Wake-up call: Greivis Vasquez aims to be a starter again

Wake-up call: Greivis Vasquez aims to be a starter again
June 25, 2014, 6:00 am
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Greivis Vasquez believes he may have found a home with the Toronto Raptors, but the ultimately the point guard wants to be a starter in the NBA. 

He's a restricted free agent and depending on what happens with starter Kyle Lowry, who is unrestricted, Vasquez could be in the perfect spot. In the meantime, he'll be returning to the D.C.-Maryland area to run the Greivis Vasquez Elite Basketball Camp from Monday- July 3 at Washington Bible College in Lanham, Md. It'll be for boys and girls ages 6-17 boys and girls from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration can be done here

"I’ve been traded four times," Vasquez, who attended Montrose Christian in Rockville, Md., and was drafted out of University of Maryland in the first round in 2010, said recently in an interview with Baltimore station WNST.net. "They usually see LeBron (James) and Kobe (Bryant) and KD (Kevin Durant) but not everybody is going to be those guys. I want to tell them something different." 

Vasquez was taken 28th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies where he was a backup. He was sent to the then-New Orleans Hornets where he started 78 games and became a top candidate for the NBA's most improved player, was traded to the Sacramento Kings and now he's with the Raptors. That 2012-13 season with New Orleans was his only stint as a full-time starter. Health has been a major issue for Vasquez, but he may be over that hump. 

"This is a huge summer. Obviously, Kyle Lowry (is an) unrestricted free agent. I'm a restricted free agent … Hopefully they keep the team together," Vasquez said about Toronto, which was eliminated in seven games of a first-round playoff series vs. the Brooklyn Nets, to WNST. "You don’t know. What I know is that I have one of the greatest times this past season with the Toronto Raptors. After coming off a tough injury I finished up the season very very strong and I did my thing.

"Ultimately I want to be, hopefully in Toronto. I still got to give myself a chance to be a starting point guard. I feel like I can do many many different (things) now that I’m healthy. I have to give myself another shot. I have to earn that. I understand perfectly the things that I have to do for me to be the point guard that I want to be."

[MORE: Here we go again, Lebron James enters Free Agency]

Vasquez also took time to talk about his former coach at Maryland, Gary Williams. Williams, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in August, serves as a basketball analyst for CSN. 

"Gary Williams is an amazing coach and an amazing person. … This guy still texts me. Still worries about me. To me that’s more important than any money, any fame that I will gain," Vasquez said. "Gary deserves every single thing he has in his life right now. I’m thankful that I know him and I can call him a father, a coach a friend, many different things. ... 

"He got guys in the NBA that people never thought was going to be in the NBA. To me that’s legendary right there. It’s easy to get a No. 1 recruit from high school and get to the NBA. That’s easy work.  But what’s hard is getting a guy like me when I wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American or anything like that and he made me an NBA player. That’s big-time."