Zack Novak decides to go for the pros in basketball

Submitted by markinmsp on June 28th, 2012 at 3:15 PM


 Nice, interesting piece in DetNews today about Zack’s decision and trials to continue in basketball’s next level, either in USA or overseas.

 I found it interesting that he’s already been offered overseas contracts and US pro tryouts and encouragement. 

 Good on ya’, Zack!   Go for it!

DetNews: Zack Novak decides to give pro basketball his best shot



June 28th, 2012 at 4:12 PM ^

 I really applaud him on this decision, actually envy him.  Do what you love as long as you can.  Even if he never gets a full-time slot in NBA.  He’s a smart guy, academic all-american, think of the experience, meeting contacts throughout the world, ability to open doors, would be great to set-up a future career, especially as a business major in sports or international business.


June 28th, 2012 at 3:33 PM ^

Cant deny the kid's heart and infectious personality. All teams need to see is his emotions when we played State and how he freaked out to motivate the team. I would want that on my squad.


June 28th, 2012 at 3:40 PM ^

when they know they will not pick him?  Are they looking for a player that they might take as an undrafted free agent?  Or are they just looking for some bodies to match up against the guys they are truely interested in?




June 28th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

I know you're lookin' for sparing partners for Creed, and I just wanna say that I'm very available.

You misunderstand me, Zack. I want to know if you'd be interested in playing 1 on 1 against Apollo for the championship of the world.


June 28th, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

"You work your way up to wherever you end up going. You start off, and just like any job you get out of college, you have to prove yourself" - Zack Novak, in the article

Zack is a smart guy and it is great that his intensity has spilled over into trying to get himself in a position to be the best professional player he can be, wherever that may be. I admire that he seems to have a realistic viewpoint of where he is and that he has a goal in mind.

The fact that he realizes that the beginning of his professional career may very well not be in the NBA (really, very little if any of it will be in the NBA, if I had to guess) and that he wants the opportunity to prove himself all the same speaks to a passion that I bet a lot of coaches wish their players had.

I wish him well in this professional endeavors. I don't doubt he'll carve out a niche somewhere and do just fine there. Europe in your 20s? Not a bad deal at all.

Johnny Blood

June 28th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

I don't think pros equals NBA.  He can get a job playing basketball somewhere and, really, wouldn't we all have wanted to do that for a few years after college? 

I just hope he doesn't end up going over to play in China.  I travel there a lot and met a kid who was playing for the local team (he basically lives in the hotel I usually stay in near Shenzen).  He was absolutely miserable... sure he was getting paid to play basketball, but he was very lonely with no one to talk to and hang out with (you know it's bad when a 40-year old like me is his best option for someone to hang out with).  He also said he wasn't developing at all as a player, so this wasn't going to help him land elsewhere.  But he absolutely couldn't get out of his contract so he has to stick it out another year.  Could be a unique situation, but he said that it was the same for a couple other guys he knew from the US that were scattered across other teams in his league.

Marlo Stanfield

June 28th, 2012 at 3:58 PM ^

He'll play in Europe and enjoy himself for a few years before graduating to the real world. He's also a Ross graduate, so he is set up no matter what...why not enjoy yourself following your passion before entering the corporate world? 


June 28th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

About a lot of our guys who weren't going to get drafted/make rosters etc. Zack is a smart guy and following a dream. Plenty of people I know took a year or two off after college and before starting on their career path for the rest of their lives. Some people I know did Teach for America, some worked in their field before getting an advanced degree. You're telling me you wouldn't jump at the chance to get paid to play a sport for a little while before starting the rest of your life? I would sure jump at that chance had I the talent.


June 28th, 2012 at 5:37 PM ^

I think Zack could enjoy a fruitful career in Europe a la current Michigan assistant Travis Conlan.  But also, Chris Hunter and Courtney Sims made NBA rosters after taking the long root, so who knows?


June 29th, 2012 at 9:48 AM ^

Zack Novak has the tools, especially his work ethic, to be a very solid player, if not a star, in Europe.  I hope he doesn't bother with the NBA, though.  He seems to understand that he would just be "meat" for the draft picks to play against if he signed with an NBA team for camp.  

Zack Novak deserves better than to be "meat."  Maybe he can sign with Landmark Sports.  It would be nice to see Rob Pelinka build (rebuild?) a relationship with Michigan, whereby the school is a pipeline for him, but players can get honest advice on whether or not to stay in school.

At any rate, Novak seems to have a much better grasp on the situation than the typical player coming out of college.


June 29th, 2012 at 11:04 AM ^

He seems to have a very rational realistic approach.

The factors in his favor:

1. No lack of work ethic or self-motivation.

2. By all public accounts, a good team mate and leader.

3. The modern game seems to have de-emphasized having a big center who attacks from the low post (e.g. Chamberlain, Jabbar, Moses Malone, etc.)

4. Reasonable expectations - he doesn't go into the pro world thinking his time as a Wolverine will roll out a red carpet for him.

5. Style of play abroad - he'll see more zones, the teams try to break and run and have a lot of ball movement; a style which I think favors his type of game and experience as a collegian.

Factors against:

1. Size - probably not as big as he is listed and he never "played bigger" so he might be vulnerable if caught low against a big guard.

2. Speed - a lot of smaller guards make up by being very quick and having a great handle; again something he is OK but not noted for in his time here.

3. Finding the right team and league - it is very dependent on the team and league. Some teams/leagues abroad bring in Americans to supply that attacking spark. They want someone who can elevate and play above the rim or really slash to the hoop - aspects of the game which they can't find or develop locally. Remember that some of these leagues are there to help cultivate and develop talent for their national team. They don't really want to invest time and energy developing role players who are foreigners - they figure they can do that themselves.

While the NBA may have plateaued here in popularity, around the world, it is still very popular. It is starting to resemble soccer (futbol) - the NBA is the top league in the world like La Liga or The Premier League is in futbol. Teams are willing to bring in foreign players but if you look they usually develop their own defenders and defensive mid-fielders; role players. They'll play a premium for attacking mid-fielders and forwards, but outside of the richest teams, rarely spend big bucks and resources on foreign players who don't immediately help the offense, so I hope he finds a team that appreciates what he brings to them.

Good luck and go blue! He'll always be remembered as a great Wolverine even if he never had great stats!


June 29th, 2012 at 12:41 PM ^

I don't know if I'm the only one, but I like Novak, in part, because on his twitter he's always just talking about random stuff.  He's never trying to make cheesy inspirational quotes or discuss basketball too much.  Most of the athletes that I follow don't have interesting stuff to say or they try to be something they're not (again, just my impression).  Novak just seems like a regular guy.  

That and he added a friend of mine on facebook (a girl) after only meeting her for a few minutes so I can relate to his single man tendencies.... I definitely did that back in the day.  You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, right