PICTURED: Pero would finish his pro career with his favourite team growing up, the Adelaide 36ers. Something he'd always wanted to do.
I've enjoyed been able to ask Pero to talk to featured athletes from time to time, he is someone that has truly unique insights of the game that one can gain from such diverse career at all levels, all over the planet.
I recently had the chance to spend several hours with Pero Vasiljevic looking back on his career. It is something we had spoken about doing for sometime. He had an incredibly diverse career and many ups and downs as you'd expect of such a long career, so travelled and at so many levels. There are many good stories, lessons and interesting tidbits.
This journey is a truly a remarkable one and by his own admission, he was a journeyman, using the game to experience all the basketball world has to offer at all levels. I'm not sure there would be too many Australians in history that have played at so many levels and countries in their career. His story makes for a fascinating read but also opens our eyes to the amazing world of our great, global sport.
This is a great read for athletes to learn about the various levels of basketball in Europe, lessons about playing overseas and adapting through a long professional career. Past blogger Brad Newley also discussing his European Career ("From SA to the AIS, to Europe, to the Olympics, and the NBL; Living the basketball dream") for those interested. I hope you enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed hearing about it from Pero and writing about it.
His number 1 goal was to play the game at high levels for as long as he could, he was willing to go anywhere to do that and the fact they were going to pay him for it was just a bonus for him. Pay them they did setting himself up for life after basketball as well as being able to develop personality and character traits that serve him well for professional life after basketball. He would have loved to had a shot at the NBA and I believe there were times in his career where he had the talent to do this. He says regretting never having played in The league; "If you have an opportunity to get into the NBA you just got to stay there long enough to get the NBA pension and you never are forced to work for the rest of your life. " The lessons he learned along the way were to be self-sufficient, teamwork(trusting each other) makes the dream work and back yourself. You will learn and hear stories here to understand these lessons.