Maricevic Brings Croatian Flair to TBirds Hoops




"This is so different. I need to just listen to coach. Now I think I'm getting better, but I still like learning."

Casper College's Antun Maricevic traveled 5,358 miles from his home in Croatia, for the opportunity to play basketball in the United States.

"His host family are actually Casperpeople, a guy named Craig Christensen. And he had reached out to us and thought Antun would be a candidate to play junior college basketball. Ton of potential and a ton of talent."

The freshman is part of a movement of Croatians, making waves in the American game.

"It's a very underrated pool of talent there and you're starting to see it with guys going to the NBA and getting drafted." "Ivica Zubac. That's my really good friend and he's drafted this year by the Lakers. And I just imagine like he was on the same club and played on the same team."

And he still gets advice from his friend in the pros.

"He asks me how I'm doing and if I say last game was tough for me, like we played bad. He just says be smart and every time like think if you keep up the hard work you can be where I am and that gives me motivation."

Some added motivation? Representing his town back home.

"I'm from small village and the whole people just want the best for me and all my family. When I see people care about me, it's like to know somebody cares is really helpful."

And Maricevic is ready to make them proud. "Say to people, you guys can watch me on the TV if you want or the internet. And if I can show that I'm on that level and I can give that to them, I would be so happy."

And that road starts here, with the Thunderbirds.