The difference between Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller and most of the rest of us is that he actually wanted to gain 20 pounds on vacation. How else to explain the 10 Krispy Kreme donuts in one sitting? Really. Ten. "They're so good'' he said unabashedly. "If you get them hot….'' Yeah yeah. We know. "I ate about six in probably 10 minutes maybe less'' he said. This was not his diet all summer. But after a bout of flu near the end of last season caused the 7-footer to lose about eight pounds and left his weight at 238 he spent the first three weeks of his vacation eating anything he wanted. In spite of his high metabolism when he returned to Cleveland in late June he was up 20 pounds about eight pounds more than the 250 he played at most of his rookie season. "I'm not going to say I was fat but I felt very out of shape'' Zeller said. "I had to transfer that into 'good' weight and muscle. Now I'm between 255-260 and I'm pretty happy with that although I'm trying to gain more.'' That was the focus of the off-season for Zeller who was pressed into service as the starting center when Anderson Varejao went down for the season with a quad injury and later a blood clot. Still learning the NBA game Zeller was pushed around and beaten up by bigger more experienced centers. This season with the return of Varejao and the addition of a -- hopefully -- healthy Andrew Bynum Zeller likely will be used as a backup but he wanted to be ready. He did spend some time at his alma mater of North Carolina and vacationed at Hilton Head S.C. and Wilmington N.C. But most of the summer he was working on his game from North Carolina to Cleveland to Las Vegas where he took part in the summer league followed by the USA Basketball mini-camp. He has been back in Cleveland about two weeks getting ready for training camp which opens on Oct. 1. Before that he and his family will host the second annual DistinXion Basketball Camp at The Q on September 21. This is the fourth summer the Zellers have offered the camp which has grown from one venue to 17. It will address things like shooting and footwork but it's a little different than your standard basketball camp. "We're a basketball camp but we do character and leadership development'' Zeller explained.
Tyler Zeller makes big gains, with some help from Krispy Kreme
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Sep 11