better basketball player.
NBADraft.net: What about diet? Have you improved your diet at all since you’ve become a top level player? Are you trying to eat better? What do you do as far as working out and diet?
Michael Fusek: We sat down with my agent and the GM of my Club and a part of our plan was to focus on developing my body and gaining strength. In the last couple years my main focus was to gain weight and have a better diet. Last year I was working with Blair Odonovan in Maryland where he taught me a lot in how to lift and how to eat correctly and that was definitely the game changer for me. I gained 35 pounds and that improved my game and my confidence a lot. Even during the regular season I am trying to go lift almost every day and staying focused in what I am eating.
NBADraft.net: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Michael Fusek: There is only one answer for this question I want to see an NBA jersey with my name on it.
NBADraft.net: Who’s been the most difficult opponent you’ve faced?
Michael Fusek: The most difficult opponent I have faced was Justin Hamilton playing for Valencia.
NBADraft.net: How has Charleroi been so far?
Michael Fusek: Charleroi been pretty good so far. The league in Belgium is good and the only thing I would like to change is my playing time to play more minutes and help the team win.
NBADraft.net: What’s been the most memorable moment of your basketball career so far?
Michael Fusek: Most memorable moment was when I was in Vegas and played against Demarcus Cousins and Patrick Beverley and getting to play with other NBA players.
NBADraft.net: If you could go back and give advice to a ninth grade Michael Fusek, what would you say?
Michael Fusek: For sure I would say to go to the gym every day and lift and eat more food.
NBADraft.net: What can you tell us about your experience in Treviso and the Eurocamp?
Michael Fusek: My agent developed a summer plan to develop me and a part of it was to go to Eurocamp in Treviso. I received the invitation just a couple of days before the Adidas Eurocamp because I was on the waiting list but after the camp I was chosen as the best big men of the camp which was what I was really happy about. I was little bit surprised that a lot players don't like to share the ball a lot but my opinion is that basketball is team sport and passing and sharing the ball is very important. It was really good experience for me to play against another great young players from Europe and see the weaknesses where I have to improve. Also getting to meet a lot of interesting people. Also was great to see and listen coach David Blatt and a lot of interesting stories from his coaching career.