Jelena Milovanovic – A Dream Come True

Yes, that’s it! Another Serbian player. Sorry I’m so devoted to them. Well, actually not so sorry…

Jelena Milovanovic
it’s another of the youth rising talents in Europe. She’s been instrumental in the last three years performances of the Serbian Youth Teams, claiming two gold medals and one silver in European competitions, and the bronze at the last U19 World Championship played in 2007 in Bratislava.

This year she’s left Serbia to play in Hungary for Sopron where she’s accomplished one of her dreams: Playing the EuroLeague, (And causing an impact too) We talked to her via e mail to know how are things going for her in this new stage in her life and what are her new goals…

LOK@S: Finally it’s been your turn to leave Serbia and begin a new stage in your career as a pro, how it’s being the experience with MKB Euroleasing so far?

Jelena: You know,Serbian league is so bad, and I had to go somewhere… I play here with a lot of good players and it is good for young player like me…

LOK@S: What were the reasons to choose Sopron? How long is your contract with them?

Jelena: First, because it is close to my country, and also because I heard a lot of good things about them. Because of that! My contract is on 3 years

Jelena: Do you think that your great performances in the summer with Serbia gave you more chances to sign for a club?

Yes, I think so. But I had signed the contract before, at that time there was a chance to play in another club for my first year, because I had to play not to seat on the bench, but then, after the summer they told me that I’d play for Sopron my first year also

LOK@S: What are your expectations for this season and what has demanded the team from you?

I am the youngest in this team, and when I came here it was just to be passionate, but after a few games the Coach gave me a big chance and now they think that I can be the leader of this team

LOK@S: Sopron plays Euroleague, what are the expectations for Sopron in this EuroLeague Tournament?

We started good but we have to win when play away. We want to reach the second round and after that we’ll see…

I guess It’s the first time you play EuroLeague, is it as you imagined it?

Jelena: The league is really tough, but I found myself in this high level and I can play at this level

Talking about the domestic competition, what are the goals for Sopron and what is the level of the Hungarian league?

Hungarian league is easier than EuroLeague. We want to win the championship but we’ll see… Pecs has a very good team too

LOK@S: How are you adjusting to play in both leagues?

It is not too hard for me. When I was playing in Vojvodina I played three leagues at the same time

LOK@S: I guess that the fact of having Irena Matovic in the team has helped you to adapt to a new city and a new country, no?

She helped me a little bit, but now she’s in Serbia and she’s a free player now

LOK@S: How is it being your life off the court in Sopron? Are you living alone, with some teammate…?

Jelena: Sopron is a small but very nice town, and I’m there living alone

LOK@S: Are you fully with a professional contract?

Jelena: Yes I am (Smiles widely)

LOK@S: Do you have time to keep on studying (In case you didn’t quit your studies)? What do you want to pursue professionally, apart from basketball?

Jelena: I finished the high school for tourism in December 2007. I want to work in something related with tourism… to open travel agency or something like that.

LOK@S: About last summer… I’ve got to ask you this… I guess you’re especially happy after recovering the U18 throne, and winning the bronce medal to Spain, no? What do you think about this kinda special rivalry between Serbia and Spain in the last years’ youth competitions?

Yes I am so happy, but I think that we could also win the World Championship, but now that’s not important.

I don’t know why they have a complex about our team, and why they hate us… We’ve been always in the finals everywhere… maybe because of that… I still don’t know why…

LOK@S: If it helps, I must say that I don’t think they “hate” you, and for me it’s a wonderful rivalry. Anyway, talking about all the young talented players that are rising in the last years in Europe, and specifically the serbs, How do you see the younger Serbian girls that are coming for the next years?

If they get out of Serbia after the turn 18 years old they can do something good, but if they stay in Serbia… it will be NOTHING… I think like that because the level of Serbian Basketball (The Serbian competition) is so bad

LOK@S: Maja (Miljkovic) and Sonja (Petrovic) also started pro’s careers, despite of the distance, do you keep in touch during the season? How do you see them in their teams?

Jelena: I talk to Sonja every single day, she’s playing well, I am so happy for her. She will be the best player in her team.

LOK@S: After your great performances in the last youth competitions, didn’t you received any offers from colleges in the States? If so, what make you decide to stay in Europe?

Jelena: I had invitations from a lot of colleges, but I feel that I am not ready to go there yet… I wanna play Euroleague… That’s also the reason that I stayed in Europe

Well, to finish this, you’re beginning a new stage in your career where I wish you the best of the lucks, what are your goals as a player in the next years?

: Euroleague was one of my dreams when I first started playing basketball. I play EuroLeague now… My next dream it’s the WNBA. I think I can do it… but after plaing a few years in EuroLeague

LOK@S: We’re done Jelena. I know we hardly know each other but I got to say that’s been a privilege talking to you and having the chance to know some of your thoughts and we feel really honoured that you found some time to spent on answering to our questions. Thank you so much and have all the best.




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