Serbia forward Bjelica: “For me, the National Team is everything”

Serbia forward Bjelica: “For me, the National Team is everything”

Heat forward spoke on the eve of FIBA OQT in Belgrade

Heat forward Nemanja Bjelica spoke to Sportski zurnal ahead of the OQT in Belgrade. “For more than a decade, as soon as I finish the season with the club, there are responsibilities toward the NT. I’ll try to be direct as much as possible: For me, the NT is everything! To represent Serbia is an honor and a pleasure. As I’m getting older and more experienced, I realize that no championships with clubs or individual achievements can compare with what you did for your nation. You have an opportunity as an athlete to make your nation happy, and that is priceless.”

“In 2009, five of us got the call from the NBA camp in Treviso. We didn’t even consider going, and not joining the University team. Unfortunately, now we hear more and more how you don’t need NT to succeed.”

“The summer in NT would launch you in the career, but no one looked at it like that. We were all there because it’s an honor and satisfaction. We shouldn’t be mad at the ones that do not come. Every one of them has their own reasons and we have to respect them. I only wish we do everything we can to not lose the younger generations, the players who should be here for years. The more they are here, the more they will realize what I’m saying now. I learned from Krstic how to behave and what the relationship toward the NT must be… I could’ve easily been out now because my season was longer, but it would hurt me. Like it hurt when because of the injuries I couldn’t help.”

“People say to me: “You’re not selfish!” Maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe I am extremely selfish because I neglect my friends and my family so I could do the thing I love. That’s why I can’t criticize anyone for thinking differently. If I would give up my moral code, I would go against myself.”

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