Matija Poscic Talks About Commitment

Last week Highland Community College forward Matija Poscic verbally committed to the DePaul Blue Demons and coach Jerry Wainwright for the class of 2007. recently caught up with the future Blue Demon. The 6-9 Croatian native talked about his decision to attend DePaul...

Matija Poscic was anxious to get his recruitment over with so that he can focus on the upcoming season at Highland. So why did he choose DePaul? "Because it's (the Big East) a strong conference, the best conference," shared Poscic. "Also because of Coach Vu (former Valparaiso assistant coach Ivan Vujic who will soon be added to the DePaul staff). Everybody knows him. He can help me in a lot of stuff. He's going to be like a second Dad to me. I talk to the coaches. I like them all. I like the Blue Demons, Chicago and everything. It's a strong basketball team. I want to work hard."

Poscic also cited his relationship with the DePaul coaching staff. Soon after arriving in the country from Croatia last year one of his first encounters was with Blue Demons Associate Head Coach Gary DeCesare. "I talked to him first of all the coaches," said Poscic. "He's a good guy, I like him. He talks to me a lot. He's a cool guy."

Matija also respects DePaul head man Jerry Wainwright and has faith in his leadership. "He's a great coach," Poscic remarked. "I believe in him. I think he has a chance to get great players in the same place. I believe he'll get five or six great players and we will win the championship. I want that ring!"

Poscic visited Allstate Arena a few times last season to see the Blue Demons in person and liked what he saw. "It was great," Mat expressed. "I like to play hard. I saw many big, strong guys. I hope that I'm going to be like them. But I don't want to lose my quickness. I want to be strong and quick. I need to practice shooting. I know that if I work hard, I'm going to make it."

Poscic chose DePaul over schools like Texas Tech, Wisconsin and San Diego State. Matija talked with Texas Tech coach Bob Knight. "I talked mostly with the assistant coach. I talked with him (Knight) on the phone for three minutes."

The 6-9 230 pound forward sees himself fitting in well with the team. "I'm going to play power forward, maybe sometimes center," Poscic said. "They told me that I'm going to fit perfect with the team."

While Matija is half a world away from his native Croatia, he does have family in the States and a great deal of support from the Croatian community in Chicago. "I've got four cousins and an aunt in Dallas, Texas," Poscic stated. "I've got many friends in Chicago. There's a lot of people there."

Mat also has three of his fellow countrymen as teammates on the Highland Cougars, including 6-10 Mario Gagulic and 6-8 freshman forward Ante Dzepina.

Poscic managed to return to his homeland for three months this summer. "I came home at the end of May," Mat said. "I took a break for like a month and a half. First I start running. The first month I was working alone. I started shooting and playing with other guys. I worked with my personal coach. I worked hard outside and inside."

Poscic is definitely a big man who can score inside as well as outside. He rebounds and runs the floor well. Matija shot 40.2% from beyond the three point arc for Highland last year. Poscic averaged 9.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

The Cougars finished in third place at the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas in March with an overall record of 34-2. With the loss of a few starters, Poscic will be looked to as a leader this season. "I came back and I met all these guys," said Matija. "I'm happy to be here because Coach (Pete Norman) wants me to play for him again this year. I expect to score better this year. Last year we were almost first. I expect I'll be a captain."

Poscic grew up in Croatia as a huge fan of the NBA. His favorite team was the Indiana Pacers. "I like Reggie Miller, he was a leader," Mat expressed. "I liked Rik Smits because was 7-4."

Is there a certain player that Poscic likens himself to? "People tell me that I have a body like Scottie Pippen with the muscles and that stuff," Matija said. "I just need to work hard to get like Scottie Pippen for real."

Poscic would like to see himself in the NBA when his days at DePaul are over. "I just want to play at the highest level possible," said Mat. "If I don't make the NBA, I'll play in Europe. But, if I work hard I can make it to the NBA. I believe it. I believe in myself. I can make it."

As evidenced by Greece's recent upset win over Team USA, there is quality team basketball being played overseas. Poscic does see a difference between European basketball and hoops played in the United States. "They play street ball and play for themselves," Poscic said. "Sometimes in American basketball, players play to look better themselves and don't play to win. I play to win."

Matija isn't looking for fame or fortune, but would like to play professionally for love of the game. "For me I don't want to be a celebrity. I just want to play. I want to play professional some day. I don't want somebody to give me something if I don't deserve it."

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