As the name might imply, ELA is all about dissecting European hoops. But I’m about to lay some shocking news on you: I have never actually played professionally in Europe. So in place of my would-be expertise we like to recruit players—Justin Gray, Taquan Dean, Sinan Guler, Cappie Pondexter—who can tell us what it’s like. Our latest blogger has traveled a very interesting path to get to the Serbian Pro A League. He was born in—well, why don’t I just let him explain…

My name is Milan Prodanovic. I will try and keep this intro short, because I will write more about myself as the season goes on. But here is a short biography…

I was born in Novi Sad, in the ex-Yugoslavia.  My family moved to the United States in 1992. I have lived in Florida, New York, and now Boston. I have been playing basketball since I was five years old. I played for Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York. After Molloy, I signed with Iona College in Westchester County, New York. Today I have returned to my native Serbia and signed with the newcomers of the Serbian A league, Super Fund BP.

The Transition

When you go away to college, one of the first things you hope for and expect is that you are finally independent of your family, past obligations, mandatory classes, and a host of other responsibilities. But it is not really like that, is it? At Iona, where I played from 2006-2010, the blanket of dependence spread from the coaching staff to the school faculty. Coaches make sure you attended classes, came to practice, worked hard. Strength coaches make sure you eat correctly, get enough sleep, and train well.

In professional basketball, the feeling of true independence hits as soon as you step off the plane and onto the court. Here, you are your own man, and you do as you wish, but you are expected to be a professional without any dependence on your club’s administration.  You are expected to attend practice, eat properly, and train professionally.

As for news on the court, my team Super Fund BP plays on National TV  (RTS 2) tomorrow at 18:00 against Sloga (Unity) from Kraljevo.

As for the Euroleague, things are starting to heat up. Tonight’s battle against CSKA and Panathinaikos will premier some of the top talent in all of Europe. I expect CSKA to win a hard fought battle in Panathinaikos’s hostile environment.

Off the court, I have a new roommate. Nikola Rondovic, who played for Red Star Belgrade last year, has joined Super Fund and is living with me. He is a very talented player, who interestingly enough has roomed with Omar Cook, the former St. Johns superstar. I am pleasantly surprised with his linguistic skills.