Jure Besedic is a 28 year old 207cm forward from Slovenia that completed his first season in Germany with the Dragons Rhoendorf (Germany-Regionalliga) playing 24 games averaging 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 65.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 72.2%. He scored in double figures in 13 games including a 22 point effort against Dorsten. He played 9 seasons with Helios Domzale (Telemach League). But also played in Italy with ASD Angri Pallacanestro (Italy-Serie C Silver and also played 3 seasons with KK Splosna plovba Portoroz (Telemach League). He played with the Slovenian U-16, U-18 and U-20 national teams. He spoke to Germanhoops.com during COVID-19.
Hi Jure where are you at the moment and how is your current mood despite the world turmoil at the moment because of the out break of the Corona Virus?
Hello. I’m back in Slovenia. I feel great and really bored because of all this things happening. But I’m happy because sport is coming back
When you first heard about the Corona Virus did you ever think that it could have such an effect on the world?
I didn’t think that this would be really a big deal. But when you see all this people and politics in panic you start thinking in bad way. I really don’t think that this is big deal. It’s just a normal disease.
How did you experience the day to day life in Germany during the early Corona Virus outbreak? Did you see that corona effect on the culture there or was it not so much different happening in your day to day dealings?
I just stayed at home. All day. It was boring for real. I tried to go out for a walk or something. But I left from Germany around the 25th of March. So it was begining of all this.
Did you become more aware about how you handle yourself in public in terms of shaking hands and not being in the line of fire with somebody coughing
I just stayed home. I didn’t have a lot of contact with people around me. But if I saw somebody outside we talked normally and shaked hands as well.
Basketball leagues have shut down all over Europe. How disappointed were you about this and not being able to finish the season?
I was disappointed and in a bad mood as well. I really wanted to finish the season. And I had a feeling that we could of won the league.
Before leagues were shut down there was a BCL game in Bonn against AEK Athens and a Fiba Europe Cup game in Bayreuth without spectators in Germany. What is your overall opinion of playing a game without fans?
I don’t like it. I think basketball and all another sports play because fans want to see it. Every one like sports and its really bad that fans can’t come and support their teams.
What have you learned about these tough times that has made you stronger as a person?
I learned how to stay at home when I didn’t need to go outside and drank coffees and all this stuff. It will be easier for me next seasons to stay at home.
Will it be a big adjustment having to start 3 months earlier with workouts and basketball skill development? What will be the advantages and disadvantages of this?
A good thing is definitely that we will practice more and have more time to prepare for next season, but bad, because there are no games. Every athlete wants to play, wants to compete, and wants to win.
The whole world economy is going to be affected including Polish basketball. How worried are you about the future of professional basketball. The next season will have many changes. How are you handling this mentally now not knowing what to expect?
I just think that all things will be coming back to a normal life.. Maybe seasons will start later as usual but I don’t think that here will be some changes.
How have you experienced the day to day life back home ? How has the Coronavirus affected your daily life? How have you been keeping in shape inside your home. Talk about the type of exercises and work out you have been able to perform inside your own 4 walls.
Yes I came back home and I didn’t workout for one month. But now I practice with one great personal coach here in Slovenia.
If you had to name another player besides guys from your team that you have been in most contact via Social Media who would it be?
I don’t know. I’m in contact with our assistant coach almost every day. Julius Thomas. I’m in contact with Savo Milovic as well. And of course with guys from the team. We still have a group chat
You played your first season in Germany with the Dragons Rhondorf. The club finished in 3rd place with a record of 16-8. What was your summary of the season?
I think we started the season really bad. We just did not connect as a team. After the change in the coaching position, we started to play much better and stronger. And I really think that we would be the best in playoffs.
The club was very ambitious to move back up to the Pro B and might of had they won the playoffs. Despite the record and very talented roster, is it fair to say the club underachieved?
No I don’t think so. You must win all the games in the playoffs and I really think we would do this if we had played season to the end. We will see what the organization decides, maybe Dragons Rhondorf move up in Pro B.
When Yassin Idbihi came on board it sent positive vibes to the team. How beneficial was it having Idbihi as head coach and how did he help your game, a big man who played your position?
Yes he is really a positive guy. He gave us this power on the court and off the court. He is a coach who likes to work hard, because all his career he played for Balkan coaches and he know how much you must work to win a championships. He give me really good advice for my game and I will try to use it later in my career too.
It was a lot of fun watching the team play offense as it scored 100 points or more 9 times. How much fun was it playing offense for the Dragons Rhondorf? How do you feel did your game profit from the many options?
Yes its true. But like I say before. Yassin is coach who like to base our game on defense. And I don’t think he like that we score 100 points if we get 90 or even more. I can say that he would be happier if we won 60-55. But yes, for sure it was fun playing with this young guys who like to run, dunk and all this stuff .
The biggest weakness this season was the defense that never was able to get really better. The club gave up 86 points which is a lot for wanting to win a title. What do you feel were the biggest factors for not being able to allow less points?
I think we played good offense, but really bad defense. We play as a team on offense and really selfish on defense.
What was the team highlight of the season? Possibly the exciting 86-83 win over the RheinStars? What do you remember from what that game most?
Yes this was a great game. I remember that game. We knew that we would win this game before it started. We were so hyped and I ‘m sure nobody on the team did not think for not even one second that we can lose it.
Let s talk about your teammates. What was it like playing with Curtis Hollis? He entered the 2020 NBA Draft. Do you believe that he is talented enough to play in the NBA?
I didn’t see him play now from January. He is talented and I wish him all good luck.
What was your lasting impression of German player Killian Binapfl? How did you see him improve his game over the course of the season and what is your fondest memory with him?
Oh I like Kilian. We hang out a lot. We go out together, go eat together. He is good guy and I think he will have good career.
You had to battle big men Gabriel de Olveira and Mark Kotieno in practice on a daily basis. How did you see them grow and what will you always remember about their play and characters?
They are both great guys. I think they learned something from me as a big man and I hope they will use it in their careers. They must just work hard and they will play in good clubs. I will always remember Gabirel’s fighting mentality and Marek’s fighting on practice with me every single day.
How amazing of a player and person was 37 year old Anish Sharda? Is he a guy that a veteran like you could still learn new things?
He was the machine of the team. He is strong and an old point guard. He practices every time with 150%. All respect for him. Yes you can learn from him a lot. You can learn how you must work hard if u want to reach your goal.
Let s talk about your game. You averaged 10.4ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 65.3%, 3PT: 40.5%, FT: 72.2%. How content were you with your game?
I think I can always do better. But I had some problems with my Achillis and all this stuff.
You played many years in the Telemach and Adriatic leagues. How would you compare those leagues in skill and competition level to the German Regionalliga?
I think Telemach and ABA league is much stronger than a lot of leagues around the Europe. It’s hard to compare these two leagues with Regionalliga. But many great players play in Regionalliga and it will become a really good league too.
You have been shooting the ball very well the last 3 years shooting 40% or better from outside. Is it fair to say that your game has changed a bit over the years to you liking to be more of a shooter than scoring inside? The Dragons had enough big men, so it allowed you to focus more on your outside game.
Yes I like to shoot from outside. I like to pick and pop and I think in basketball in a new era you must have a big man who can shoot.
You’re a good shooter, great passing big man and have a good basketball IQ. In what areas of your game do you feel did you grow most with the Dragons Rhondorf?
I think I grew most in my inside game under the basket. Yassin explained me some tricks and all the stuff big men must do at a high level.
What is the next step for you? You have played most of your career in Slovenia. Do you feel like you will remain at home or continue to play in Germany or in another country?
I’m young” and I want to play outside of Slovenia. I like Germany and I want to come back.
You played 9 years with Helios Domzale (Telemach League). What are your fondest moments with this organization on the court?
We won the championship with the U19. There were so many good things that I can explain all day. I have friends for life from Helios and this club means everything to me.
You played for head coaches Rado Trifunovic and Zmagoslav Sagadin. How important were these 2 coaches for your early basketball development?
Yes Rado had me in the beginning of my career and he helped me a lot to become a professional basketball player. I came to play for Sagadin when I was 18 years old. He is one of the best coaches in Europe. And he is 200% committed on basketball. We had a meeting every day and we have practice d4-5-6 hours per day.
How proud are you of ex teammate Klemen Prepelic? You were teammates back in 2009-2011. If somebody had told you in 2011 that he would play for Real Madrid in 2018 what would you have thought then?
Yes I’m really proud of him. He is a good guy and deserved everything alone and with hard work. It was just a matter of time when he will play for one big club like Real.
You also have played with the Slovenian U-16, U-18 and U-20 national teams. Is there one game that you will never forget that will always stick out in your mind
I will never forget the game against Turkey at the European championships U-20 in Slovenia when we won by 2 pts in last second. That was my best memory from my national days.
You have stated that 2 of the toughest players that you faced have been ex NBA players Nikola Pekovic and Miro Raduljica. What memories do you have of these 2 players and how was it battling them?
I played against them when they played for Partizan Belgrade in the Adriatic league. Those are guys who are really big and strong, and both have great careers. It was pleasure to play against them.
What experience have you had with Luka Doncic? Have you ever practiced with him over the years? The way he has dominated the NBA the last 2 years do you see him being a Michael Jordan or Lebron James down the road?
No I never practiced with him or something. But I will say that he will be the next Drazen Petrovic. He is really good and all respect to him what he is doing in NBA.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
I would say Alen Omic, Klemen Prepelic, Jure Mocnik, Saso Ozbold and Stipe Modric.
Please produce your own personal NBA Mount Rushmore with 4 heads past or present?
Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Shaquille O Neal.
What is your general opinion with the debate between who is greater Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
For me Michael Jordan is the best player ever. Lebron is great but I don’t like it. I really don’t know how people can compare Jordan with LeBron.
What was the last movie you watched?
I watched Last Dance so after that I must watch Space Jam.
Thanks Jure for the chat.