SLO – The rising star of Dino Muric
It’s probably the most important in the nation’s history.
The country, where the sport ranks number one, is to host EuroBasket 2013 (4-22 September).
The national side has the aim of getting a first medal in a major competition, and the desire to book a place in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
If the Slovenians play as well as they did at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland, when reaching the Semi-Finals, they could very well challenge for the title.
Right now, everyone is wondering who will take up those 12 valuable roster spots.
Muric represented Slovenia at youth level, including 2010 for the last time when he turned out for the U20 European Championship in Croatia and averaged 12.4 points and 6.3 rebounds.
Now he’s a vital member of the Union Olimpija team.
The game before that, at Cedevita, Muric was even more influential with a game-high valuation of 25.
He had 14 points, 10 boards and three assists but his Ljubljana club fell, 73-67.
Slovenia aren’t expected to name their preliminary squad for the EuroBasket for a while, but Muric is definitely raising eyebrows.
At the start of the year, the Adriatic League highlighted Muric with an interview on their website.
"I want to improve and give the most I can," the 2.01m small forward said.
"Like most of my team-mates, I just want to help the team win games.
"But away from the basketball court, I just want to get as many experiences as possible.
"I am still young and I know I still have to learn a lot."
Dino Muric is Union Olimpija’s ambassador of the One Team project.
He represents the club in charitable activities, including working with a home for youth called Malci Belic, as well as a Ljubljana pediatric clinic and with Special Olympics Slovenia.
"When I was younger, I also had a lot of role models and I was always very happy when some of them gave me advice, showed me how to do things," he said.
"That is why I am aware that I took over a very responsible job.
"I am aware that children are following every step I make.
"I feel the duty to help and advise them, sometimes I also share funny stories with them."
There are a lot of people in the country rooting for Muric because it’s obvious that he loves the game and works extremely hard on, and off the court.
"Basketball gave me a chance to get a lot of life experiences and great friends,” Muric said.
“I cannot image life without it anymore."