Original Article can be found at the Geelong Advertiser HERE
GEORGE Blagojevic will return to suit up for the Supercats for the first time since 2013 when the NBL1 season resumes.
The 24-year-old has spent the past two years with the Cairns Taipans in the NBL since
returning from a four-year stint at the University of Hartford in Connecticut.
Blagojevic began playing basketball in Grade 1 for Christian College, under now Cairns
Taipans assistant coach Jamie O’Loughlin.
“Jamie was just starting the basketball program at Christian College then, before it was what it is today,” remembers Blagojevic.
Blagojevic played for Geelong in the VJBL from under-12 through to under-18s and was a member of the Aspiring Supercats Program, suiting up as a development player as a 15-year-old for the senior Supercats team under then head coach O’Loughlin, before receiving a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport Centre of Excellence program.
Returning to play for the Supercats was always on the cards for Blagojevic, with his parents still living just minutes from the Geelong Arena.
“It’s pretty special – I didn’t really know when it was going to happen, but I was pretty sure I was going to end up back here at some point,” Blagojevic said.
“It’s just worked out well this NBL off season, with all this stuff going on in the world I thought to be at home was the best option for a while.
“I can’t wait to play back at the Arena.”
While he has a strong connection with O’Loughlin, Blagojevic is also familiar with current head coach Justin Schueller and is looking forward to playing under him.
As the former head of High Performance with Basketball Victoria Country, Schueller saw the talent Blagojevic had as a junior player.
Although joining the team late, Blagojevic is confident he will be able to slip into the rotation seamlessly.
“I think I’ll bring experience (to the team),” he said.
“I’ve played at a high level for a number of years. I’m not too much of a dominant ballplayer so I think I’ll be ready to contribute straight away, trying to do whatever I can to help the team win.”
Blagojevic has been in South Australia since the Cairns Taipans NBL season ended, with the team not making finals this year.
He expects to be in Geelong on Monday and is looking forward to training with the team, with restrictions easing in regional Victoria to allow indoor training to resume.
The Geelong Supercats also still have Shea Ili and Jo Lual-Acuil to add to the roster, with the two NBL players beginning their finals campaign with Melbourne United on Friday night at 7.30pm.