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Posted on Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 4:51 p.m.

Ex-Michigan captain Zack Novak unsure about pro career but proud to see teammates begin theirs

By Pete Cunningham


Former University of Michigan player Zack Novak leads a a youth basketball camp at Dexter High School on Tuesday, July 9.

Daniel Brenner |

Former Michigan basketball player Zack Novak blew the whistle around his neck on Tuesday and every game being played on the courts at the Dexter High School gym came to a halt. On Day 2 of the Zack Novak Dexter Shooting Academy, the ex-Wolverine captain was calling the shots.

Novak doesn’t have that type of control over games of the NBA summer league, but they’ll determine how he proceeds with his professional basketball career, nonetheless.

“My agent’s working on it right now. He’s already talking to some teams,” Novak said. “We’re going to wait for the (NBA) summer leagues to end and then we’re probably going to sit down and have a conversation.”

Novak, 23, played for Landstede Basketbal Zwolle in the Netherlands last year - his first as a professional - and was the team’s second leading scorer with 17.8 points game. Novak has said before that he's considering trading his high-tops for wing-tips and entering the business world, and that if he were to return to Europe he’d like it to be in a better league. He said nothing has been decided yet on Tuesday.

“Right now I’m looking at all my options. Either way, I’m really exploring business. Just trying to network, meet as many people as can, see what kind of opportunities come up,” Novak said. “I haven’t shut the door completely (on continuing to play in Europe). It’s still open.”

Novak said that outside of basketball he’s looking into being an entrepreneur. If the popularity of his basketball camp is any indication, he should do just fine.

“They’re having a great time. I enjoy that and to see the kind of fun they’re having is the best reward,” said Novak while surrounded by campers and several of his former Michigan players, who were working as counselors. “The kids really enjoy seeing all the guys from the team.”

Two of Novak’s former Michigan teammates who weren’t working as counselors for obvious reasons were Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., who were both recently picked in first round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Novak couldn’t quite match the millions they’re now set to make after both signing with their respective teams -- Burke with the Utah Jazz, Hardaway Jr. with the New York Knicks -- last week.

Novak said he couldn’t have been prouder than he was to his former teammates get selected on draft night.

“It was kind of unbelievable to see Timmy and Trey both go in the first round. It’s just another step for the program,” Novak said. “It’s been a long time since they had two first rounders and it was just awesome.

“I know both those guys and I’ve seen the work they’ve put in, seen how much they’ve grown as players and people, so to see their dreams come true, I couldn’t have been happier for them.”

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.



Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

"Novak doesn't have that type of control games of the NBA summer league, " FYI - There's something missing here Pete, perhaps an 'over'?

Pete Cunningham

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

You are correct and the correction has been made. Thank you.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 2:53 a.m.

This is an amazing young man. He has a gift with basketball and with kids. His camp is outstanding, good coaching and great fun - he could easily parlay the camp into a nationwide venture. He is reaching down to help these kids stand taller. We could sure use a lot more of that.

Susie Q

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

Good luck, Zack. You continue to represent UM well. Your contributions in bringing the program back to respectability and prominence are immeasurable.