Interview: Zoran Sretenović

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"The crucial moment in the final match against Maccabi was Maljković’s decision to put me to guard Doron Jamchy"

The only European who played 40 minutes in European Championship final. Champion of the continent (three times) with Jugoplastika, the Yugoslav national team player, one of the best guards who guarded some best European players in wing position, Zoran Sretenović.

Zoran Sretenovic

When was your first touch with basketball?

My fondness of basketball began in elementary school in the part of Belgrade, where I grew up. Like other boys, I used to love football, and then I played my first basket on the street. In some way, my interest in basketball came from my PE teacher. I played for the "Djura Daničić" school and later in a small club, after which people from KK Red Star noticed me.

What is your favorite European Championship title with Jugoplastika and why?

It’s hard to single out but, let it be the first final in 1989. We played against Maccabi in Munich. We were a young team, with no experience. Because of that many teams didn’t take us seriously. That's why we played with over 100 percent of power. The crucial moment of the match was Bozidar Maljković’s decision to put me guarding Doron Jamchy. Ten minutes before the final whistle Jamchy had a 5/5 three points shot score.

In Paris against Barcelona you were on the court for 40 minutes, and entered the history of the game...

I did not even know about that fact. Journalist Vladimir Stanković said that thing to me. I remember that game because Bozidar Maljkovic was on the opposite side, on the bench of Barcelona BC, and because we played against our former teacher. That made us more motivated to give our best.

How to become a top basketball player? Which three things must be fulfilled?

To learn, love and taste the spirit of basketball. We work on it in the Yubac camp, although basketball is a very complex game. The more elements you learn, the better player you are. There is no specific formula for becoming a basketball player.

Please tell us who are currently the best guards in Europe and indicate why they are the best..

The best guards need to use brain, to think and predict attacks, read the opponents tactics, and sometimes read the intentions and possibilities of their teammates. A lot of players posses these parameters but the question is how they use them, in what way and in what time. In my opinion, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Dimitris Diamantidis and Milos Teodosic are the best.

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