Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Meet the Warriors: Matija Svetozarevic

A versatile game is allowing Matija Svetozarevic to make up for some lost time with the University of Hawai’i basketball team.

Svetozarevic is one of five newcomers on the Rainbow Warriors’ 2022-23 roster. The 6-foot-7 sophomore forward signed with Hawai’i in August, and thus missed out on summer classes and workouts with the other members of the team.

“I think I was the last guy on the team to come here so I wasn’t here for the summer session at all,” he said. “I was just here for the unofficial practices for the past month, and now after the first week of official practices, I’m starting to get to know my teammates and the guys really well. I’m loving everybody and I’m real excited to see how the team is going to look like when real games start.”

Svetozarevic is originally from Serbia, and played his freshman season at Portland. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in limited minutes at Portland, and entered the transfer portal after the season.

He said he did not have any previous ties to the Hawai’i program,  but connected with the coaches and soon realized that it was “the best option” for his future.

Svetozarevic said he is comfortable playing either forward position, or even as a big guard. “I think I can be really versatile,” he said. “I think I improved my shooting a lot in the past few years … I think I’m a good spot-up shooter and I can benefit the team a lot.”

Svetozarevic said he had not visited Hawai’i prior to arriving here for the current semester of classes.

“I’ve never actually been to the U.S. before I came to college,” he said. “Now Hawai’i is definitely my favorite place so far.”

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