Alexey Shved Interview
He's considered the most talented guard in Europe born in
1988 and one of the next rising European stars who can leave his mark on the
NBA in the future. Born in Belgorod, the 6-6' Alexey
Shved has a "heavy" number 23 on his jersey, but a lot of scouts
compare him to a European version of Penny Hardaway. With his skinny frame
and an eternal smile on his face, the young Russian prospect is not concerned
about his NBA future and is working hard to gain minutes for the best
team in Europe, CSKA Moscow. Let's get to know him better...
It has been a busy summer for you. The Senior National Team, the preparation with the under-20 NT and the European Championship in Latvia, and now the training camp with CSKA. How is your physical condition now?
AS: It's been crazy, traveling and training everywhere. I had only one week of rest in all summer, but right now I'm feeling good. My experience at the European Championships under-20 has been not easy, we had a very difficult group with Serbia, France and Slovenia. We also suffered the injury of my teammate Artem Zabelin and at the end our 9th place was a bit unfair. Right now we're preparing the new season with CSKA, following the guidance of a great coach like Ettore Messina.
Do you feel ready to join an NBA team next year?
AS: Right now the NBA is not a priority for me, I have a contract with a top team - CSKA and I will wait 2 more years to declare myself for the NBA draft. I'm 20 and I have a lot of work to do, technically and also physically. I practice with my staff on fundamentals and on my body with the physical trainer whenever I can. When I'll decide to declare for the NBA, I know I have to train harder if I want to make my body ready for a higher level of competition.
Do you see yourself as strictly a shooting guard, a point guard or both?
AS: I don't like to limit myself. Well, I used to play like a shooting guard, but surely I can adapt my game: the important thing is to play any different role the coaching staff decides. In US players like me are classified like "combo guards", I think I can handle the ball as a point guard and also play as a shooting guard.
How was your experience at the "Reebok Eurocamp 2008" in Treviso (Italy)? Do you think you will come back next year?
AS: It was great, there were the best young talents in Europe and the camp was well organized. The coaching staff gave me some advice and helped me to correct some errors, and I think this is very useful for a player's development. If they invite me next year, I will come back for sure.
Ettore Messina is probably the best coach in Europe right now. How is your relationship with a "teacher" like him?
AS: I'm really happy that coach Messina has stayed in Moscow because last year I learned a lot with him. He has great experience in every facet of the game, and I have to improve my game to gain some minutes. CSKA is a great team this year, we have new players like Morris, Planinic and Kaun and this will give me a boost to do my best.
The Russian National Team is European Champion in charge and next year there will be the Championships in Poland . What are your feelings for your National team?
AS: I want to play with the NT with other guys, but before I have to do my best for CSKA. The Russian League will be more difficult with Garbajosa, Delfino, Pargo, Krstic and other former NBA players and also Euroleague will be tough with great teams like Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Barcelona and Siena. I have experienced playing for the Senior National Team last summer and I enjoyed the experience but I want to approach each event one at a time. Our season will be so long....
Author : Luca Codato