Greivis Vasquez says Gary Williams could kick a ball into the basket during Maryland basketball practice


(John McDonnell / TWP)

With the World Cup stealing most of my sporting attention during afternoon hours this month, it seems worth posting this little nugget from Greivis Vasquez, which I had not previously heard. Before reading, please remember that Gary Williams coached soccer at Lafayette at the beginning of his career.

So anyhow, the former Terps star guard was on ESPN 980 with Williams this week, and the former Maryland coach asked him a wacky question.

“Hey Greivis, you’ve got to answer this question for me, okay?” Williams began. “When you were at Maryland your four years, who had the best hook shot on the team?”

“You guys won’t believe this,” Vasquez said. “Coach Gary Williams was the best. To me, he wasn’t a basketball player when he was younger, he was a soccer player. He would be at the other end of the court just kicking the ball; it went right up in the hoop. I mean, it was unbelievable.”

“I could kick the ball in the basket, yeah,” Williams agreed. “You know, you’d mess around in practice with the guys when I was coaching soccer, so you gradually got where you could kick the ball a little bit, and I could make that once in a while.”

“That was the scene before practice,” Vasquez said. “He was always trying to score the ball by kicking it, and it was unbelievable. He did it many many times my four years. He was unbelievable. As a matter of fact, I haven’t seen [the hook shot] in a while, but I’d bet on that shot against anybody. I’d put a lot of money on that, for sure. It was cool, it was really cool.”

Vasquez also responded to Williams’s revelation that he would tell his star before practice that he was going to yell at him to make an example for the rest of the team.

“Me and coach Williams always had a good relationship,” Vasquez said. “I always went to office just to talk about different things in life. And when we started talking about practice, he did tell me many times that he was gonna get on me. But when a coach really gets on you, whether he planned it or not, it’s good because that means he cares. So Coach Williams always cared about my career, my game, my family. And my whole experience with him was really outstanding. And to me, that was what really got me to the NBA.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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