A New Name in Hoops Recruiting

<b>Nikola Stevanovic</b>, a 6-6 wing from Serbia-Montenegro, has only been in the States for a month, but college basketball programs across the country know about him. He actually has an official visit already arranged for later in the month...

Nikola Stevanovic, a 6-6 small forward originally from Serbia-Montenegro that is playing this season at Laurinburg (N.C.) Laurinburg Prep, has been in the States for a month but is already getting noticed.

His Laurinburg coach, Chris Chaney, said he's been getting contacted pretty consistently about Stevanovic. The kid himself said that he's been contacted by UCLA, Alabama and Rhode Island, while Chaney also said Mississippi and Charlotte have shown interest.

In fact, Stevanovic has an official visit set up with UCLA for the weekend of October 22nd.

Stevanovic, according to Chaney, is a well-built wing, weighing about 215, who's very skilled, while also tough and physical. "His strength is his ability to shoot from the outside," Chaney said. "He's just feeling his way right now. He knows how to play and he defends. He really doesn't have any weaknesses. He's not a bad athlete and definitely strong enough. He just needs to get used to the American style of play."

Stevanovic said as much. "There's a major difference in style of play (between the U.S. and Europe). It's a totally different style. Here we play more fast break and more aggressive. In my country, it's much slower."

Stevanovic, who is 20 years old, speaks English very well, having taken it for most of his life in Serbia, and is also a good student. Chaney said that he's fully qualified by NCAA standards already.

When asked if he was familiar with any American college basketball programs, Stevanovic said, "I watch a lot of college basketball." Since it is planned for him to visit UCLA, he said, "I'm pretty familiar with UCLA, and know about their reputation."

Chaney said he thought UCLA could offer Stevanovich on the visit.


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