Sonja Petrovic, a player of the Serbian national team, Spartak BC and Chicago BC
“I think about basketball 350 days in a year”
- As many girls used to, I wasn’t in love with Bodiroga. It was more like being in love with the way he plays, works and practices, how much he is calm and devoted; in love with his appearance in general, his attitude and education. For me, he is a sportsman anyone should be alike – says Sonja Petrovic, the owner of 8 European and World medals and one of the best basketball players in the world at the moment, also the promoter of the Yubac Women basketball camp.
She’s been playing basketball for 17 years, though born 24 years ago. She plays in the 2 best clubs in the World and was the best young basketball player in Europe in 2007. In elementary and high school she was excellent. More than 100 games she played in the national team and stands for a paradigm for those who decide to shoot to the basket some day for the first time. In “Petar Petrovic Njegos” Elementary school from Savski Venac, along with acquiring the basics, she learned her first basketball steps. The talent was present but it was necessary to develop and direct it. Which way and what direction to choose was in father Radoslav’s hands who also used to play and work in basketball. She changed more than 20 coaches in her career and the basics of basketball were learnt in the well-known basketball camp.
- I was in Yubac’s camp at Kopaonik. The trainings there make a difference. Trainings take place twice a day nowhere else in the world in that age. It takes much renouncing but the advantage of that is new acquaintances and improvement in play you love since the childhood – explains Sonja her first touch with this way of work.
She worked hard aiming to reach her idols one day, Danira Nakic (Bilic) and Dejan Bodiroga and the first prize for the renouncing was an invitation from the beloved club.
- I played in Cukaricki BC for six years and in Red Star afterwards, all the time before going abroad. It’s my club and my biggest love – Petrovic says.
With less than 17, she continued her career abroad, despite the attitude of our association that she isn’t entitled to do so. However, World basketball association (FIBA) made a precedent and Sonja became the first player in the world who turned professional before coming of age. She played for Barcelona, Bourges and Spartak Moscow in which she still plays and scouts from USA started to watch her. San Antonio drafted her but, during the summer break while she was in Europe, an invitation came from “Chicago Sky” and she signed a contract many people dream of. In America, both in private life and in the club, she feels like being home.
- Thanks again to the people from Spartak who allowed me to play for Chicago. It’s really great but hard as well. There’s only a 15-day break during the year. I think about basketball at least the rest of 350 days. The difference between European and American style is the same as in the men’s category. In America, physical strength is preferred and there are more shots, while tactical maneuvering is more present in Europe. I’m aiming to make progress in both segments.
At the appropriate time, Sonja would like her greatest wish to come true.
- To get back to Red Star and win the title since I haven’t done it with my club – Sonja Petrovic concludes