Patrik Auda (204-PF-89, college: Seton Hall, agency: Octagon Europe) is a 31 year old 204cm forward that recently played at the 2021 Summer Olympics with the Czech Republic averaging 12,0ppg and 3,7rpg. He has played 7 professional season and will play his second season with the Yokohama B-Corsairs (Japan-B1 League) where last season he played 52 games averaging 15.7ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.0apg, FGP: 58.2%, 3PT: 40.8%, FT: 63.5%. He also has played in countries like Poland, Spain, Italy and France. He also played 4 years at Seton Hall (NCAA) where he played 88 games. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his basketball career.
Patrik thanks for talking to germanhoops.com You have experienced a lot in your career, but do the back to back wins over Canada and Greece rank in your all-time biggest wins?
Definitely yes. Both games were amazing and both victories made a historical moment for the Czech team. With the two victories we made it to the Olympic Games in Tokyo and last time the Czech Men’s basketball team was at the Olympics was about 40 years ago. So this was a great achievement for us.
What kind of an experience has the 2021 Summer Olympics been for you. What kind of an experience were the opening ceremonies? How did you witness this moment without fans?
It was an unbelievable experience. You know all the events before were basketball events. And now you have all these kind of sports at one place and a thousand of athletes at one place. It was an amazing feeling and experience. Also we spent time with other Czech athletes, and you can learn new things from athletes that do individual sports. Of course it was bad that there were no fans, it would have been totally different atmosphere at the games but it was still great. Truthfully an experience of a life-time for me.
I am sure that you have seen amazing things every day in the Olympic village. What was the most special moment for you off the court?
There were a lot of awesome moments. I think some of the best were when a Czech athlete won a medal and we were all waiting for him/her at the village to congratulate and celebrate. Big energy moments. It felt like we were one big team.
Were you able to meet or talk to any athletes from other countries? Was there an athlete that you really wanted to meet?
I was happy that I got to see my dear friend Aaron Geramipoor who plays for the team Iran. So we also had a chance to play against each other. We went to college together, Seton Hall University and are good friends since that. Besides him, there was probably none I wanted to meet. But I saw on IG that Tony Hawk, the skateboarding legend was at the Olympics too. I don’t think he was in the village, he was only at the skate boarding parks so I didn’t get a chance to meet him. But if I did, it would have been great, I’m a big fan of his.
The Czech Republic finished in their group with a 1-2 record. You beat Iran and lost by 20 points against France and 35 points against USA. What is your team summary after these three games?
Our mission this summer was to qualify for the Olympics. Everything after was just a bonus. I think we had the toughest group to be honest. I believe the finals will be France against USA. And against both teams we played good games, no matter what the end score was. I think overall we played great basketball and even if we didn’t advance, we are still grateful for the experience from all the games and we know what we can do in the future.
After playing such a fantastic Olympic Qualifying, do you feel like it was difficult for the team to be able to heighten their game another step against France and USA?
The qualification games were great for us. Ne2 experience, showed us what we can do, what we can work on. But we are just not on that level like the USA team with full squad of NBA All Star players. We are a small country where basketball is not even the top 3 sport. And for that fact, I think we did a great job this Summer.
You played against Team USA at the 2019 World Cup losing. What are the biggest differences between the two teams? Would you say that the talent level of USA is greater now?
In 2019, it was first time we played against USA and it was like a dream come true. I believe that is what every basketball player in the world dreams of. They had a great team then but even better at the Olympic games now. I would not be surprised at all if they bring home the Gold Medal.
You have played against top teams in Europe and top nations. What was it like for you playing against Team USA and a guy like Kevin Durant? Is a guy like him and his game overwhelming at first glance?
You know during the game you try not to think about who they are and just try to play your best and compete as much as you can. Those are guys with great talents and it doesn’t get better than this to compete against them. After the game when I think about it’s like wow, those are the guys that the whole world is watching and we had a chance to battle with them. Its a big honor and experience.
The Czech Republic played a very strong first half against Team USA but fell apart in the second half being outscored 72-41. What was key in the second half for letting USA walk away with the win?
We played a great first half but once the USA team got on fire, it was impossible to stop them. They played tough all game and the shots they hit were crazy. There was nothing we could have done at that moment.
You played against American rising star Jayson Tatum at the 2019 World Cup. This time he scored 27 points. How has his game improved in the last two years and could he become a top 5 player in the NBA?
I think he was outstanding in both tournaments. Definitely a key player for the USA team.
What is special about the Czech republic team in 2021 that they didn’t have in 2019? Is the chemistry and team friendship even stronger now then then?
The core of the team is still the same. Of course we have Tomas Satoransky and Jan Vesely but overall we are not a team full of superstars. But we know each other for a long time and we played together too so we know what to expect and that we can rely on each other. Everybody that is on the floor plays 100% and wants to give everything to help the team win.
What kind of an experience has it been being teammates with NBA player Tomas Satoransky? Can a big man feel any more comfortable in the paint knowing that he has the ball?
It makes everything easier to be on the court with Tomas. He is a true point guard that leads the team. His feel for the passing is amazing so for me it is always fun to play with him.
What have you learned to appreciate most about veteran Blake Schilb over the years most? Is there more of a team player than him?
Throughout all the years I have been with the National Team, I have been always trying to learn as much as I can from all the guys that have a lot of experience. Blake shows us that one can still play at this level even at his age. He takes care of himself well so he is ready for the games.
You are a guy that has always been a solid offensive producer where ever you have played. What exactly was your role on the team this summer?
I think mostly I am an energy player. I usually come from the bench and I’m trying to bring a new energy for the team during the game. I try to change the rhythm of the game and show that the level of playing does not decrease when bench players come in the game. I do everything the team needs at the moment. I try to play good defense, help others. On offense set good screens for my teammates to get open. Attack the rim hard when it’s needed. We have a lot of good outside shooters on the team, my game is different, I want to take it all to the way to the hoop. I think it’s important to have both on the team.
You’re a player that has been consistent where ever you have played as a professional player. What has been your secret to always being able to adjust and be so consistent?
There are no secrets. The keys are always the same. You have to be focused in what you do. I think discipline is the most important. You have to put a lot of work in what you do and be confident to show it.
In the 2017-2018 season you played twice against Luka Doncic with Manresa. What was your impression of him then and if somebody had told you that he would be a star in the NBA so fast then what would you have thought?
I don’t remember much from those games. He was still really young at that time and didn’t play much. They had other good players we were focusing on more. But to see him play today, it is incredible what he does on the basketball court.
You worked together with coach Mike Taylor early in your national team career. How do you remember him being able to help your game at that moment in time?
Actually I wasn’t on the team when Mike was there. When I joined the Czech team he was a head coach of the Polish national team. I have met him a lot of times though, he is a great guy and I think he has been doing a great job with the Polish NT.
You played two seasons at Seton Hall (NCAA) with one of my favorites Jordan Theodore. What memories do you have of him on and off the court?
It was great to play with Jordan. He was a true floor general. He is showing that everywhere he played in Europe. This year we will have a chance to play each in Japan. Im excited to see him after many years.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Space Jam 2
Thanks Patrik for the chat.