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Mirotic-30-04-2013
Nikola Mirotic (ESP) - Real Madrid (Liga Endesa)
01/05/2013
ESP/MNE - Mirotic concentrates on Real Madrid

MADRID (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Nikola Mirotic has provided plenty of evidence that he is going to be a great one.

Already great in Spain's Liga Endesa and the Turkish Airlines Euroleague with Real Madrid, he'll be great in the NBA one day, too.

The 2.08m forward has been sensational in his limited experience of international basketball as well, leading his adopted country of Spain to the gold medal at the 2011 U20 European Championship in Bilbao.

Juan Antonio Orenga, now the boss of the senior side, was the coach of that U20 team in Bilbao and Mirotic, who averaged 27 points and 10 rebounds, earned the honor as the tournament's most valuable player.

Spain are so deep and talented, No. 2 in the FIBA Rankings Men behind the United States, that the 21-year-old didn't make last year's Olympic squad.

"I have played twice with the U20 team but I have not played yet with the senior side," he said to FIBA.com.

"There is time.

"Right now, I'm concentrating on my team and until the summer, there is time to see what options there are and if I will play or not."

Mirotic was born in Podgorica, Montenegro, in 1991 and that country's basketball federation would like Mirotic to wear their national team shirt.

Montenegro went unbeaten in their Qualifying Round for this summer's EuroBasket in Slovenia, despite missing NBA players Nikola Vucevic and Nikola Pekovic.

At full strength, the Montenegrins are going to be medal contenders this summer.

Mirotic feels a devotion to Spain, though.

"I had a great time playing with the U20," he said.

"On both occasions, we won a medal, we got a bronze and then we became champions for the first time.

"I have very fond memories. I am very happy.

"In Spain, I have felt like at home. We will see what the future holds."

If Mirotic missed out on the London Games, he at least has a chance to visit the British capital later this month when Real return to the Olympic venue to play at the Euroleague Final Four.

The event will be a huge stage, one for Mirotic to show Spain's selectors how far he has come in the past year.

On a very talented team, Mirotic has averaged 11.7 points and 5.5 rebounds in more than 25 minutes per game in the Euroleague.

There is no question about the team that he wants to play for.

The only question is, will he play for that team and if so, when?

Will he be selected to play at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain?

"One has to remember that I am a Spanish national and I want to play with them," he said.

"Right now, I belong to them.

"But we will see if I play with them or not.

"It doesn't depend on me alone but on many other things.

"I have to be calm.

"The important thing is to be at this club (Real Madrid) and to continue to improve as a player."

FIBA

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