MADRID (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - In case NBA fans were wondering, Sergii Gladyr still has a sweet shooting stroke, the same one that made him a second-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2009.
The Ukrainian just had a terrific summer, too, one in which he helped his country qualify for next year's EuroBasket in Slovenia.
He got a dose of the NBA in the process because Mike Fratello is the coach of his national team.
Fratello must have pulled the right strings with Gladyr because he drilled 39% (16 of 41) f his shots from the arc and helped the national side clinch second place in its group behind Croatia.
Gladyr led a balanced Ukraine scoring attack at 12.4 points per game.
Did he like the experience with Fratello, who once led the Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA?
"All the coaches are different," Gladyr said to FIBA.com.
"But I do like to play for Coach Fratello because it's a new vision of basketball for me, because it's NBA and I like it."
And what of the NBA? Is it still something Gladyr hopes to experience one day?
"Of course," he said.
"If I could, I would like to.
"I think my agent has to talk with them but first, I have to play well and then my agent would talk to them."
Ukraine on track
Fratello's side was among the most impressive in the Qualification Round for Slovenia.
They qualified before their last game.
For Ukraine it was a must to have a good summer.
They wanted to build momentum for EuroBasket 2015, an event that Ukraine will host.
It was also very significant for Gladyr.
"For me," he said, "it was important to start to be a part of the team because the last couple of times I had been out because of injuries.
"It was important for me to start to be a part of the team.
"It was very important that we qualified because we had to show we can go into the European Championship on our own."
Ukraine were among the sides that played at EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania but only after the tournament was expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
"We had the strength to do this before Euro 2015 in Ukraine, so to get some self-belief, it helps us think that we can do something big," Gladyr said.
Not the finished article
Gladyr has entered the new Liga Endesa campaign in Spain, where he plays for Fuenlabrada in Madrid, looking to maintain the good form he had with his national team.
But he also wants to improve every aspect of his game.
"What do I have to do to keep getting better?" he said.
"I have to go hard every day, in every practice and in every game.
"I have to give 110% no matter what. It's my goal.
"First of all, I have to improve my driving, my penetration.
“I have to improve my defense, even my shot. It's not perfect.
"I have to improve, day by day."
Gladyr also wants to remain healthy so he can experience a EuroBasket Final Round for the first time.
If the Ukraine players’ confidence grew this summer, they want to give their fans cause to believe that come 2015, the national team will be very good.
What about something else?
What if Ukraine could play well enough next year that they qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain?
That would certainly generate a lot of excitement in the sport.
Gladyr allowed himself to think about this.
He smiled and said: "If we could qualify for the World Cup, the first time in our history ... I don't want to talk about this because it's in the future.
"But we'll see.
"We will go hard and give everything to try and do this."