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June 23, 2011

Nikola Vucevic



Q. Nikola, your thoughts on being drafted by the 76ers?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: First, I wanted to say that this was by far the greatest moment of my life. When I heard my name called, I was just going to hold myself, I had to cry a little bit and hug my parents and my agent. It was a great feeling. I'm looking forward to the next step now. It's just starting now and I'm going to work as hard as I ever did now to play at the next level.

Q. Philadelphia, they are on the cusp with a lot of good, young players, and they lack at the five position, and you bring that type of consistent play. How much are you looking forward to getting an opportunity to possibly start on opening night?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: Well, to possibly start, that's something I didn't really -- that's something that's kind of far now. I'm just looking forward to get in the process and start practicing with the team and working out and get to know my teammates, and then whatever happens, happens. I'm not thinking about starting or anything. I just want to get my team and work as hard as I can and get some playing time.

Q. When you worked out for Doug Collins, what was the one aspect of your game he said you needed to work on?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: He didn't really tell me anything. I met with him once in Philly and once in Chicago at the Combine. I felt like those were the two best meetings I had. Coach Collins, he told me he wished he could bring me in and he really only told me good things about me. I guess now that I'm with them, he's probably going to tell me what to work on.

Q. Philadelphia has a great young team and tons of potential, how excited are you to join that young core?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: Like I said, it's one of my favorite teams I wanted to get picked by. I played against Jrue Holiday when he was at UCLA, so I know him a little bit and I got to meet a couple of players when I went there to work out. I think they are a great fit for me and I think I will be able to fit in there really well and I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. You're going to play the center position in the NBA, that's a tough job. Do you feel like you're up to that? What's your game going to translate in this level?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: That was one of the things I thought about in making my decision to enter the NBA Draft. There's a lot of things that I can still work and become stronger, but one of the main things that people questioned was my toughness but I think I learned how to play tough and aggressive in college and coming to college in America, I think that helped me a lot. I think I will be able to play the position in the NBA.

Q. What emotions went through your mind when you walked on the stage and got to shake David Stern's hand?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: It's just a dream come true and something that I dreamed of since I was little. My dad, he was my coach for years, and he told me I could just make it if I worked hard and always believe that I can and I just work hard, and the hard work paid off. When I heard my name called today, it was a great feeling.

Q. Can you talk about the Draft experience for you? You were not actually like in the room, so what was that like to see those players and their parent there?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: I knew a couple of days before that I was not going to be in the Green Room, so I wasn't expecting that. I knew coming into this process I was not one of the top prospects. I knew I was going to go to be in the first round and I just wanted to be able to shake David Stern's hand and get my hat.

Q. Do you know before today that the 76ers would take you?
NIKOLA VUCEVIC: I kind of knew but not 100% for sure. I kind of knew, so I kind of had an idea where I could go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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