Roko Leni Ukic: Why I am putting myself through this again

2020-04-02T15:04:24+00:00 2020-04-02T15:34:19+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

02/Apr/20 15:04

Roko Leni Ukic is determined to help Croatia bounce back to success.

By Eurohoops team/

Veteran guard Roko Leni Ukic is looking forward to joining the efforts of the Croatian national team with the goal of competing in the Olympic Games (postponed for 2021) for the third time in his career. Croatia is among the host countries of the Olympic Qualifiers.

Ukic, who will be 36 next December, elaborated on the reasons he is returning to the national team and how he and the rest of the squad will aim for an Olympics podium spot following a couple of underwhelming runs in major tournaments over the years.

Here’s what Ukic said in a lengthy blog post for FIBA titled “Why I am putting myself through this again”:

That was the question. My family, my relatives, a lot of my close friends, they all had the same exact reaction. “Why would you really put yourself through this again,” and similar, mostly negative – okay not mostly, but more negative than positive for sure – reactions about my time spent with the Croatian national basketball team. And about Croatian basketball in general, over the last 25 years.

Unfortunately, basketball has become like a release valve for fans in Croatia. Hey, with all the other sports like soccer, handball or water polo going fine and coming up with big-time medals, it seems like there’s no reason to unleash the frustration while watching those games. It’s all going in the right direction for them. So people just kind of wait for basketball, for us to lose another close encounter (we’ve done it, a bunch of times), and everybody gets to be all negative and vent out the tension…

Read the rest of Ukic’s post at