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World Wide Warriors: Croatia

Perhaps Ozren Pavlovic could work in Croatia’s tourism industry after his basketball career. He certainly makes it sound like an enticing destination.

“A lot of tourists go there to see museums and a lot of the architecture – it’s really nice buildings,” he said. “And the coast is beautiful. For tourism, it’s good because it has beautiful beaches.”

Pavlovic is a freshman guard/forward with the Hawai’i basketball team, and the first player from Croatia to suit up for the Warriors. Although he has yet to play an official game for Hawai’i, he has displayed an array of skills during preseason workouts and open gym sessions with teammates.

Like most youths in Croatia, Pavlovic said he played a lot of soccer while growing up. He said pick-up soccer games are as common in Croatia as pick-up basketball games in the United States.

“In Croatia, the most popular sport is soccer,” he said. “I played every weekend with my friends for fun.”

Of course, basketball is also popular there, and the country has turned out its fair share of star players, most notably Toni Kukoc and the late Drazen Petrovic.

18 Comments

  1. Thanks, Dayton, Sponsors and Oz,

    OZ,
    Hope you’re having a good to great time here (so far from home)
    And Value earning your college degree here, too (like Vander)
    So that we can all enjoy 4 or 5 years of great ball
    That as you value your previous coaches,
    Help you set up the best possible pro basketball career and life for you and yours…

    Appreciate your hard work and solid inside/outside game…
    Bombs Away!
    Mahalo!

  2. Aloha and welcome aboard Ozren.

  3. I hope Pavlovic’s play will earn the nickname, The Wizard of Oz!!!
    Eventually. I am eagerly awaiting the season to start. Good luck .

  4. Very interesting to listen to and watch the players. In my mind I am wondering which one has the talent, discipline, and hunger to go to the next level. I think that at the D1 level there are many players with the ability to go to the NBA. It’s just a matter of how much they want it and how much they are willing to listen and sacrifice in the 4 years they play in college. I once read about Chris Mullins in his college days and how he was a gym rat, always hanging around and looking for pickup games. It would be so cool to see one of ours such as Ozren become the next Toni Kukoc or Drazen Petrovic.

  5. Ozren,

    Mahalo , thank you for becoming a MBB warrior! Seven of you have made a great journey to come to Hawaii, We hope this next 4 years or so will be a fantastic time of your life!!

  6. Looking forward to watch Ozren develop his game over his career here. A lefty with a smooth outside shot is always a major plus for the team.

  7. DK,

    Agree with you. I cannot recall UH MBB team having this many lefties(southpaws) on team? Great if they also learn to shoot with right hand too, would be awesome. However, defenders normally play right handed offensive players, so the left handed guys that can shoot, can have advantage.

    I think, I might be wrong, current left handed players: Michael Harper, Davis Rozitis, Ozren Pavlovic, Caleb Dressler, and new committ=Michael Thomas..

    I guess no matter if left or right handed, or better yet can shoot with either hand, , great for scoring.

    Ozren and Michael Harper have very smooth shot and release. Ozren can shoot from Deeeep past the 3 line, that really stretches defense. Hope he can play this year, with Ozren, Michael, Manroop, Jawato, Spearman, maybe Christian..the Bigs can kick out to a lot of mid range to 3 line shooters!!!

    Once again great POTENTIAL! We hope they can put it together, team working hard and bonding on O and D and playing for TEAM, I think they will have good year!!

  8. DK,

    Apologize, I think Michael Thomas is right handed? Either way, Michael Thomas great addition for next year to join all the other fine talent and great attitude and academic young athletes!

  9. with all these foreigners on this team i hope it don’t hurt us in 1-2 years with players being so far away from home and in a different country

  10. As Usual, i think you folks got it right the first time…

    Michael Thomas reportedly Left-handed but ambidextrous enough (as good basketball players train themselves to be) to Finish/Dunk with either hand …

    SO… FIVE Lefties, One-Third of The Team … for whatever reason, besides the defensive switch already mentioned, lefties ‘seem to enjoy additional success’ in sports … could be the right brain activation, creativity, etc. (they used to say in ‘bowling’ that the lefties’ side of the lane wasn’t ‘worn down’ / no ruts to get stuck in?)

    MIGHT have an effect on the overall personality of the team …

    Although as you noted, basketball players “should” be able to use both hands, even to shoot, at least five feet …

    FOREIGNERS? Unless Pro Careers override, i think the foreign students Value their College Degrees MORE, because that’s Not Generally an Option/Deal in most other countries …To Play AND Earn a College Degree …

    In USA, i think we take too many things for granted …

    ————-

    POLITICS Recommendation:
    VOTE For The Self-Made Hawai’i Basketball Player – President —
    The Quintessential Example of The American Dream…
    (OR IS That Just Too Obvious?
    Rather than the Silver-Spooned Desk Jockey Hand-Me-Down Millionaire…???
    and His Brethren who don’t even Trust Our Hawai’i Birth Certificates,
    presented/certified by a Republican Governor…)

  11. Uhfanzonly,

    I guess Michael Thomas is right-handed (Eagle checked it).

    I definitely agree that there’s much potential on this squad. I like the mixture of foreign + Cali players. It appears that this team-built should travel well in the Big West. It should be an interesting year.

  12. SORRY ..WEAK Attempt at Humour…

    My Writing Must be Dyslexic-Ambidextrous,
    (almost like talking out of Both Sides of The Mouth an the Same Time?)

    SOURCE CREDIT: B.McInnis 9/25/12:
    [El Camino Real Coach David] “…Rebibo said Thomas’ versatility is one of his greatest assets.

    “If you’re a small guard, he’ll post you up. If you’re big, he’ll go around you. He has a great mid-range pull-up. He can catch and shoot from 3 with consistency. And he’s ambidextrous. He shoots with his left hand, but he can finish with both. He has no problems finishing around the rim. And obviously he’s an athletic freak (36- to 38-inch estimated vertical leap).”

    RE-Stating:
    “…he’s ambidextrous. He shoots with his left hand, but he can finish with both…”

  13. Eagle,

    Soooo, Michael Thomas intelligent student/athlete , also ambidextrous…right or left hand shot, …He has makings of a good one. Gib has recruited very versatile, and FIT for Cali BW conference athletes…Good job Gib, now we see , and hope the team has great next 3 or 4 years!!

  14. AND the Subject of This Page…

    I Don’t think it will take Very Long (Two Years MAX?)
    before OZ is a Star on This Team…

    i Really Like the idea of recruiting talented players who learned 1-2 guard skills, then grew into potential 2-3-4′s, retaining key guard skills like ball-handling, passing and shooting …. which i think applies to Both Oz and Michael Thomas …

  15. Got a little off subject: Interview with Croatia’s Ozren Pavlovic! My apology!

    Good student and athlete, and you are correct, has guard skills already. In a few years with strength(although his offensive skillset, he could contribute right away IMO). ..he can be one of the better big wing/SG to have ever played for UH. Like Savo! And Savo ended up with the Denver Nuggets as free agent for almost part of 2 years!!

    That is the thing, with these multi skilled and position players, Gib has a lot of options!

    Hey Ozren, if ever had a UH Men’s soccer team, maybe you could play multi sport..Nooo, you are a very good skilled Basketball player and we are glad that you are part of the MBB ohana! Have a great first year through fourth year with MBB team!!

  16. Expect Ozi to play a lot of minutes this season!

  17. Having vacationed in Croatia, I can confirm that it is a beautiful country. Spent four days in Split on the coast (never got up to Zagreb) and enjoyed my time there.

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  1. Mladi hrvatski košarkaš živi sportski san na Havajima

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