Macvan A Star For Serbia

06 August 2008

Before arriving to the U20 European Championship Men in Riga the Serbian team participated in the prestigious Stankovic Cup in China.

When the all-tournament team was announced the center position was captured by the local hero - Yao Ming.

Milan Macvan (Serbia) and Konstantino Koufos (Greece)
Last year in Spain Macvan had to contend with Greece star Kosta Koufos and he more than held his own.
Next to him in the front line was 18-year-old Milan Macvan of Serbia.

Macvan is a 203cm power forward with a body that can best be described as a "tank". He's wide, massive, strong and though he could use to add some more muscles, he's still very mobile.

After a big play you'll see him cheer, motivate and push with everything in him, raising his hands to the air and lighting up the fans. He's impossible to miss on court.

His game style fits his measurements. He's a fighter, not a single ball will pass around him, without getting attention.

He'll dive for balls, push opponents and team-mates if that's what it takes to make it happen. Macvan knows that his style has a big part in his success.

But then there are some skills in there too. He can shoot from long range or close. Face up a big guy or post up a small defender.

He has very good passing skills and his alley-hoop pass in the win over Spain put big momentum on Serbia's side.

The fact he was born in mid November 1989 and always plays against older opponents only makes it more impressive, and Macvan also produce results.

Last summer he was the MVP of the U19 World Championship when Serbia won the gold.

From there he continued to the U18 European Championship, where once again Serbia stood on top of the podium after Macvan posted 32 points and 14 rebounds in the finals.

Here in Riga Macvan is once again a dominating force for Serbia, who wishes to grab another gold medal.

He's posting 14.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg and leads his team in two categories usually belong to the guards - assists (3.3) and steals (1.8).

Talking with he knows what's on the line for him and his team in the upcoming days.

"We didn't play good enough against France, while they are a very good team. This puts us in a situation where we must win all the next games to make it to the semis. It's not an easy task but we'll fight for it," he admits.

The fact Serbia won all the youth category competitions last year doesn't add pressure for Macvan and his teams. For him it's a totally different story.

"It's a completely different competition here. We don't look back but to the present and future. There are many, many good teams here. France, Spain, Montenegro and more that we need to pass before we can take the gold. It's not going to be easy."

The upcoming game against Montenegro might seem special for people, but for Macvan it's not a big deal.

"We played a friendly game against them before we got here, and won by a large margin, I hope it will happen again," says the big kid.

"We're all good friends, and some play with each other on the same teams. It's like playing against our

I'm a little tired and nervous here. I'm not sure exactly why I'm nervous, but I'm working on making it right and see how to use it for my best.
Milan Macvan

As for himself, Macvan is still not happy with his performance here, especially his long distance shooting where he hit so far only three times in 15 attempts.

"I must play better in the next games, and shoot the ball more accurate," he shares.

"I'm a little tired and nervous here. I'm not sure exactly why I'm nervous, but I'm working on making it right and see how to use it for my best."

One of the reasons of his tiredness is the long season he had in Serbia. After growing up in FMP he moved to play in Hemofarm.

The team reached the finals of the Adriatic League and later on the Serbian League as well, but lost to Partizan in both cases.

Macvan is still not the main man of his senior club but in the Serbian finals he was already playing more than 30 minutes. The adjustment to be a leading player in the U20 team is something he was ready to do, and it shows in every game.

Someone who knows Macvan very well is the assistant coach Milan Mandaric, who was following Macvan in his former club FMP, where he's still working as an assistant coach of the senior team.

"He joined our club already in the U12 team and you could see he's not just any player. Back then he was already very big, but his style was also standing out," says Mandaric.

"With him FMP won almost any competition we played," he remembers.

"He'll need to work on his physical side to make it work in the top level but I don't think that will stand in his way."

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