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Victor Claver
Victor Claver (ESP) 2011 Eurobasket (Lithuania)
ESP/USA - Claver 'willing to work and grow' in NBA

PORTLAND (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Victor Claver, after spending his rookie season in the NBA with the Trail Blazers, is looking forward to returning to his native Spain this summer for a lot of reasons.

One of them relates to the weather.

"One of things I'm looking forward to is the sun because in Portland, it rains a lot," he said.

Getting used to a damp climate has been just one adjustment for the former Valencia Basket captain.

"I have missed my family and friends and it's something that I wasn't accustomed to," he said in an interview on the FEB website.

"I took this decision because it's something that I wanted, that I needed, so I can't complain."

And what of his rookie campaign?

By crossing the Atlantic, he's had to fight to get his minutes on the court.

"The worst thing wasn't not playing," he said, "but the uncertainty of not knowing what my role would be.

"The best thing has been to feel a part of the NBA, to experience it first hand, and that happens from the first day.

"In the good times and the bad times, I thought to myself, 'I could be better or worse, but I'm here."

Claver is optimistic that things will go well in America.

He is still only 24 and has an opportunity to make his mark with a team that didn't reach the playoffs.

"What is important here is that you are willing to work and grow," he said.

"The year that is coming up, I want to use this to start with more confidence and be one more player in the rotation from the start."

Claver's importance to the national team should grow this summer when the two-time defending champions Spain play at the EuroBasket in Slovenia.

He won't return to Spain, however, until his commitments to Portland's team in the NBA Summer League have been met.

It will be good, he says, to be reunited with his friends in the national squad.

"In the national team, we know each other a lot because we've been together for many years," he said.

"If I have been in the national team in the past few years, it's because I could bring something the team.

"Each year I have grown and I know that I can help."


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