Kovacevic Overwhelmed By Support

09 September 2013

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

8. Milica Ivanovic (Serbia)
Serbian international Milica Ivanovic was praised for her heroism, rushing to the aid of injured teammates despite her own injuries

Serbian teenager Natasa Kovacevic has spoken for the first time since she lost her left leg in the Uni Gyor tragedy over the weekend.

One of the most promising talents in youth basketball, Kovacevic is starting a long road to recovery after the fatal road traffic accident which killed Gyor head coach Akos Fuzy and General Manager Peter Tapodi.

Speaking on social media via facebook, she said, "Thank you all for your incredible support! Please do not worry. It is what it is, we're moving on... your support means the world to me; many thanks."

The basketball family has rallied round to express their unanimous support for the player, with Serbian captain Nenad Krstic dedicating the teams' crucial win against Latvia at EuroBasket to Kovacevic.

The 19-year-old is going to be transported to Belgrade in due course and is being helped directly by the Serbian Basketball Federation via Vice President Ana Jokovic and also by the Government, via Minister of Youth and Sport, Vanja Udovicic who flew straight to Gyor to be with Kovacevic.

Both paid tribute to the role played by another Serbian involved in the crash, Milica Ivanovic who has been praised for her role at the scene and also in hospital afterwards in comforting her team-mate.

"Ivanovic is not only a great athlete, but proved to be a great person," said Udovicic.

"Though injured herself, she showed great courage and composure, because immediately after the crash she started pulling people out of the overturned bus and assisting the injured.

"This is a tragedy and especially for Natasa, who had her leg amputated, and for her family. There is a difficult period of recovery ahead, but I hope she will be able to cope and recover.

"We will do everything we can to help her and her family to overcome this tragedy. This is the least we can and must do."

"Representatives of the Ministry of Sports, Foreign Affairs and also the Basketball Federation are involved and working together on everything," he confirmed.

A moment of silence took place prior to all tip-offs at EuroBasket on Sunday

Tributes and reaction have also been expressed for Akos Fuzy and Peter Tapodi who lost their lives in the collision with the Mayor of Gyor and President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, Zsolt Borkai leading the way.

He said, "We have lost two great sportsmen. During their whole careers, they worked for Hungarian sport and raised many talents.

"They attained the best result in the basketball history of Gyor and we will never forget them."

Former EuroLeague Women winner and fellow Hungarian coach Laszlo Ratgeber has expressed his disbelief and despair at what had occurred.

"Akos was my assistant coach for 13 years and we worked together with the Hungarian National Team" explained the play-caller.

"With Peter, we also worked together at the national team. We often spent our summer holidays together.

"They were like my brothers. I can't believe what happened."

A minute's silence was observed at EuroBasket 2013 for the duo.

Meanwhile club masseur Burdi Szabolcs continues to fight for his life in hospital after sustaining serious injuries in the crash.


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