EuroBasket: Goran Dragic ready to ball in SloveniaPosted by Inside Hoops
Goran Dragic has been preparing for this moment all summer and anticipating it even longer.
Today, with Slovenia across his chest, the Suns guard will lead his national team into a Celje Arena filled with 5,200 green-clad, raucous fans for a European Championship opener.
Slovenia is more than just the host country. It is a team striving to medal after reaching the quarterfinals in the past four European Championships, placing as high as fourth in 2009 without Dragic.
Dragic has evolved into the team’s star, the face of Slovenian basketball like his mentor, Beno Udrih, once was. He has led his Slovenian team to an 11-1 record in the summer’s exhibition games, including a game in which he made a game-winning shot and another that he got ejected for a retaliation shove into a Turkish player’s back.
Slovenia faces Czech Republic today at noon Arizona time to open pool play. Slovenia will also face defending champion Spain, former Suns assistant coach Igor Kokoskov’s Georgian team, Croatia and Suns teammate Marcin Gortat’s Polish team this week in pool action before the elimination tournament leads to the Sept. 22 championship.
Reported by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (Blog)