SARAJEVO (EuroBasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Mirza Teletovic will make his long-awaited NBA bow this year with the Brooklyn Nets.
A star with Baskonia in Spain’s top flight for the past several seasons, the impending challenge across the Atlantic appears to be bringing out the best in the 2.05m power forward.
Teletovic, 26, has never played better than he is now with Bosnia and Herzegovina in the EuroBasket Qualification Round.
Heading into this week’s game against Latvia, he has scored 24 points in an 87-84 win over Latvia, 33 in a 107-89 victory over the Netherlands, 27 in a 96-95 home defeat to Georgia and 21 in an 84-79 victory at Romania.
Since the break-up of the Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina have competed at numerous European Championships but have never featured in an Olympics and they never made it to a FIBA World Championship.
But the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia proved last year at the 2011 EuroBasket in Lithuania with a fourth-place finish that unheralded sides with accomplished, veteran players can never be dismissed.
Maybe the surprise package in waiting for EuroBasket 2013 is the Teletovic-led Bosnia and Herzegovina.
(?) - Why has it taken Teletovic so long to leave for the NBA.
"I talk to (international NBA players) and the first thing they did when they see me play, is they say, 'Why don't you play in the NBA?'" he said.
"They said, 'You have a perfect profile for it.'
“But I think it's very important for European players to have experience and to be ready. Once he decides to come, he has to be ready to play."
Teletovic is ready, all right.
If he continues to pour in the points this summer and does play at next year’s EuroBasket in Slovenia, who knows?
Maybe Bosnia and Herzegovina will go on run to reach the inaugural FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.