Enjoy Your Journey, How David Vanterpool Made His Way to the NBA

Enjoy Your Journey, How David Vanterpool Made His Way to the NBA

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Ultimately at the end of the day we’re
all people from different walks of life. Obviously basketball is
what brings everybody together but what ties us together is our human
nature our commonality in that and at different philosophies when it comes to
schematics and how you want to approach a situation but when it comes to dealing
with people it’s all the same no matter what vocation you are in and you know
being as personable as possible for me is always been the way that I was as
a player and the way that I’ve been since. I’m David Vanterpool Associate Head
Coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. I grew up in Washington D.C.
metropolitan area. Early on in High School I played football as well as
basketball so I tried different sports and I loved football like football was
like my favorite sport and I thought I was a really good football player I
thought I was okay at basketball. At one point I had a headache for like probably
like a week/week and a half straight all day every day and I just decided I
was like I’m not gonna play football anymore and my growth spurt just
happened like quickly so you know I gravitated completely towards basketball
from that point on and again it felt like the sport chose me. At the other forward a 6’5 senior from
Silver Spring, Maryland number 44 David Vanterpool I accepted a scholarship
to the St. Bonaventure University which is in Upstate New York.
What about David Vanterpool of Bonnies can they retaliate? Well they’re
gonna hope that they can and they hope they can keep things close for a while.
First of all the Bonnies started out losing their first three games of the
year now they’re six and six and yes David Vanderpool is the man. It was a
completely different environment than the one I grew up in. I grew up in
Washington DC area in the late 80s early 90s not really a diverse community and I
go to school in Upstate New York close to Buffalo and you know in all honesty
it’s funny because that ended up kind of being a testing ground for some of the
things that kind of became my life and where I went in the places that I
traveled after that the things I had to adjust to just to be in a different
environment and immersing myself in the culture that I wasn’t necessarily
familiar with. Solid career as a player I thought I was inducted into
their Hall of Fame and I had a good time, had a great time. Well then I went the longest route
around to get into the NBA. My first thought especially talking with my agent
at the time we decided to go overseas and you know now I’m in a country that I
don’t speak the language. The first stop that I went to I went to replace a
player in Italy and my heart was not in it at all. I’m like I’m here I
don’t want to be here I was in the hotel the first week and I called home every
night and was on the phone for hours at a time and my phone bill for the hotel
basically was my pay. Whatever they paid me I had to pay the hotel but that
week I mean it was a disaster. I wasn’t prepared at the
time to be I guess just dropped into that situation.
So it was tough early on I ended up my first year I
actually played in China from there like I said my heart was still about trying
to trying to play in the NBA so after a few years of that I came back and played
in the CBA first and was able to live out my dream. I ended up getting called
up by the Washington Wizards which is my hometown team and had opportunity to
play for them. I mixed in with the New Jersey Nets they were in New Jersey at
the time and the Detroit Pistons a little bit but you know I had an
opportunity to make it to the league as a player and actually play games and you
know go through some of that process and I really fell in love with that. After
that I actually went back to Italy and decided to go play for a team in Italy
which was great because now I’m mentally prepared to immerse myself in that
culture and learn to speak Italian and was there for
three seasons. Won an Italian championship with Siena Montepaschi. From there I got another call from another team after a
few years and I ended up going to Seska Moscow which is again another country
different culture and we were fortunate in my first year there we won their
first year League title in 35 years I think and then it was time my knees were
telling me my back was telling me it’s time to stop. So my coach my last year
playing was Ettore Messina, he told me basically he was like you gonna come
coach when you finish playing and I always told him I don’t
want to coach I don’t want to deal with players like me I don’t want to deal
with this stuff. So my first year after retiring I basically took kind of the
year off to see what I wanted to do and you know basketball the game it just
kept calling me I always was interested and wanted to be around it. You know everything for me is to try to be as positive as possible try to empower them as much as possible and we try to figure out solutions together. You know I feel
like first of all players are highly talented far more talented than I ever
could have been and you want to allow their talent to take over each situation
that presents itself you just want to give them possible solutions. The reality
is I can’t see through the same lens that they’re looking at. So I try
not to impart myself into you should do this over that. I just want to give them
hey is this a possibility is that a possibility? Can you see this can you see
that? And I think they’re receptive to it and they take some
ownership and things that happen on the court because they’ve helped make their
decision on what the solution should be. I’ve turned into the type of person that
really believes in trying to be wrapped up in the journey more than the
destination. I even go back to when I was a kid not having some of the things that
my kids now have gave me a lot as far as fulfillment so when I wanted to hook up
with my friends if I picked up my house phone and made a phone call and somebody
wasn’t home then I would hang up and then now I’m on my bike, I’m walking or
whatever and I’m taking a journey from my house to their house to see where
they are where they might be. Or maybe it’s a basketball court around let me go
see if they’re down there at the courts. On that journey I’m encountering life
and encountering real life and having to deal with the things that are going on
around me on a personal basis and learning different things okay well
maybe I went that way last time that wasn’t a good street to turn down let me
go this way. So now I’ve learned something automatically I mean it’s
incredible how far we’ve come with technology and the advances of society
and the things that we have created but we have to be cognizant and aware of the
things that we kind of miss out on and from that the journeys that I had as a
child I really try to stay wrapped up in the journeys that I’m having now so I
look up and I happen to be where I am now it’s not I’m trying to get here
there you know so on and so forth it’s just a journey and you just stay wrapped
up in the journey state into in tune to who you are what you’re doing and they
seem to take care of themself.

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