Greivis Vasquez: Gary Williams holds "special place in my heart"

Greivis Vasquez: Gary Williams holds "special place in my heart"
April 7, 2014, 6:45 pm
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(Associated Press)

Watch Greivis Vasquez's full comments in the video above

Former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez says he knew, even during his playing days with the Terrapins, that this day would come. Some day he would see his coach, Gary Williams, find his way into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Now, four years after his graduation from Maryland, he saw it happen Monday.

“I was just so happy. I couldn’t really describe how happy I was when I got the news,” Vasquez told CSN’s Chick Hernandez by phone. “I know him personally and how hard he worked and what a great person he is.

“In particular with me, he really made me an NBA player. He did the last few steps for me to get to the NBA and because of that, now I can be able to take care of my family now.”

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Vasquez won the ACC Player of the Year and Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s best point guard in 2010 before entering the NBA Draft. He was selected 28th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2010 NBA Draft and has since played for four teams.

Averaging 9.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, he is poised to make the playoffs this season with the Toronto Raptors.

“I can tell you this,” he said. “Thirty-one million people back home in Venezuela...they are all very happy and thankful that he gave the only Venezuelan [currently on an NBA roster] the opportunity to develop as a player and a person and now I’m in the NBA.

“Gary is always going to have a special place for me in my heart and obviously my home country too.”