The experienced coach Milan Rondovic (ex Primorka, Teodo, White Eagles etc.), who is known as one of the few coaches in Montenegro that won promotion with almost every team he coached, talks for eurobasket.com about his career and plans for the future.
Could you tell us more about your playing career?
I started playing basketball in elementary school in the youth team of Rudar. But I stayed there very short. At that time Berane was one of the stronger teams in Montenegro and I went there as a high school student. There I remained for one season and was one of the best players in the league along with Arsenije Pesic, Dusko Pavlovic, Mihailo Pavicevic etc. Next year as a prospect I joined Buducnost and played there with the generation of Dragan Ivanovic and Dusko Ivanovic. I stayed there for two seasons and entered college. In 1979 I came to Bar and I had to sit out a half-season because I did not get the letter of clearance from my previous club. It was the time of the earthquake that devastated Montenegro. Mornar had a very good generation: Dusko Pavlovic, Djodjije Pavicevic, Mihailo Pavicevic , Nikica Kovacevic, Dodo Pelicic etc.
How did you decide to start coaching?
I finished my career as Ced Duraskovic arrival as head coach of the club and I was offered the position of assistant. At that time I was 28 years old. He told me: I do not count on you this year and I think that's better for you to be my assistant coach. It was hard for me to accept it, I felt like my world was collapsing but I decided to accept. It was 1987. Two years later came Mikica Petrovic, former coach of Buducnost, who later successfully worked in Italy, and to whom I was also assistant coach. That season (1989/1990) did not succeed to avoid relegation from the national league to the republic league and a couple of rounds before the end of the season I was offered to coach the team independently since Petrovic left the head coaching staff. Next season I was the first coach of the team in republican league. I had no experience, and we ended the season in the middle of the table. After that season Mihailo Pavicevic replaced me and I took care of the youth team.
How did you come up with the idea to form VOLI youth league and who are the most famous players who came out of the league?
Primorka, still a respected company at that time, decided to be sponsor of the league. In the organization have been involved all the former players: Dusko Pavlovic, Brano Dobrkovic, Bobo Ljutica, Nikica Kovacevic, etc. Through this competition we developed our own potentials such as Mladen Sekularac (203-G/F-81), Slobodan Tosic (195-G-80, agency: BeoExcell), Djuro Ostojic (211-C-76, agency: Beo Basket), Dusko Nedic, who previously played football etc.
Actually, that league was a test for your upcoming project- forming a second team from Bar called Basketball Club Primorka.
Yes, Primorka was formed in 1995 and in 2000 we made it into the First Federal League (YUBA). I had a chance to develop as a coach with that club. In this team I had a young Mladen Sekularac, then probably the greatest talent in the Balkans, which was the co MVP player of Cadet European Championships along with Andrei Kirilenko (209-F-81).
However, after the great success you suddenly left the club and went to the third division side Rudar from Pljevlja?
I accepted the invitation from Bogdan Tanjevic (agency: Interperformances ), who is originally from Pljevlja, to help the club tomake it to the Second Division. I managed to make that dream come true because we have been successfull against strong teams Jedinstvo and Ljubovic, then ran by Goran Bojanic. Rudar got a new gym, which was always full. There started his career Mark Rakocevic who later played in Lovcen and abroad, and I brought also Vjekoslav Vujacic from Bar. Our point guard was Dusan Vidic, brother of Nemanja Vidic, Manchester United football star, who was a very talented player and one of the best point guards in the League. I have stayed there for two years...
After the experience with Rudar you joined again Primorka in Division II and started building up a new team?
We have formed a team of juniors of Primorka that were 16 years old with a few lmore experienced players born in Bar. Although at the beginning we were not sure if we should compete or not but we decided to try it and after a couple of defeats we played the rest of the season well and qualified for the First division. That team was led by the prospects such as Goran Martinic (184-PG-87, agency: BeoExcell) and Slobodan Pejovic (192-PG-86) that both later made successful senior careers. In the first division we were not able to be equal rival with others because these guys lacked experience, but we brought a couple of anonymous players (Danilo Draskovic and Radomir Marojevic) that are today well known players. A year later Primorka ceased to exist ..
Where did you go after that?
I went to Ulcinj, where I put together a solid team and brought Ranko Carapic (185-G-70, agency: Beo Basket) and Milisav Susic, but I had to leave them for family reasons. After that I did a season in Jedinstvo Bijelo Polje and although we did not have some great results, I met a lot of friends there.
After that comes a turning point in your career and you joined Teodo Tivat, a newly formed club that played in Second division.
With Teodo I won promotion to the First Division where we played a significant role and advanced to the Superleague every year. There I met some wonderful people led by General manager Misko Lucic. I'm glad to see that this season Teodo achieved some great results in the Balkan League as well as in the domestic league.
Last year in Teodo you coached your son Nikola Rondovic (207-F-91, agency: Interperformances), a talent of Red Star Belgrade. How difficult it to work with your own son? Could you tell us something about that?
This is an extremely difficult task, and I'd like to have a prescription how it works also. Nikola was the National team member of Serbia and won the gold medal at the Cadet and Junior European Championships, he is still young and I hope he will make progress and successful career. He is now the member of Mornar from his home town Bar and it all depends on him. We will see what happens in the future with him.
After a short stay in Sweden, with the White Eagles from Stockholm, you left the team in October this year, and returned to Bar. What are your plans for the future?
Honestly speakling, I have spent many years in professional basketball and now I want to dedicate myself to working with youth players again. I decided to start my own basketball academy and I will give training in the new hall of the elementary school Anto Djedovic. I am very motivated to again do what I love most.
Thank you for the interview. Eurobasket.com and myself wish you a lot of luck with your upcoming activities.
Thanks to you for giving me the opportunity. All the best.
Latkovic number one in Montenegro for round 19 (by Court Side) - 1 day ago
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Guard Milos Latkovic (196-G-93, agency: Dynamics Global Management) had a great game in the last round for Lovcen, receiving a Court Side Player of the Week award for round 19.
The 23-year old player was the main contributor (35 points, five rebounds and four assists) to his team's victory, helping them to outclass Jedinstvo (#7, 7-10) with 34-point margin 98-64. Lovcen maintains the 4th position in Montenegrin Erste Liga. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games... [read more]
Guard Milos Latkovic (196-G-93, agency: Dynamics Global Management) had a great game in the last round for Lovcen, receiving a Court Side Player of the Week award for round 19. The 23-year old player was the main contributor (35 points, five rebounds and four assists) to his team's victory, helping them to outclass Jedinstvo (#7, 7-10) with 34-point margin 98-64. Lovcen maintains the 4th position in Montenegrin Erste Liga. They would have been even better if they hadn't lost a few games earlier this season. Lovcen will need more victories to improve their 10-7 record. In the team's last game Latkovic had a remarkable 72.7% from 2-point range and got four three-pointers out of 6 attempts. He just recently signed at Lovcen, being already a very valuable addition to the team. Milos Latkovic has solid league stats. He is league's best scorer averaging so far 22.3ppg. Latkovic is in league's top in assists (4th best: 5.0apg) and averages impressive 2.3spg,55.0% FGP and 41.7% from behind 3-point line.
The second best player in last round's games was another Lovcen's star - young Vasilije Knezevic (202-C-96). Knezevic had a very good evening with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course together with Latkovic he helped Lovcen with another comfortable win outscoring the lower-ranked Jedinstvo (#7, 7-10) 98-64. Lovcen's 4th position in the standings has not changed. His team's 10-7 record is not bad at all. Knezevic is one of the most experienced players at Lovcen and similarly like Milos Latkovic has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players.
Third on the list of top players last round was center Boris Jeknic (203-C-89) of Ulcinj (#5). Jeknic showcased his all-around game by recording 23 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the last round. He was a key player of Ulcinj, leading his team to a 92-83 win against slightly lower-ranked S.Centar (#6, 7-10). Ulcinj needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 9 victories and 8 lost games. Jeknic has a very solid season. In 17 games in Montenegro he scored 13.1ppg. He also has 5.7rpg and FGP: 64.2%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Djoko Salic (213-C-95) of Sutjeska - 18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists 5. Milan Latkovic (184-G-86) of Ulcinj - 24 points, 4 rebounds and 9 assists 6. Marko Koljevic (191-G-90) of S.Centar - 32 points and 3 rebounds 7. Nikola Rondovic (207-PF-91) of Ibar Rozaje - 20 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists 8. Marko Ljujic (207-C-90) of Ibar Rozaje - 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists 9. Dejan Bjelic (209-C-90) of Jedinstvo - 18 points and 7 rebounds 10. Dragoje Djokovic (190-G-93) of Ulcinj - 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
The Player of the Week awards are presented by Court Side. Court Side is the global leader in basketball management, and is widely regarded as the most dynamic and innovative company of its kind. It was the first Basketball Agency to launch its own website, and the first to have its own database. Court Side has more agents and manpower within its organization, than any other competitor, and its international network of basketball contacts is still unparalleled.
Buducnost is the new-old winner of Montenegrin Cup. Even though nothing has really changed this time Buducnost could be considered lucky because one shot decided their destiny and this time this shot was in the hands of Antabia Waller (191-G-88, college: Auburn), Mornar's sharp shooter who missed a wide open shot from a central position to secure a big win for his team. But Buducnost won at the end (72-68). Buducnost started the game much better and opened it with a 20-11 lead in the firs... [read more]
Buducnost is the new-old winner of Montenegrin Cup. Even though nothing has really changed this time Buducnost could be considered lucky because one shot decided their destiny and this time this shot was in the hands of Antabia Waller (191-G-88, college: Auburn), Mornar's sharp shooter who missed a wide open shot from a central position to secure a big win for his team. But Buducnost won at the end (72-68). Buducnost started the game much better and opened it with a 20-11 lead in the first quarter which was defended by the halftime. However, in the third quarter Mornar played much better, Octavius Ellis (208-C-93, college: Cincinnati) protected the basket and Buducnost's big men got in foul trouble. The last quarter was a very exciting experience for everybody in the gym because Mornar got the lead back and Buducnost's rotation did not bring any results. But in the last few minutes thanks to outstanding performances by Nemanja Gordic (193-PG-88) and Suad Sehovic (197-G/F-87) Buducnost won the game and celebrated another Cup title. Sehovic and Gordic scored 15 points each for the winners and most of these points came in the crucial moments. On the other side former Buducnost's talent Boris Bakic (193-G-86, agency: BeoBasket) scored 17 points.
KK Ibar Rozaje (Erste Liga) signed 25-year old Slovenian guard Stefan Vukovic (196-98kg-92, college: Blue Mountain) after he was tested there shortly. He played recently at KK Splosna plovba Portoroz in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM, but left. In 9 games he had 10.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.4apg and 1.2spg this season. The last season Vukovic played at Studentski Centar Podgorica where in 6 Erste Liga games he recorded 3.5ppg and 2.0rpg. He was named to SSAC All-Academic Team in 2015. Vukovic graduated fr... [read more]
KK Ibar Rozaje (Erste Liga) signed 25-year old Slovenian guard Stefan Vukovic (196-98kg-92, college: Blue Mountain) after he was tested there shortly. He played recently at KK Splosna plovba Portoroz in Slovenian Liga Nova KBM, but left. In 9 games he had 10.4ppg, 5.0rpg, 2.4apg and 1.2spg this season. The last season Vukovic played at Studentski Centar Podgorica where in 6 Erste Liga games he recorded 3.5ppg and 2.0rpg. He was named to SSAC All-Academic Team in 2015. Vukovic graduated from Blue Mountain College in 2015 and it is his second season as a professional player.
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