Career: Syracuse University (NCAA, 1994-1999), Kovinotehna Polzela (Slovenia-First Division, 1999-2000); Pivovarna Lasko (Slovenia-First Division, 2000-01); Oldenburg TB (Germany-First Division, 2001-04), Olympiakos Piraeus (Greece-ESAK, 2004), RheinEnergie Kön (Germany-First Division, 2005-…).
Elvir Ovcina is a veteran of the national team. He has been the inside anchor for Bosnia since the mid-nineties, when he made his debut at the 1997 EuroBasket in France at the tender age of 21. It was an opportunity to learn from his old-school big countrymen such as Bukva, Avdic, Alihodzic and later Mujezinovic. With all them gradually gone from international competition, Ovcina grew stronger, both in terms of muscles and numbers. Although he played until 1999 in the United States, he still found time to help his homeland team. Belgrade will be Elvir’s fifth EuroBasket, and he can’t wait to see some action. “I have never reached the second round with the national team or won a single game. It’s time to change this”, he says. Ovcina would like the EuroBasket to be the follow-up of a successful season in the team RheinEnergie from Köln – which he helped take the German cup with a performance that earned him MVP of the final game title. His career has been somewhat atypical for a Balkans-born player: he went to Sycamore High School in the United States before spending five years at Syracuse University. His European career began fairly late, at the age of 23, when Elvir moved to Slovenia to play with Polzela and Pivovarna; during that period, he played the Slovenian All-Star Game; He moved on to Germany and spent two years with Oldenburg. After a brief stay in Olympiacos, he finished last season in Köln where he averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in the Bundesliga.