By Jared Grellet
|Mislav Brzoja is the perfect side-kick for Dario Saric and would arguably be the first option on many other teams |
If there was going to be an Oscars ceremony after the Samsung U18 European Championship, the award for best supporting role would be a one-horse race with Mislav Brzoja clearly in the lead.
Averaging 16.3 points a night, the shooting guard has provided the perfect support for Dario Saric in guiding their team to a guaranteed top-four finish. The well-spoken Croatian captain was only too happy to sit in the hot seat for another half-court press.
FIBAEurope.com: What are your first basketball memories?
My first memories are the U16 European Championship when we won gold. We want to do the same again this year. We have the best player in Europe in this age so I hope with my help and that of the team we can win this championship.
FIBAEurope.com: What are your motivations behind playing basketball?
First of all I want to help my family financially and especially my brother. He is younger. He is 12 right now and I want to give him a safe future, something I didn't have.
FIBAEurope.com: What would it mean to play for the Croatian senior men's team?
It would mean a lot to me. To be a part of this big organisation, the Croatian Basketball Federation...I mean I have met a lot of great guys here and all of them are my friends. I really enjoy being able to play for my national team.
FIBAEurope.com: Who is the biggest joker on your team and who is the most serious player?
[Tomislav] Gabric. That guy is crazy. You can see in the game that he is giving 150% to the team and it's good to have one guy on the team like him. Most serious? Tough question. We don't have it. We are nice and relaxed and chilled.
FIBAEurope.com: Two seconds left on the shot clock - pass or shoot?
I would shoot it.
FIBAEurope.com: If your coach came to dinner, what would you cook him?
Sarma. That is a Croatian meal. My mum taught me how to cook it. It's not perfect but it is really good.
FIBAEurope.com: Who is the best European player you have ever seen play?
Dario Saric for sure. For any age. That guy is incredible. He is a great guy on the court and out of the court and he is my roommate so I can tell you that he is a great teammate!
FIBAEurope.com: What is the best game you have ever been involved in or watched?
The Euroleague final last season. That game was unbelievable. I was in USA and I watched it and it was crazy.
FIBAEurope.com: So you are living and playing in the US?
Yes I will go to Villanova University next semester so I will stay there for four years then I will go pro.