June 29, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University men's basketball rising-senior Nikola Koprivica will represent his native Serbia in the 2009 World University Games July 2-11, in his hometown of Belgrade, Serbia, it was announced Monday.
"It's a pretty good feeling," Koprivica said. "It's not like last year when I played with guys my age, these guys are older than me. It's a big challenge for me especially coming back after the season and these guys were playing here, plus the coach is new and he didn't know me like he knew other guys. It's a huge challenge I took and I'm happy about it. I think I've done great and have given the best of myself and I'm making good progress."
A 6-foot-6 guard for the Cougars, Koprivica captained the Serbian team at the U20 Men's European Basketball Championship in 2008 as his team took home the gold medal.
The World University Games kick off July 2 with group play. Serbia will take on fellow Group A member Greece, Thursday, July 2 at 8 p.m. local time (11 a.m. PDT) at the Belgrade Arena. Koprivica has been training with the Serbian team since returning home for the summer. Monday, Koprivica scored nine points as Serbia defeated Canada in exhibition action. In another exhibition game Sunday, the same Serbian squad defeated the USA, 98-82.
Koprivica, who has spent the entire summer in Serbia training with his national team, will return to Pullman when classes resume in late August.
The World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation and held every other year. The 2009 men's basketball competition will feature 26 teams vying for gold July 2-11.
Other Cougar Notes in International Play:
Incoming Cougar freshman Brock Motum and his U19 Australian National Team finished off the Four Nations Tournament which featured Australia, France, Greece and Spain Sunday in preparation for the U19 World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. The Australians went 3-0 in the event as Motum was named to the tournament's All-Star Five and was the Four Nations Tournament Most Valuable Player. The 6-9 forward led his team with 20 points in its 85-83 win over France Friday, June 26. He followed that up with a double-double, 23 points and 10 rebounds in Australia's 96-74 defeat of Greece Saturday. In the final game of the tournament, Motum put up 18 points to lead the Emus in scoring for the third-consecutive game and added seven rebounds as Australia defeated Spain, 74-70.
Motum and Australia take on Canada in Group C, Thursday July 2 at 5 p.m. NZDT (Wednesday, July 1 at 10 p.m. PDT).
Rising-sophomores DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson are currently in Auckland, New Zealand, preparing for the U19 World Championship with the USA team. Casto and Thompson's USA squad will open up the World Championship against Iran in Group B action, Thursday, July 2 at 10 a.m. NZDT, which in Pullman will be Wednesday, July 1 at 3 p.m. PDT.