By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The 30-year-old Serbian center Miroslav Raduljica has been playing professional basketball for 12 years and has NBA, EuroLeague and national team experience under his belt but, for some maybe surprising, he found what he was looking for in China with Jiangsu Dragons with which he extended the contract for two more years:
“I have found myself there, I have my peace and I finally play the basketball I was supposed to play my whole life and it makes me very happy. I am finally playing. It shows right away, the satisfaction when something you do, you start doing the right way. The pressure exists, being one of the two foreigners in the team of whom a lot is expected but I’m lucky to have coach Memi Becirovic. He takes over a big part of the pressure which should fall on me. We help each other, he gave me the freedom to play, it was useful for the team, I think he is the one to finally use all my basketball potentials considering nobody let me play that way… Sale Djordjevic partly did, but when you have 12 good players in a team, you can’t allow me to play around with the ball on the full court.”, the big guy opened up to Basketballsphere.
Some would say it’s a jinx, some would call it a lucky charm but since Raduljica joined the Serbian national team in 2009, every medal they won was silver (2009, 2014, 2016) and either way, that isn’t what’s most important to the big man:
“A gold one should be added also, to make it a bit more colorful… All the medals are with my family, I hope they take good care of them because it’s not that important to me. That piece of metal matters more to them. What matters to me is a nice time spent with my friends from the team, brothers, coaches. That’s what I keep as memories. The medal is a thing, the material part isn’t important to me, it’s the memories and experiences that stay forever. We are primarily friends and after that teammates, because we hang out outside the national team.”
He has also been helping Serbia in the World Cup Qualifiers and will keep doing it while he also notes that this ‘windows system’ isn’t to his liking:
“I will be there in three out of four. We mentioned the system, how it hurts selections so they can’t play with the strongest roster. Why wouldn’t they organize it in the summer, so we all come and see who is good and who is not. Also, I don’t see why the European, World and Olympic runner-up plays the qualifiers, makes it seem as what you do in any competition isn’t respected. That’s what I don’t understand, but maybe I’m not smart enough for stuff like that.”
Photo credit: FIBA