Velimir Radinovic Looking To Leave A Mark In The BEKO BBL

Velimir Radinovic is a 29 year old 212cm center that was born in Canada, but also has the Serbian citizenship as he has Serbian parents. He played at Ohio State from 2000-2004. He turned professional in 2004 and played for Reflex Beograd (SCG-1A): ULEB Cup: 10 games: 4.4ppg, 2.4rpg, FGP: 51.7%; Adriatic League: 30 games: 6.0ppg, 2.7rpg, FGP: 56.0%; 1A League: 14 games: 5.4ppg, 1.7rpg, 0.3apg. In 2005-2006, he played for FMP Zeleznik Beograd (SCG-1A): ULEB Cup: 4 games: 1.0ppg; Adriatic League: 10 games: 2.1ppg, 1.4rpg, in Dec.’05 signed at KK Hemofarm Vrsac (SCG-1A): ULEB Cup: 6 games: 7.3ppg, 1.8rpg, 2FGP: 88.9%; Adriatic League: 14 games: 3.1ppg, 1.8rpg; SCG Superleague: 5 games: 5.6ppg, 2.0rpg, 0.8apg. In 2006-2007, he played for KK Hemofarm Vrsac (SCG-A): Adriatic League: 26 games: 4.9ppg, 2.6rpg; ULEB Cup: 12 games: 9.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 2FGP: 64.1%, 3FGP: 0%, FT: 66.7%. In 2007-2008, he played in France for Stade Clermontois Basket Auvergne (France-ProA, starting five): 28 games: 5.6ppg, 3.9rpg, 2FGP: 57.3%, FT: 79.6%. Last season, he played in Greece for Iraklis Thessaloniki (Greece-A2): 29 games: 7.0ppg, 4.4rpg, 2FGP: 55.0%, 3PT: 33.0%, FT: 87.0%.

He joined MBC in March 2010 and had a chat with German Hoops.

You are now playing in Germany for MBC. You have played three games. How do you like the BEKO BBL:

I like the style of play, it’s very tough and physical. The competition has been really good, in my first game we defeated ALBA Berlin at home which was amazing, the atmosphere was great.

Why did it take you until March 2010 to find a team so late in the season?

Unfortunately I was in a very bad situation last year in Greece, and the market in Europe was hit pretty hard this year so I decided to wait for a good situation. I am happy that I waited because I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to play for MBC which is a very professional club. All the players are good guys, and the management as well as the coaching staff have been very helpful since I arrived.

What is your impression of the style of play of MBC? Is this something that fits your game?

MBC plays very aggressively on defense and like to apply pressure on the opponents for 40 minutes. Playing in the Big 10 in College definitely prepared me for this because that is known as a very physical conference and I like the challenge of shutting down an opposing player.

What is it like playing together with Russian Anatoly Kashirov?

So far it has been very good for both of us I think. He is a very talented young big man with good size and strength, and he also possesses a good touch with the ball. We definitely push each other in practice, and competing every day in practice has helped me tremendously after a long pause from professional basketball.

He is a 22 year old player. Do you see yourself as a mentor for him?

I don’t think “mentor” would be the right word, but I try to pass along some of my experience to him. He is already a very gifted basketball player, and I try to push him in practice so that he can continue to improve.

What is your early impression of coach Björn Harmsen? He is younger than you and is coach? How do you handle this as a player?

I respect him both as a person and as a coach, he has achieved a great amount of success very quickly. I don’t think age plays a factor, it is just a number. He is the coach and as a player you must always respect that and do what is asked of you.

MBC is a young team, but still has a chance of reaching the playoffs. What does the team have to do in order to reach this?

I think we need to continue to work hard. The season is very long and is more trying psychologically than it is physically, and as a player you need to push through this mental wall. Many guys can have a tendency to think about vacation at this point, but you have to continue to play as hard as you can until the final whistle blows.

You scored 7 points in 13 minutes against Bremerhaven. What was it like playing against Jeff Gibbs?

I have played against him in the past, he is from Columbus, Ohio and when I was going to Ohio State we competed against each other in a regional Summer League. Jeff Gibbs is a very respected player in this league and it was fun to have the opportunity to play against him again.

How do you see your future? Would you like to play in Germany next season?

At the moment my focus is on winning as many games here with MBC and making a playoff run. If the opportunity arose to return to Germany I would not hesitate.

You were born in Canada and have Serbian parents. What was your childhood like?

There is a large Serbian community where I come from in Canada and it allowed me to connect with my roots. It also allowed me to participate in basketball events that were sanctioned by the Serbian community throughout North America. These opportunities are not open to everyone and I’m thankful that I have met so many people because of my Serbian background and its connection to basketball.

Did you choose basketball because you were too tall for ice hockey?

To be honest I was not a fan of ice hockey growing up, which is not typical of a Canadian. I tried playing hockey a handful of times but I never really got the hang of it. Basketball seemed to be a good fit for me.

You played at well know Ohio State from 2000-2004. You played your freshman year with Ken Johnson. What is your fondest memory of playing with him?

We shared an interest in art, more specifically drawing. It was nice to get to know him off the court, but it would be nice to forget all the times he blocked my shots in practice.

What was your nicest memory at Ohio State?

There are so many to choose from, but if I had to pick one it would have to be meeting my future wife in 2002.

How would you describe your game?

Unselfish – I definitely put the team and winning ahead of individual statistics and achievements. I will do whatever I need to in order to help the team win, whether it’s rebound, play tough defense, foul, or score.

What is a strength of your game that nobody knows about?

I played the “3” at times in High School. I would sometimes bring up the ball, as well as shoot (and hit) three pointers.

You have played for some well known teams like FMP and Hemofarm Vrsac. What was your most important station in your career so far?

I think the most important station in your career is where you currently are at, and you must make the most of each opportunity, however I enjoyed the most success with Hemofarm. We reached the semifinal in the Uleb Cup (now Euro Cup) against Aris and were within one shot of reaching the finals.

Who was the best player that you played against in the NCAA that might be in the NBA now?

There are a few to choose from, but I would definitely have to say Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors. We met my Junior year (his Freshman year) in the first round of the N.I.T. at Georgia Tech. He was very athletic and long, and could stretch the defense which caused mismatch problems, and continues to do so in the NBA.

What was your most crazy shot that you ever took in a practice or game?

I’d have to go back to my High School days I guess. I remember the game clock was winding down before halftime, the point guard was pressured in the backcourt he threw a long outlet pass to me along the sidelines. I caught the ball a good distance behind the 3-point line and had to get the shot off quick with a hand in my face. So it was pretty much a 30 foot fade away with a hand in my face with almost no time to look at the basket. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

What would you like to do after your basketball career?

I would definitely like to do something with basketball, either with coaching or physical training. I’ve also considered going into teaching, so I could possibly end up being a High School basketball coach.

What was the last DVD that you saw?

Probably something to do with Superman, I’ve been a big fan of his since I was a kid.

Thanks Velimir for the chat.

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