Friday, September 16, 2011

Bosnia Eurobasket: Recap of Bosnians who don't play for BiH that are in the tournament

Mirza Begic

Stanko Barac

There is always a collection of Bosnians not playing for Bosnia sprinkled in every basketball tournament in Europe. It seems to be the number one export for Bosnia, which has little to show for the loss of great basketball talents. This year is no different with Bosnia playing in Eurobasket and coming up with a 2-3 record when teams with inferior talent going much further including the Slovenes, Finland the most suprising team of the tournament Macedonia. Having already covered the Bosnian national teams games in the tournament here is my recap of the Bosnian players who don't play for BiH.

Emir Preldzic SF Possibly the best player in Eurobasket 2011 (you could make the argument based upon the production in the minutes he plays) he has played a great tournament in very limited minutes (under 20 a game) Emir displays a great all around game and has he has grown into a stronger player has become even harder to defend. He was drafted by the NBA, I don't know if he will ever make it there as his game doesn't translate well into the NBA. It was a question if he was going to finally return home to Bosnia to play for the National team. He has openly said he would love to play for BiH in interviews in the past. An ongoing dispute between Bosnia and his adopted country of Slovenia was finally settled this summer leading to wild specualtion and rumors he would be returning to Bosnia. At last he ended up settling in with his second adopted country of Turkey and has proven to be an invaluable player, outplaying NBA player Hedo Turkoglu. Emir played very well in Eurobasket.

Mirza Begic C 7'3" center with skills and athleticism are very rare and Mirza has them both. He plays in Euroleague albiet in limited minutes. Mirza lacks great stamina which leads to silly fouls and short stints but he is a game changer when he is on the floor. He doesn't need to block shots to alter their trajectory and influence the shots put up by opponnents. He is a major reason why Slovenia was a suprise this year. Mirza has showed little interest in playing for BiH since they sold him off a youngster and showed little interest in his career until it took off. Mirza had a very solid tournament in limited minutes for the Slovenes.

Bojan Bogdanovic SG/SF Early identified as a major talent he took a major step forward this year and his rights were sent in the NBA draft to the Miami Heat. He could be a major contributor to the team and has a similar skill set to Mike Miller. Bojan played in Bosnia early in his career but was a quick commitment to the Croatian National Team. Bojan was the leader of a very dissapointing Croatian National Team.

Stanko Barac C A disapointing Croatian team seemed to under utilize his skills this summer. A top 10 talent in centers in Europe, he didn't seem to get the touches, coaching or minutes he deserved this summer. Stanko's younger brother Boris is a up and comer with Croatia as well. Stanko showed no interest in joining Bosnia and went to the motherland of Croatia instead. Stanko was inconsistent during the tournament, wasn't used to maximize his ability and Croatia didn't play well.

Edo Muric F Edo is a Slovene of Bosnian descent, he is a nice role player who has done a good job in limited minutes with the team. Every quality team needs players that can effect the outcome without scoring in bunches and Edo is one of these players. Edo didn't shoot well but played a quality game as a glue guy who defends and does some other nice things without dominating the ball.

Damir (Omerhodzic) Markota F Damir is as talented as almost anyone in Europe and yet fails to play to his potential in any major way. Damir even made it to the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks only to play his way back to Croatia. A massivly skilled 6'11 player he seems destined to go the way of Andrej Festivov rather than ever live up to his immense talent. He reminds  me of a poor mans version of Gregor Fucka, minus the consistancy. He had an inconsistant tournament and was a major reason for the dissapointment in the tournament, people fall in love with his skill and get burned by his inconsistent production.

Nikola Vucevic C A NBA first round draft pick his father was a major contributor of the legendary KK BOSNA teams of the 1970's that won it all. He didn't play very well in a tournament a NBA first round draft pick should dominate.

Marko Keselj F As talented of a player in Europe, a great athelete who is finally growing into a sound basketball player. Marko has disavowed any connection to Bosnia, even though he was born there and carries a Bosnian passport. Even to the point that today he claims to have been born in Belgrade and not Bosnia. He is one of those players who if he stays healthy could have an explosive rise from the age of 28-31. He doesn't score very well and his play was inconsistent during the tournament.

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