Wizards introduce 1st-round pick Jan Vesely

Associated Press Modified: June 27, 2011 at 11:46 am •  Published: June 27, 2011
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Jan Vesely is right where he wanted to be all along.

The 6-foot-11 forward from the Czech Republic was the sixth overall pick by Washington in the NBA draft last Thursday — and he couldn't have been more thrilled during an introductory news conference.

"I'm happy to be here," Vesely said Monday. "I hoped that Washington picked me."

He sure showed it, too on draft night. Vesely made some headlines when his name was announced and he passionately kissed his girlfriend Eva on television.

"All the news, nobody knows about the picks on draft night," said Vesely, who wasn't embarrassed by the attention the smooch got. "It was all about the kiss."

With Eva looking on Monday, the 21-year old Vesely was flanked on the dais by Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, coach Flip Saunders and general manager Ernie Grunfeld. Vesely and the Wizards knew a lot about each other because Washington had scouted him for several years.

"This is a very exciting day for us," said Grunfeld, who envisions Vesely as being an ideal fast-break complement for speedy point guard John Wall. "(Jan) fits the mold of the type of players we're looking for. We're looking for players that play hard, that compete, that are team players. He also has a lot of experience."

Vesely averaged 10.3 points and 4.3 rebounds for Partizan in 26 games in the Adriatic League. In Partizan's 15 games in the Euroleague, "The Flying Czech" — the nickname Vesely said was given to him while playing in Serbia — averaged 10.1 points and 3.6 rebounds.



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