Igor Rakocevic was chased by wild dogs after Ergin Ataman sent him to run in a forest

2020-05-28T11:58:24+00:00 2020-05-31T12:54:31+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

28/May/20 11:58


At least there was plenty of motivation to keep running…

By Eurohoops team/ info@eurohoops.net

Former three-time EuroLeague top scorer Igor Rakocevic revealed quite the tale back from his days with Anadolu Efes during a podcast interview with ELPA (EuroLeague Players Association).

Rakocevic, currently the vice president of the Serbian Basketball Federation, described how he was sent by Efes coach Ergin Ataman for an early morning run in a forest near Istanbul and ended up being chased by… wild dogs.

Here’s what Rakocevic said:

“When I played for Efes I didn’t have really good relationships with the coach, Ergin Ataman. One morning he sent me to run in a forest at 7 o’clock in the morning. The forest was one hour and a half from the city so I had to get up at five. Which is OK, I can practice then. He sent a conditioning coach and me. The conditioning coach drove me there. The rain was pouring and it was unbelievable. The coach told me ‘don’t run’. That it’s impossible to run. There’s mud. There’s nobody on the track. But it’s the characteristic of Serbian players mostly. I said ‘No, I’m going to run. I don’t care. I’m going to run.” So, I started running. It was muddy, it was horrible, it was cold, it was raining like I’m in the shower.

And I saw 10 or 12 wild dogs in the middle of the track. They were together, they were not moving and they saw me. And I stopped but I didn’t know what to do. Should I run back or act like I’m not scared and go towards them? I decided to go towards them so I can continue to run. One of them started barking and then all of them started barking. They started chasing me and I had to climb up a small cliff. It was life-threatening really so I had to climb a little bit on the hill so I can run away from them. I ran a little bit up on the hill, moved and then continued to run. The dogs couldn’t climb up like me. It was very scary honestly. But funny too.”

I’ve said this story only to Boki Nachbar.”

Rakocevic won the “Alphonso Ford EuroLeague Top Scorer Trophy” in 2007 and 2009 as a player of Baskonia plus 2011 with Efes.