By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Before the NBA actually reimplements a direct path from high school to the draft, Nikola Jovic used a similar lane to the Miami Heat.
Instead of taking one more exam to graduate from secondary school in Serbia, the final step before higher education, he traveled to the United States and focused on preparing for the 2022 NBA draft. Possibly vindicated by eventually being selected by the Heat with the 27th overall pick in June. He shared his story with ESPN after Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra discussed it in a recent postgame press conference of the 2022 NBA Preseason.
“I didn’t have time, especially because of the time difference,” Jovic recalled his decision to skip the exam.
Jovic, 19, introduced himself in the 2022 NBA Summer League and continued working toward his rookie NBA season. In the later stages of the offseason, the Heat stopped him from representing his country in the 2022 EuroBasket and remaining international fixtures. At the same time, he has been prepping to meet requirements and graduate via Zoom.
“As soon as I have a little me time, I’ll do it,” he put a timetable on finally getting it done, “As soon as I get in contact with my teachers and stuff, because like I said, the time difference is really…”
The plan is for the NBA to allow players from high school to declare for the NBA draft, as was the case until 2005. Well, that is not necessarily an issue for international players placed in different educational systems. Serbia’s counterpart of high school, labeled as secondary school, stretches four years and leads into college.
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