Sunday, August 26, 2012
8/26/2012 01:09:00 AM | Posted by Mitch McClure | Edit Post
The NBA is a massive transition for young talent and usually is an even bigger transition for international players. Not only do they have to learn the pace of the game, how to speak to the media, and getting used to travelling but they also have to adapt to things like English and the American lifestyle.
According to Lina Motužytė on www.lrytas.lt (Lithuanian website), Jonas Valanciunas and other beginning international players like Donatas Motiejunas took an NBA training course to learn the dress code, financial tips, how to deal with media, and how to stay out of the headlines by avoiding scandals involving women, drugs, and social media. At this session, stories were told about things that have happened in the past involving NBA players sharing the wrong information through social media and such.
"Emphasized that we have to think of what to write in social networks, what pictures go to great lengths to avoid scandals," said Valanciunas.
"We learned a lot of things. We've heard some good and bad examples. It is always better to learn from the mistakes of others than your own. "
Jonas is showing a ton of initiative to adapt to the lifestyle of the NBA after missing out on participating in the Summer League due to playing with Lithuania in London. It's natural for NBA rookies to feel uneasy making the transition into the league yet Jonas claims to be ready for the challenge.
"Life has changed considerably - I will be away from the native home, I will be surrounded by other team-mates, the other language. Yes, the excitement is, but it is overshadowed by a huge desire.
I want to go to the league, to work hard and prove that I can play basketball -laughed J. Valanciunas. - I do not think it will be difficult to settle there.
Jonas is coming off a slightly disappointing outing in the Olympics after having reduced minutes throughout the tournament due to lack of experience. His standards are still though the roof to Raptors fans after dominating the Under 19 World Championships en route to grabbing the gold and MVP award, stashing it away with his other two golds and MVPs that he received in the FIBA Euro under 18 and 16 championships.
(All quotes translated from Lithuanian to English)
(Photo Cred: AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY )