Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lance Williams KK Bosna ASA Bosnia's Balkan Shaq will always be remembered

Lance Williams and Aldin Kadic while both played for KK BOSNA ASA (inside Skenderija shopping centar)
Lance Williams played his college basketball in my home state of Illinios, he was a part of Pat Kennedy's rebirth of Depaul basketball and was there when Quieten Richardson, Paul McPherson, Bobby Simmons, Lance Williams and Joe Tulley (who played HS basketball with Bosnian Star Damir Krupalija) all were starring.
Lance had some tryouts with NBA summer league teams but being a 6'8" post player without great athleticism meant the NBA was a long shot. Lance ended up coming to Bosnia and loving it.He played on the recent teams that made a mini comeback from the dreadful days of the recent past. His teams starred with Nenad Markovic, Kenan Bajramovic, Nihad Dedovic (NBA prospect) and Edin Bavcic (NBA draft pick) as well as some other local players. The team experienced a mini resurgence before the team was broken up and left in shambles.
 Lance starred for  KK BOSNA ASA for four years. KK BOSNA won the European championship in 1979 (the European highest honor and comparable to winning Euroleague). KK Bosna was on par with the great teams of Yugoslavian basketball like Partizan Belgrade, Red Star Belgrade, Cibona Zagreb and Union Olympia Ljubljana. KK Bosna (the KK stands for Kosarska Kluba or basketball club) has, like the rest of Bosnia fallen on hard times after the war. This once storied franchise has been poorly managed with little oversight  and supervision and has made the team almost worthless. It has been relegated from Adriatic league and ULEB league to just the Bosnian domestic league. Even more embarrassing is Bosna was trounced against a below average French outfit in qualifying for Euro Challenge this year, a team that couldn't even make it to the top 16 in the third best European league. KK BOSNA should qualify for Euroleague and be on par with other great teams of the former Yugoslavia, instead of being embarrassed, playing in the Bosnian domestic league against a bunch of semi professional teams.
Lance has since moved on to a successful career in Turkey and a much more stable team and league. Lance was committed to Bosnia and stayed around longer than anyone would or could have expected. KK Bosna has had a terrible track record of bringing in import players of low quality, especially when compared to those brought into teams in other Yugoslav republics like Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia who have gone onto NBA careers or Euroleague and top European league careers.
KK BOSNA hasn't  been able to figure out what kind of team it wants to be and seems to be suffering from a kind of identity crisis. They claim now to be building for the future but have refused to pay and sign top young prospects from Bosnia. They have turned over the team to a bunch of guys in there early to mid 20's hardly a youth movement when you look at what other teams do with there top prospects, start giving them minutes at the age of 17-18. Even in Bosnia, Sloboda Dita Tuzla has done a much better job of developing young talent than KK BOSNA. Mirza Teletovic was a star at the age of 17 in the Bosnian league and they were able to drive up the value of both Elemedin Kikanovic and Miralem Halilovic and demand high transfer fees for average talent.
What Bosna needs are people committed to the team the way that fans and former players are with a vision and responsibility of restoring Bosna to it's glorious past, instead of it's mediocre present. Lance Williams was one of the few bright spots in that recent history, thank you Lance you are the Bosnian Shaq for sure...

1 comment:

  1. whats up cuz this roy how have you been? well im doin good moved out here to kentucky with my fam. just hit me whenever u get sum time: 270 534 5410 thts my hse numba THIS IS FOR MY COUSIN LANCE WILLIAMS!!!!!