By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Why the Balkan region of former Yugoslavia produces so many talented basketball players? According to Dzanan Musa, the Bosnian player of the Brooklyn Nets, the current generation of players is highly affected by the war that divided the country.
“Yugoslavian people have self-discipline that no other countries have because we are kids of the war,” Musa told The Crossover. “I wasn’t born during the war, but I felt it because my dad was in the military. He had 2,000 soldiers that he was responsible for. When you see people die all the time, it’s natural to fight for everything and to be emotional about everything. We have a ‘little something’ that no one can describe because the horrible, terrible war made us stronger.”
Musa also spoke about the challenges of being a Muslim, playing in Croatia for Cedevita. “I was a boy at 16 years old and I heard the insults,” Musa said. “It affected me a lot. I was sitting on the bench for 40 minutes. I didn’t play at all and my team lost. [The fans] insulted me from behind the bench and they were throwing things at me. That’s something you have to deal with as a target when you’re in a different country. I’m not the guy who will say now that those fans are bad. I think they’re just fans and they just want to show they support their team. But I think that’s the wrong way to show support.”