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The junior basketball team achieved great success by winning the gold medal at the European Championship in Latvia. Practically, the striking duo of this team defended the title from last year from Bratislava, which is Pecarski and Petrusev who were the champions of Europe with the 1999 generation.
Every time we pride ourselves on our kids when they conquer something when they show that they are better than peers from Europe and the world, but is that what we need and what is remembered? Is this medal so important for our basketball or just means to people who are in the basketball federation as an indicator of good work?
Professor Aca Nikolic is the founder of the Serbian Coaching School (although he does not admit that there is any basketball school other than the US) has said long ago that it is not very important to win medals in younger categories but to create players for the senior team.
Of course, that doesn't mean that if you have a good quality team and good players that you shouldn't go for a gold medal, but it means the way you will play to win that medal. There are a lot of tactics in younger categories of Serbian basketball because it is easier that way to get the advantage over the rival and to get a good score, but later on, it all comes back. That is why professor Nikolic always insisted on individual characteristics of players and techniques.
That is why it is very important to see and to monitor who will be a candidate for the senior team on Olympic games in Japan 2020 if we qualify. We hope that at least two boys from this generation will be able to accomplish their top potentials, first of all, Marko Pecarski, who had a senior season with Partizan (8.3 minutes in ABA league), and then Filip Petrusev, who plays at the American college Gonzaga.
Now we should work with them more carefully and polish the talent to the basketball diamond. But, it requires minutes in clubs, and not sitting on the bench. We will monitor our golden juniors next season and we will see how they develop.
The gold medal is okay, but who will remember it tomorrow? Do you even know a single guy (except Pecarski and Petrusev) who won gold at the European Championship last year? Or do you know who was the junior champion in 2009? We will remind you that it was Serbia, the generation of players in 1991.
That team was led by Dejan Musli, the former MVP of Eurobasket who is now playing for BC Bamberg, and then Danilo Andjsic (currently in UNIKS), Branislav Djekic (BC Kumanovo) and Nemanja Jaramaz (BC Braunschweig).
They were the bright future of our basketball.
Unfortunately, no one has built an impressive career, and that implies playing in the strongest European clubs, or in NBA, and playing for the national team in the finals.
If we return to the last year when we were also the junior champions of Europe in the 1999 generation, there was Nikola Miskovic who was unfortunate to experience an injury last season, otherwise, he would have shown a real potential in Mega Bemax.
Besides him, no one from generation had decent a decent time in play last year. If we go a year before, the generation 1998, that was marked as the most promising one, was 10th on the European championship, but we will see if they will give us some ace. There are Aleksa Radanov, Borisa Simanic (Red Star), Aleksandar Aranitovic (Partizan), Novak Music (Mega Bemax).
They are now building their basketball way and they balance between the average and a top ace, and there is a very thin line between them.
Pecarski: I still can't process the success we have accomplished!