Sunday, October 2, 2011
Bosnian basketball players in NCAA basketball 2011-12 season preview!
Nemanja Mitrovic (left) Admir Sahbegovic (right)
Bosnians in the college basketball has seen an increase this year thanks to large influx of freshman from Australia. These Bosnians were displaced mostly through the war and now call for the most part, Australia home and not BiH. Igor Hadziomerovic is one of these youngsters who has built an international reputation and will be playing for Boise State this year after a successful summer representing Australia at the World Championships U19 this summer.
Nikola Gajic moved from the ranks of the unknown to playing a successful role with Bosnia's U20 squad this summer and shows great promise as a defender and quality all around player. Nikola is one of the few Bosnians who actually came directly from Bosnia to college basketball this summer. There are many strong prospects from BiH but many end up in other European League youth selections or don't have strong enough English language or academic standards to make it into a college university. I have long argued that there is a untapped potential in BiH basketball talent as many strong kids still are underrepresented in the country. The domestic officials in Bosnia do a poor job identifying and developing young talent. Others seek to minimize the talents in Bosnia, so they can sneak them out of the country and move them onto a third country for a hefty finders fee. Strong players like Emir Preldzic, Mirza Begic and Alen Omic have all moved to other teams this way in the last few years.
Nemanja Mitrovic from Sarajevo is primed for a big senior year in Portland. He has good size at 6'5" 200lb SG with great range (he shot over 45% from three and 85% from the free throw line) who averaged over 13ppg who figures to add to that average this year as he will likely be the main focus of the offense.
Bosnian basketball officials should develop an internship program with these and other young professionals who want to be involved in basketball but don't have the ability to be professionals in the European level. They would reap the benefits of their international and domestic experiences these young professionals have accumulated in their travels around the world.
Igor Hadziomerovic 6'5" SG An interesting prospect who was a major contributor to the Australian U19 National Team this summer. Inconsistent, not a major surprise considering his age and overall skill. Could turn out to be a quality professional in Europe in a few years.
Branimir Mikulic 6'9" SG/SF Has nice size and decent shooting touch, doesn't appear assertive enough to have a major impact in the NCAA.
Srdjan Pejicic 6'6 SG A low level prospect who has signed in the NCAA. Some consider him to have an upside, I haven't seen enough of him to confirm that fact.
Boris Hadzimuratovic 6'9" C Signed with a Canadian university even though he drew interest from mid level colleges in the US.
Nikola Gajic 6'5" SG Nikola was a key player on Bosnia's U20 team this summer. The team play fell of dramatically after his injury. He is a good defender and all around player who needs to develop his outside shot. If he is able to do that he could have a nice career as a professional in Europe.
Admir Sahbegovic 6'6" F Had a stellar HS career, ranked in the top 50 of Florida basketball players. Has good potential as a pro is he works on his game and continues to improve.
Edis Dervisevic 6'8" F Edis played limited minutes last year as a Jr. Is being counted on to play a bigger part with the team this year.
Igor Nujic 6'8" F A post player who played limited minutes as a freshman last year.
Neven Raspudic 6'7" F Basketball doesn't seem to be in his future after college but he would be a good candidate to get involved in coaching or the front office administration in the future.
Fahro Alihodzic 6'10" F/C A member of the British U20 National Team, Fahro appears to lack the commitment to basketball to be a professional in the future. He has some skill, talent and upside.
Dragan Sekalija 7'0" C A transfer from Baylor Dragan has size and should evolve into a solid rebounder and defender.
Halil Kanacevic 6'8" F A quality post player who can rebound, defend and block shots. He would make a valuable addition to a professional team eventually.
Nemanja Mitrovic 6'5" SG Primed for a big time senior season, Nemanja is better than Diego Kapelan and would have been a great resource with his outside shooting to BiH national team. He also would make a quality shooting guard on a team like KK BOSNA.