Marko Popović (born 1982)


Marko Popović (born 1982)
Marko Popović
Replace this image male.svg
Nickname(s) Pop
Position Point guard
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg)
League Lithuanian Basketball League
Baltic Basketball League
ULEB Euroleague
VTB United League
Team BC Žalgiris
Born June 12, 1982 (1982-06-12) (age 29)
Zadar, Croatia, Yugoslavia
Nationality Croatian
College Southern Idaho (2000-01)
Pro career 1998–present
Career history Zadar (1998-00, 2001-03)
Valencia (2003-04)
Cibona Zagreb (2004-05)
Efes Pilsen (2005-06)
Žalgiris Kaunas (2006-08)
UNICS Kazan (2008-11)
Awards LKL All-Star (2008)
Eurocup Finals MVP 2011

Marko Popović (born June 12, 1982) is a Croatian professional basketball player of Serbian descent. He is a 1.85 m (6'1") and 86 kg (190 pound) point guard. He currently plays for the pro club Žalgiris Kaunas.

Contents

Early life

Marko Popović was born in Zadar, the son of Petar Popović,[1] a retired basketball player and a present day coach whose father (Marko's grandfather) had moved to Zadar from Kraljevo, Serbia in 1943.[2] Marko had started training basketball in the youth school of KK Zadar, but in 1991 the family was harassed for their Serbian origin during the Croatian War of Independence and when their cafe "Timeout" was blown up by local Croats, so they moved to Zagreb in 1994 when the father signed with Benston.[2] Marko then entered the youth system of KK Cibona, where he remained in 1997 as his family moved back to Zadar. His cadet team won the national championship and he himself was voted MVP of the tournament.[2]

Pro career

Marko started his career with KK Zadar in 1998. In the 1998/99 season he was in the junior squad but scored an average of 25 points per game, which earned him a spot in the top tier in 1999.[2] In 2000, he competed in the European Junior Basketball Championship in Zadar where Croatia won the second place and Popović was the best assistant with an average of 5.2 assists per game.[2] KK Zadar decided to offer him a seven-year contract at that point, but he refused and went to an American college at the NCAA Division II team Southern Idaho where he stayed for a year.[2] In 2001, he moved back to Croatia and Zadar.[2] In the 2002-03 season, he won the Goodyear League's championship.

In 2003, he moved Pamesa Valencia of the Spanish ACB League for the 2003-04 season, where he stayed for one season until moving back to Croatia again, this time to Cibona Zagreb, with which he won the Croatian Championship in the 2004-05 season.

In 2005, Popović was signed to the Turkish league club Efes Pilsen, and the next year he moved to Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian League, with which he won the 2006-07 season and the 2007-08 season Lithuanian Championships. He was named the Eurocup Finals MVP in 2011.[3]

In 2011, he returned to Žalgiris.[4]

Croatian national team

Popović played for the Croatian men's junior national basketball teams, where his team won the silver medal at the 2000 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. He led the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship in both scoring and assists.

He joined the senior men's Croatian national basketball team in 2002, and with the senior team he has played at the following EuroBaskets: EuroBasket 2003, EuroBasket 2005, EuroBasket 2007, and EuroBasket 2009. He also played at the 2008 Olympic Basketball Tournament and the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

References

External links


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