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Riva Nogueira to Eurohopes: ''Enter the NBA Draft? Depends on this week''
By Alberto de Roa
Brazilian Lucas Riva Nogueira ('92) has played the whole season in spanish fourth division with Asefa Estudiantes (ACB) farm team, but this week is showing his skills in front many NBA scouts in the Nike Hoop Summit at Portland (Oregon, USA). Eurohopes contacted him one day before the big event.

-How do you feel after the practices?
I feel good. When you practice twice a day you feel a little bit tired at the end, but I feel much better now, and very confident to do it well tomorrow. I'm practicing with the best young players in the world, and at the beginning that was hard, because I'm used to play with my team. Now I've come to play with some guys I'm never played with in my life. But I'm feeling more confortable aleady, and I start to know the game style of each one of them, and I think everything is perfect for tomorrow

-You already knew Biyombo...
I played once with him in junior category, and after that he went to LEB Silver, because as you know he's very strong and professional. And now he's in ACB. He's a very good player, very physical, and I'm impressed. He has very skilled now, and I think he can help us a lot to win tomorrow's game.

-Don't you feel a little bit of envy, watching him already in ACB?

No, I don't feel envy because I think that things come step by step. I believe very much in God and in destiny. If I'm made to play in ACB, come what may, but if not, I will be patient to keep on working and be ready for the oportunity.

-Where do you see yourself playing next season?
I would like to play in a strong team, in the NBA, in the ACB or wherever. Therefore I would have to wait for my club, because I'm with under contract. I have to talk about it with Estudiantes, and to see what they can do for me, because I don't have European or Spanish passport, and it's a little bit difficult for me.

-Do you expect to enter in the next NBA draft?
Eveything depends on this week and on my agents. I have to talk with them, and to see what's better for me. That's what I want.

-What does it mean for you to be in this game with the best juniors of the world?
It's not only a great team, but (Neto and me) are the first Brazilian players here. This is very important for my country, and for the kids of my age.

-What can you say about Raul Neto?
I've been for the last couple of years with him, in the national youth teams. He's a very important player for me, because he helped me a lot. We have a great conexion on the court, and I hope to have a great time with him tomorrow at the game.

-Do you think you have any chance to be with the Brazilian national team this summer?
I think I could practice with them, but not playing in the Preolimpic. It would be very rewarding to be at the trainings. Now, Anderson Varejao is injured, and it would be great to be with them, even if it's only for practicing.

Photo: Eurohopes


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