Wildcat from the Czech Republic made his mark on the hardwood

Jace Cook

Michal Kozak has been making his mark at Weber State.

Kozak’s in his senior year for the Wildcats. He plays forward and wears number 11. He played in all 96 of Weber State University’s games in his first three seasons. Kozak was able to score 589 points in those games.’

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The Wildcat’s Men’s Basketball Team faced off with Brigham Young University. Photo credit: Signpost Archives

Michal Kozak is from Pilsen, Czech Republic and was born on April 8, 1998.

When it was time to pick a college to play for, Kozak had a choice between California Polytechnic and Weber State.

“When I went there [California Polytechnic] for a visit,” Kozak said. “I didn’t like the basketball environment as much as I did like the one at Weber State.”

Kozak values the atmosphere and environment when he plays for a team. He liked the way Weber treated their basketball team. Another thing Kozak enjoys about WSU is that one of the assistant coaches is also from the Czech Republic.

Kozak said when he was about seven to nine years old he went to his first basketball practice. He says the coaches are probably one reason why he got into basketball.

Although he liked different sports, Kozak could never focus on them as much as he did on basketball.

“I just never really got into any other sports,” Kozak said. “I just never stopped loving basketball.”

In 2015, Kozak went to Spain and participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Camp.

“[The camp] was an amazing experience for me,” Kozak said.

He said kids from around Europe were selected to go to the camp. Kozak says he got to meet NBA players Ricky Rubio and Cody Zeller while he was at the camp.

“I think it just showed me how good I need to be to be successful,” Kozak said.

Kozak also decided to attend Get Better Academy for two and a half years in high school to improve his basketball skills.

“I achieved what I came there for,” Kozak said. “Got picked by Weber State. It was a really hard academy.”

Kozak said the head coach used to play for Butler University, so he knew the skill and work it took to get players like Kozak to NCAA level.

Kozak was also a part of the Czech Republic National Team from the U15 level to the U19 level.

He says that team helped him travel around Europe, which let him learn about different countries and cultures.

He says his favorite college basketball memory is beating BYU.

“It was such an amazing game,” Kozak said. “They came there ready to play. We were ready to play. It was a high scoring game. We won that game. It was just such a great feeling because we were heavy underdogs to them and just to go out there and surprise such a good program was a great achievement to us.”

Kozak says that a lot of his time is spent focusing on basketball and school. He watches a lot of basketball, like NBA, NCAA, and the league in the Czech Republic. Though, he says that he likes to spend time outdoors and hang out with friends in his free time.

After graduating from Weber State, Kozak would love to play basketball professionally. He would also enjoy seeing the world while doing it.

Kozak’s enjoyed being a Wildcat, and wants to keep chasing his dreams after graduation.