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Nov. 26, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE – Junior guard Rob Vozenilek (Richmond, Va.) is in his second stint as a walk-on member of the Virginia men’s basketball team. He plays a valuable scout team role for Virginia, preparing the Cavaliers for their upcoming opponents during practice. Vozenilek scored two points against Liberty and has appeared in three games this season.

Vozenilek, who was also a member of the 2011-12 Cavaliers, recently sat down with to talk Virginia basketball and his important role on the team.

Q: You were a walk-on during the 2011-12 season, but not last year. What made you want to try out for the team again this season?
RV: I had a great experience my first year on the team. I started out with just dressing for home games, but then got to travel and go to the ACC and NCAA tournaments. I just love being part of something bigger than myself. It was tough not being on the team my second year, so that added a little bit of motivation for me to want to get back on the team and be a part of it again.

Q: What did you miss the most last season when you weren’t on the team?
RV: Probably the games. I still came to all the games, but it was tough to see the guys getting to have fun together and show everyone what they had been working so hard towards. It was hard sitting back and watching that from the outside perspective knowing that I had been there before.

Q: What goes into your role as a walk-on?
RV: In practice, we just try to simulate, as much as we can, the offense and sometimes defense that the other team is trying to do. Along with that, we try to make the guys better every day with all the drills that we do, and just push them as hard as we can to get them better and make us better as a team.

Q: What’s it like when all the walk-ons get on the court together?
RV: Previously we went one by one, each one of us going in at a separate dead ball, but I think it’s pretty cool when coach puts us all in together. We get a pretty big ovation. It’s pretty cool to all be out there together. We are a unit in practice, working together as the scout team, so it’s nice to get out there and play hard with each other in a game, too.

Q: Your bother, Alec, is the punter on the football team. What’s better: Alec’s jump shot or your punting?
RV: I punted in high school as well, but I’d probably say his jump shot. His shot is one of the best parts of his game and I would not say punting was the best part of my game.

Q: You played a lot of sports in high school. Why did you choose to play basketball in college?
RV: I swam my freshman and sophomore years, but played basketball, football and lacrosse all four years of high school. I guess I just fell more in love with basketball. I knew wherever I went, whatever level, I would try to play basketball. If it was a smaller level I would have tried to play football or lacrosse too, but that’s hard to do at a Division I school. I decided to stay with basketball, that’s where my heart was.

Getting to know Rob:

Favorite Movie: Miracle

What do you want to do after college? I’m not sure. A big reason I wanted to stick with basketball after not being on the team my second year is that I wanted to be around the program in case I wanted to do something in the sports industry, whether it was coaching or somewhere in the media or business field. Hopefully, something that involves sports.

Favorite Pro athlete: Steve Nash

Pregame ritual: Nothing. One thing I remember is that during the national anthem of every high school game, I would count the stars and stripes on the flag, but now it’s hard since we don’t always face the big flag.

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