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Bosnia: Excellent frontcourt and a pinch of US game wit

Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia – for years, teams from the former Yugoslavia have been among the crème de la crème of European basketball. Bosnia-Herzegovina, however, has usually only played second fiddle – until now.

France, Germany, Slovenia, Lithuania – these are the four favourites in the European Championship group – Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina are only given outside chances. In Bosnia’s case, however, that could be a bad mistake, because on a good day the team can be a stumbling block for almost any team. The French recently experienced this when they lost sensationally in Sarajevo during the World Cup qualifiers.

The Bosnians do not necessarily have a deep squad, but they do have quality, with Jusuf Nurkic (Portland Trail Blazers) and Dzenan Musa (Real Madrid) standing out. Also important for the team is the naturalised US-American John Roberson, who holds the reins as a point guard with speed, a sure hand and a lot of playfulness.

For a long time it was not at all clear whether Bosnia-Herzegovina would be able to participate in the European Championship at all – not for sporting reasons, but rather for economic reasons. In the meantime, the federation has solved the problem and the team is looking forward to the European Championship with great anticipation.

Because of Roberson, Garza is not allowed to play

Curious: Luka Garza (Minnesota Timberwolves), who is of Bosnian origin, is not allowed to play in the European Championship because of Roberson, because he also has a US passport and formally counts as a naturalised player.

Coach Adis Beciragic, who has acquired a profound knowledge over many years as co-coach of coaching legend Bogdan Tanjevic, will have to do without Garza, but even without the 23-year-old, the frontcourt is the showpiece of the Bosnians, who are tall all over the bench and can pose a great challenge to any team, at least physically.

The country’s greatest success to date dates back to 1993, when they reached the quarter-finals at the European Championship in Germany. The players at that time were: Beciragic.



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