Thursday, October 12, 2006

Nikola Dragovic Adjusting To Life At UCLA

By Bruin Basketball Report

Incoming freshman Nikola Dragovic joins the UCLA Bruins basketball team when it officially starts practice on Friday.

He earned a spot on the team after recently completing additional classes required for admission to the school.

"I officially received my scholarship after I finished my summer session courses at UCLA." Dragovic said.

Dragovic, a 19 year-old from Serbia-Montenergo, realizes he faces many new challenges coming to the U.S to play basketball.

"So far the biggest transition for me has been keeping up with my own schedule," Dragovic said. "The games, the practices, and school are keeping me very busy, and I'm still learning English."

Dragovic made his first visit to UCLA last February when he met with coaching staff and attended two games at Pauley Pavilion.

"After my visit I knew I wanted to come here." Dragovic said. "UCLA has a great basketball program and is one of the best schools in the U.S. I also love Los Angeles."

Over the summer, Dragovic played on the Serbia-Montenengro under-20 team which won the gold medal in the European championships. But Dragovic understands he now needs to adjust to the U.S. game.

"I notice there are some difference in the rules and that the play is faster here, Dragovic said, but I will work very hard and adjust to the game."

UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland already knows Dragovic is talented offensively but is undetermined about his overall game at this point.

"He is definitely a good shooter and has a good feeling for the game but he needs to become more focused on the defensive end." Howland said. "Once full practices start we'll learn more about his ability to defend the three and rebound."

Nikola, welcome to Ben Howland's official UCLA Basketball camp.



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