It has always been the goal of this blog to cover Young European Basketball players. Of course, all the different NBA aspirants get the most attention. But I tried to cover also other young players that are not that much hyped but are also doing their job on the basketball court. In order to present some more “unknown” young players, I start a series about Europeans playing in the NCAA and that may not be familiar to European readers. The players I chose are probably not big time NBA prospects but they are all worth to be talked about. And as the choice had also to be limited, this is not a selection on sportive criteria either but I tried to find players from different European countries. Maybe we will see some of these guys in the future in the different European leagues.
Maros Zuffa is a 1m94 tall Shooting Guard from Bratislava. He has been a regular contributor for the different Slovakian Youth National teams in Division B of the European Championships. During this last summer, he finished the U20 Championship with 12.4ppg and 4.3rpg and had especially a great scoring game against Finland with 30pts. Maros is born in 1987 and actually plays at Kentucky Wesleyan in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in NCAA Division 2.
I wanted to know from Maros how he arrived in this team as he has been recruited by some more prestigious colleges of Division 1?
The way I came to the United States was kind of interesting…I got on this basketball camp that was playing colleges on east coast when I was just a sophomore in high school in Slovakia. And I got recruited by few high schools in that area and next year my junior year on high school I decided to go on High School in Baltimore and stayed there the following year too.
I made couple of all star selections there winning two school championships and was recruited by some nice schools such as Rhode Island, Oregon State, UNLV, Richmond, St. Johns etc. But I decided to sign with Southern Mississippi.
I was at Southern Mississippi then last year in my freshman year. After I finished playing for the 20 and under National Team this past summer, I decided to transfer to a different school, Kentucky Wesleyan, because of the lack of playing time and I wouldn’t see myself playing more next (this year) season so I transferred.
Slovakia is not know for being a huge basketball nation, especially not in the men area. Can you give us a little more information about your home country and what is the status of basketball there?`
Playing basketball in a country like Slovakia is not really fun. Lack of gyms, lack of good coaches, lack of motivation and not a good name on basketball scene. Of course we expect things turn around in few year because we have some good players playing out of the country and also some raising stars.
Maros, can you explain a bit what type of player you are and what are your forces and weaknesses?
I think I am kind of a combo guard. I can play easily at the one and two spot. My strengths are definitely my handles and passing skills, you know seeing the court in fast breaks. I do not blow by defenders but I can cross them over or make them go other direction with my handles.
On the other side my weakness is to take care of the ball like throwing lazy passes and my jump shoot which is not consistent and I need to work on it and also making better decisions. Sometimes I turn the ball over because of bad decision making.
Finally, how do you see your future in Basketball? What are your goals?
Once I am done with school in the US, I am definitely coming back to Europe to hoop just like I have done every summer with the National Team. So I want to get better in the United States and come back to play in some mid or top leagues in Europe. I really would like to get into the Italian or the Spanish league.