By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortly after being released by Zalgiris Kaunas, Zoran Dragic inked a deal for the remainder of the 2021-22 season with Cedevita Olimpija, the team announced Sunday.
“I am happy to join Cedevita Olimpija. A great team, I believe I can help with my experience,” noted the newcomer, “My goal is to help the team advance to the EuroCup Quarterfinals and the ABA semifinals. To be completely honest, my desire is to win every competition. As always, I will do my best on the court.”
The team located in Ljubljana, the birthplace of Zoran and his older brother Goran, is currently tied for seventh in Group B of the 7DAYS EuroCup Regular Season. The 3-5 record so far is narrowly enough for a spot leading to the knockout elimination phases with ten games left in the double-legged round-robin schedule. The 9-5 W-L tally in the AdmiralBet ABA League Regular Season is good enough for fifth place, 1.5 games outside the Playoff seeds.
“Playing in front of home fans always brings a special feeling. I am really looking forward to it,” added Dragic regarding his return to the Slovenian capital, “Certainly, there is no lack of motivation, but words must still turn to work. So, I can’t wait to start.”
Dragic, 32, enters with the experience of 16 games played in the NBA between the Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat in 2014-15, and 152 appearances in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague stretched to eight campaigns between Unicaja, Khimki Moscow Region, Olimpia Milano, Anadolu Efes, Baskonia, and Zalgiris.
As a member of Olimpija, the Slovenian international will return to EuroCup after playing 12 games with Krka in 2011-12 and seven more with ratiopharm Ulm in 2019-20. Previous ABA experience, dating back to the 2011-12 season, features 73 appearances.
“We are overjoyed that Zoran decided to return to Slovenia and that we got another Slovenian player in the squad, which is very important for Slovenian basketball,” mentioned head coach Jurica Golemac, “Zoran knows most of his new teammates and what Cedevita Olimpija means. We are happy that such an experienced and high-quality player is coming in. We are confident to improve both defensively and offensively.”
Dragic was crowned ACB champion in 2020 playing for Baskonia, Turkish Cup winner in 2018 with Anadolu Efes, and Italian Cup winner in 2017 with Olimpia Milano. Earlier in his career, he captured a couple of Slovenian League championships (2011, 2012) and Cups (2010, 2011).
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL