During the course of the offseason, Scorers 1st members look back on their pro season overseas and look ahead to their summer approach to growing their game, while offering some advice to rookies along the way...
After finishing his college career as a Division 2 All-American at Winona State, Clayton Vette (available for 15-16 season) spent his first season in professional basketball (2013-14) split between Belgium and Germany before going on to excel at the Scorers 1st Showcase in Las Vegas. The 6-foot-9 power forward/center's hard work paid off during the offseason. Vette signed with Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic, was named to the All-Star team and ranked among league leaders in scoring (3rd with 18.2 points per game) and rebounds (3rd with 7.7 rebounds per game) this season.
For those not familiar with your game, can you give us the scouting report on Clayton Vette? I'm a 6-foot-9 versatile player who can guard and play the 4 or 5 because of my size and mobility. I love physical play and really play hard every possession. Getting out and running the floor is something I do very well and can beat players up and down the floor. I'm a very good pick and roll player with my ability to finish around and rim and shooting touch from the outside. Other than that I just love to win and being on winning teams is very important to me.
Now entering your third season out of Winona State, how has your overall game grown during your professional career? In college I was just a back to the basket big man but over the last couple of years in Europe I have really developed a face-up game and overall feel for the game. My spacing on the offense and defensive end has really improved and changed with the style of play that is used in Europe. My shooting range has really expanded with all the pick and roll offense that is played overseas.
What did you learn the most about yourself as a person/player this past season playing in the Czech Republic? I think the biggest thing I learned in the Czech Republic was just keeping a confidence in myself throughout the season. The season is very long and can be a grind in the later months and just staying positive and focused throughout that is important. Also taking care of my body with eating better and doing those little things helped keep me in top shape. My body felt so much better at the end of the season because of what I did all season to keep myself accountable.
What is your focus and approach to getting better this offseason? My focus this offseason is going to be getting more consistent on the three-point line. I shot the three fairly well this season but I want to be a knock down shooter who will stretch the floor and be a serious threat when I'm out there. Another thing I'm going to be working on is my foot speed. Being able to lock down a smaller 4 on the perimeter is something I want to be able to do better next season. I know I am close but will have to put in the time this summer doing drills that will help me improve in that area specifically.
If you could share any words of wisdom for guys making the jump from college to playing professionally what would it be? I would say right away you need to realize that this is a job now and how you make your living. You have to look at it that way when dealing with how you treat your body and how you look at every workout you do. Find an agent who is going to be honest with you and one who is going to tell you things that maybe you don't want to hear but need to. The last thing would be just be all in with it. Your body is only able to do this for a short amount of time, so take care of it and don't look too far down the road and just take it one day at a time.
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