Q&A with Vladimir Radmanovic from Japan
Hawks.com had the chance to talk to Vlad while he was in Japan participating in Basketball Without Borders.
NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe
Mutombo, Sam Dalembert (Houston Rockets) and Vladimir Radmanovic (Atlanta
Hawks) will tip off the summer with Basketball without Borders Asia in
Tokyo, Japan, from June 13 – 16. Xebio Co., LTD, a leading Japanese sports
retail company, will serve as the Official Co-Organizer of Basketball without
Borders Asia, providing all aspects of on-ground event support. In addition to
NBA Cares community outreach efforts in Tokyo, the NBA players and coaches will
visit Sendai where the group will conduct a basketball and fitness clinic for
children affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
> Read Full Press Release Here
What does your schedule look like today (first day of the trip)?
This morning, I spent time at a sumo-wrestling practice facility and now we are going to camp for a couple hours and then some media availability after that.
Have you ever been to Japan? If so, what do you think of it?
I was here in 2003, when I played overseas but just for a short time. It is very different - A totally different culture here and the people are so nice. It’s really great.
What are some of the biggest differences between here and there?
The big difference between here, Europe and the US is that they drive on the left side. And it’s quite frightening every once in a while when you don’t realize where you’re at and you’re going to crash into someone because you are the wrong side of the road. But the city (Tokyo) is amazing. It is so big – there are literally buildings all over the place.
What is the main message you are trying to get across while you’re over there?
Basketball is not very big here and the NBA is always trying to grow the game in Asia and there are so many people here that can play basketball so it’s a great thing to be part of spreading it.
How does it feel to be part of Basketball Without Borders?
Well, it’s a good feeling to be part of something like this. Every chance I get to participate in things like this, Basketball Without Borders, it’s a good thing. Helping young players develop their game and their skill set, it’s a win-win.
What is it like working with Dikembe Mutombo?
He has been all over the place and is very well-recognized as an NBA ambassador. I’ve been with him on a couple trips and it’s always a good experience.
Are you looking forward to visiting Sendai?
Yes, Sendai will be an amazing trip. The city was wiped out years ago by the tsunami and earthquake and it was a tough experience for them all, I’m sure. Their homes were flooded by the seawater – about a thousand families that lost their homes. I know how it feels to lose everything so I feel for them.
What do you think about Japanese food?
This is my favorite cuisine! Sushi is my favorite food and this is one of the places where it is really good and very well- known. They have the best sushi in the world.