Basketball season is over and Utah State Eastern basketball players are focusing on classes and finishing the semester. The coaching staff is 100 percent focused on recruiting and building the team for next year and the player who will be part of the next year’s team is Veljko Ilic, a Serbia native, who came to Price to learn the system and adopt to the new environment.
Ilic made a decision to come in Price because he and the coaching staff felt it would be better to use four months to adapt and familiarizing himself with the his culture.
Coming to Price was his first experience in the United States and this semester was great for him to overcome problems internationals have when they first come to the country.
The first problem Ilic faced was a language barrier. Although his language is a work in progress, he shows improvement. What helped him overcome the communication problems was having four Serbians on the basketball team who were there for him from the start.
Ilic was happy and grateful for having fellow Serbians next to him to assist him, not just with language, but with everything else. Without them, the whole process of adaptation would be harder.
Ilic faced other difficulties international basketball players encounter, as understanding what was going on during practices and on the court.
Basketball in the U.S. is different than it is overseas and it did not take long for Ilic to realize the differences between the two systems.
The game here is more intensive, physical and faster than in Europe. The rules also make a big difference, since there are dissimilarities in officiating and play calls.
The last four months were crucial for Ilic, as he learned a lot and understood what next year will bring.
With new experiences and knowledge, he should be ready for the next season.
He believes next year will fulfill his expectations, and is sure he made a good decision of coming to Eastern to join the basketball team.
He is aware he is given a great opportunity to earn himself a valuable and priceless education. He will be sure to use that privilege and do his best in his classes.