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Milan Gurović
Gurovic.jpg
Position Shooting guard/Small forward
Height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Weight 209 lb (95 kg)
Born June 17, 1975 (1975-06-17) (age 34)
Novi Sad, Serbia
Nationality Serbia Serbian / Greece Greek
Pro career 1993–2009
Former teams Peristeri BC (1993-1998)
FC Barcelona Bàsquet (1998-2000)
AEK Athens (2000)
Pallacanestro Trieste (2000-2001)
CB Málaga (2001-2003)
KK Vojvodina (2003-2004)
KK Partizan (2004)
Joventut Badalona (2004-2005)
KK Crvena zvezda (2005-2007)
Asseco Prokom Gdynia (2007-2008)
Galatasaray Café Crown (2008-2009)
Medal record
FIBA World Championship
Gold 2002 Indianapolis FR Yugoslavia
European Championships
Bronze 1999 France FR Yugoslavia
Gold 2001 Turkey FR Yugoslavia

Milan Gurović (born June 17, 1975, in Novi Sad, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia) is a retired controversial Serbian professional basketball player.

Gurović, a regular member of the FR Yugoslavia / Serbia and Montenegro national team, turned out for many clubs all over Europe during his career.

Born and raised in Novi Sad to Serbian parents (father Božidar and mother Mara) hailing from Trebinje vicinity, young Milan practiced kung fu before taking up basketball. Gurovic has a younger brother Veljko.

Contents

Career

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Beginnings

Gurović started playing basketball in the youth system of KK NAP Novi Sad.

Greece

Marking himself out quickly as a talented youngster, he moved to Greece during summer 1992 just after his 16th birthday to join Peristeri BC youth system.

By 1994, he entered their first team. As was the case with many young basketball players from former Yugoslavia at the time (mostly of Serbian ethnicity), he also took Greek citizenship and thus competed for the club as a domestic player under the name Milan Malatras. Playing alongside another talented Serbian youngster and future star Marko Jarić, it wasn't long before Gurović started showing his quality. By his fourth season with the club, 1997/98, he averaged 17.2 points per game.

For two years at Peristeri, Gurović was coached by compatriot Dragan Šakota whom he credits for greatly helping him improve his game and find his footing in a foreign country at such a young age.[1]

Spain

In the summer of 1998, he moved to FC Barcelona where he spent the next two seasons. In the 1998/99 season, he made a valuable contribution to Barcelona team winning the Spanish ACB League title and European Korac Cup.

Back to Greece and half-season in Italy

A return to Greece followed in the summer of 2000, this time with AEK Athens, however, he wouldn't stay there for long as in late December 2000 after appearing in only 5 domestic league and 4 Euroleague games, Gurović transferred to Pallacanestro Trieste of the Italian league where he played out the 2000/01 season.

Back to Spain

He was on the move again in the summer 2001 transfer season with another return, this time back to Spain with CB Málaga led by Serbian coach Božidar Maljković. In his first season at Andalusia, Gurović averaged 14 points per game over 32 regular season league games.

Summer 2002 would in many ways be the turning point in his career. Twenty six years of age by this time, Gurović made the final FR Yugoslavia 12-man squad for the World Championships in Indianapolis. His exceptional performance against the Americans in the quarterfinals capped off with two big three pointers in the last quarter further cemented his iconic status with Serbian fans, and also gained him a lot of attention internationally. As a result Boston Celtics took notice and invited him to their camp. No deal was reached and he never went to the NBA.

Back in Malaga for a second season, he featured in 30 regular season games averaging 10.3ppg as well as in 16 Euroleague games where his scoring average was 12.7ppg.

Return home

What followed over the summer 2003 transfer season truly surprised many. Citing a desire to be closer to his family, Gurović returned to his hometown of Novi Sad signing a contract with KK Vojvodina. Prior to his final signature, he was heavily courted by KK Hemofarm of nearby Vrsac, but in a sudden turnaround he decided to go with Vojvodina.

Following a season in his hometown, Gurovic was getting ready to move again. During late summer 2004, he agreed terms with Russian club UNICS Kazan from Tatarstan province, but after arriving there in late August and early September to see the city and make living arrangements, he had a change of heart. Gurovic said that Beslan school hostage crisis going on at the time had a great effect on his decision not to go to Russia.[2]

Finally in late October 2004, Gurovic signed for KK Partizan.[3]

Gurović was the best scorer and player of the ULEB Cup during seasons 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 while playing for Red Star Belgrade. He has won the gold metal in the 2001 European Championship and in the 2002 FIBA World Championship as a member of the Yugoslavian National Basketball Team. Zoran Slavnić, the coach of the national team of Serbia invited Gurovic to play for his country in the 2007 European Championship.

Season in Poland

Over the summer 2007 transfer window, 32-year-old Gurović signed for Polish club Prokom Trefl from the town of Sopot. He, naturally, assumed the role of the team leader and memorably led the team to the Polish league title. His year in Poland wasn't without controversy either as on May 25, 2008 during game 4 of Polish Basketball League 2007/2008 Playoff Finals, Gurović got involved in an infamous brawl with two players from opposing team Turów Zgorzelec - Iwo Kitzinger and Thomas Kelati.[4] After the incident authorities of the DBE took the decision that marked him as the fight's instigator and Milan has been suspended for game 5. He was also fined PLN20,000 (about 6,000).

Turkey

After reportedly being a transfer target of Russian club Triumph Lyubertsy[5], on August 8, 2008 it was announced that Gurović signed for Turkish club Galatasaray.[6]

Retirement

On Tuesday, September 29th 2009, Milan Gurovic announced his retirement from professional basketball.[7]

Personal Life & Anecdotes

  • In addition to his native country Serbia, he also has Greek citizenship, which he obtained for administrative reasons in order to be able to play without EU restrictions in the Greek league like numerous other Serbian players such as Dragan Tarlać, Predrag Stojaković, Marko Jarić, and Radoslav Nesterović. At the time (late 1990s), Gurović played for Peristeri BC where he started his basketball career. In order to get the citizenship, in the eyes of Greek administration he had to "change" his last name and thus competed under the name Milan Malatras while in Greece.
  • While playing for KK Partizan Gurović was not let in Croatia and Bosnia to play a game because of his tattoo of WW2 Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović on his shoulder. Above that tattoo, he has a tattooed eagle.
  • As published [1] by Serbian daily Kurir on July 25, 2007, Biljana Srbljanović called him "a tattooed fool" in her exchange with an adviser to President of Serbia at her blog. Asked by a journalist who informed him about the blog entry, Gurović responded: "For her information, that 'tattooed fool' speaks, besides Serbian, three foreign languages. I know who this writer is and feel very sorry for her. Women of her age can do or say foolish stuff sometimes if they don't get their portion of cock in the morning. She must've awoken unfucked that day when she said this."
  • Before joining KK Red Star he was a member of their arch rivals KK Partizan. Because of this he became main target for Parizan fans, Grobari, who strongly supported him during Croatian ban. This culminated during final of Serbian league's playoff in 2007, when Grobari chanted insults and provocations from the stands targeting Milan's wife, children and parents.[8] Milan responded and in TV interview said that "Grobari are cattle".[9] In the second game, when Red Star were hosts, incidents occurred on the stands between Red Star fans Delije and police. Gurović tried to calm Red Star supporters and to defend them from police. Delije chanted "You are Zvezda's chetnik Milan" (Serbian : "Ti si Zvezdin Četnik Milane") and Gurović cried. [10] In the third game Grobari used Milan's tears as provocation. They sang from the stands popular Serbian turbo-folk song "Obriši suze mala moja" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5htK6-nT-7I(English : Wipe tears my litle one ). [11] Partizan won series 3-1 and became Serbian champions.

References

External links


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