Fournier's Offseason Basketball Training Will Start Earlier Than Normal

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

ATLANTA – In recent years, Orlando Magic guard/forward Evan Fournier has booked exotic vacations just after the conclusion of the regular season as a way to detox his mind and his body from basketball.

This offseason, however, will be dramatically different for Fournier because of the circumstances that ended his season early.

Fournier, Orlando’s second-leading scorer at 17.8 points per game, sprained his left knee on March 7, hasn’t played since and will be held out for the final seven games as he continues to rehabilitate the injury.

``It’s disappointing, for sure,’’ Fournier said of his season-ending injury. ``This is my first time ever getting shut down, basically, and not being able to play to finish a season. But I’ve got to think about my rehab now and stay as positive as I can.’’

Because he’s had so much down time as the season winds to a close, Fournier said his usual summer plans are about to change. In the past two years, he’s taken trips to the Philippines and Utah’s Zion National Park as a means of reconnecting with nature, but there will be no such getaways this April and May.

``I’m going to be able to work more than usual because I usually go on vacation and get some rest, but I feel like my rest is now,’’ said Fournier, a native of suburban Paris. ``Right after the season, I’m going to Paris for two weeks, but I’m going to continue to work on my knee, do a lot of rehab and exercises and then I’ll go straight to basketball work and lifting. I’m not going to waste any of my (offseason) because I’m honestly bored right now. So, I’m going to enjoy my time off now and get back to work early.’’

This season, Fournier led the Magic in scoring 16 times. He had a team-best 22 20-point games and a career-best 32 points against Minnesota on Jan. 16.

WRIGHT STUFF: Magic coach Frank Vogel is a noted lover of all sports teams in Philadelphia because of his roots while growing up in nearby Wildwood Crest, N.J. Not surprisingly, Vogel will be cheering for the Villanova Wildcats in Monday night’s National Championship Game – but for a different reason than his childhood ties to the area.

Vogel got to know Villanova head coach Jay Wright and the Wildcats’ program during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons while he was out of NBA coaching and while working as a scout for two teams.

``When I was with the 76ers (as an assistant coach in 2004-05) I helped out their program in the summer, working some of their guys out because I was living right up the street from Villanova,’’ Vogel recalled. ``I had a three-year deal with the 76ers and (the staff) got fired after one year, so for two years I scouted and then I helped those (Villanova) guys out with work outs.’’

Vogel marveled at Villanova’s shooting on Saturday in its rout of Kansas, saying: ``I wish our (Magic) team shot at well as Villanova did, making 18 threes and 13 in the first half.’’

Orlando has actually made 18 3-pointers in a game twice this season, tying for the franchise’s third most ever hit in a game.

HIGHS AND LOWS: Rodney Purvis accomplished a life-long dream on Wednesday when he inked a contract with the Magic that will keep him at the NBA level for the rest of the season. What has followed, however, has been more like a nightmare for the talented shooting guard.

Purvis, who spent most of the season starring in the G League for the Lakeland Magic, missed all six of his shots and all four of his 3-point attempts on Wednesday night just hours after inking his deal with Orlando. On Friday, he uncharacteristically struggled shooting the ball once again, missing five of his seven shots and misfiring on four of five 3-pointers.

Purvis made his way to the NBA by averaging 20.5 points at the G League level and he shot the ball well in his first seven games with Orlando. He was Orlando’s lone bright spot two weeks ago in a loss to the 76ers, scoring a NBA-best 19 points.

Purvis was moved back into a reserve role on Saturday in Atlanta with the healthy return of guard Wes Iwundu, who missed the previous two games with an illness. Purvis had success as a reserve while playing on two 10-day contracts and the Magic hope he can give them some much-needed scoring punch off the bench going forward.

UP NEXT: The Magic were scheduled to leave Atlanta after Sunday’s game and fly to New York where they will be off on Monday before playing the Knicks on Tuesday night. The Magic are 2-1 against the Knicks this season, winning once in Orlando and once in New York behind strong games from Nikola Vucevic (24 and 34 points). New York captured the most recent meeting, winning 120-113 when Trey Burke scored 26 points to help the Knicks wipe out an 11-point deficit.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by John Denton are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors.