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These days Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez is spending more of his time in Venezuela promoting his new line of Under Armour sneakers and sportswear than on the court. And while like most players he’d rather be playing basketball (and earning a paycheck), the lockout-induced break has provided him with some time to go back to his homeland to hang out with his friends—and eat some arepas. We caught up with him to talk food.

What Venezuelan foodstuff do you miss most during a season?
I have been there for past three months and I love the arepas—which is the country’s traditional food. I also like my rice, beans and the stuff that my mom cooks for me.

What’s your pregame food ritual?
I like to eat a lot of pasta with grilled chicken on top. When I was a rookie, it was hard for me to eat well, to do the right diet. Now that I’m going into my second year I have to be a little smarter than that.

Was it all the barbecue in Memphis?
It’s just so good! I couldn’t resist, especially when I was so new to Memphis. I ate it almost every day at first, but then I backed off a little bit because my body started to fatten up. But I love the barbecue. I love it so much.

Who introduced you to it?
Chuck, one of our equipment guys. He’s from Memphis and took me to the best barbecue.

You went to high school in Maryland. Do you have a love of crabs?
Love it too. I was in Maryland when I was 17. I ate a lot of crabs.

What’s your number one crab dish?
I would say I ate a lot of crab cakes. I don’t know, I’d eat it all.

If you were trying to impress a girl and cook for her, what would you make?
That’s a good question (laughs). I really like Asian food, Japanese food. So I’d probably try to cook something Japanese.

Theoretically, if you were to play overseas somewhere, just based on the food, where would you pick?
Venezuela. I would play in Venezuela. I want my whole country to watch me. Why would I play somewhere else than where I grew up?


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