Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, August 21, 2001



’Bows land another
Yugoslavian recruit

Zivanovic says he never
played professional ball

By Dave Reardon

University of Hawaii head coach Riley Wallace does not expect a totally happy resolution to the NCAA's inquiry targeting foreign basketball players. But that didn't stop him from adding a 10th athlete from outside the U.S.

Milos Zivanovic, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound freshman from Yugoslavia, recently signed a letter of intent to play for the Rainbows.

Wallace said yesterday he expects the NCAA will take away one game of eligibility for each game a foreign athlete played in a game with or against professionals; that happened with UH center Haim Shimonovich last season when he lost 22 games of eligibility.

That could affect several UH players, including All-Western Athletic Conference guard Predrag Savovic and forwards Bosko Radovic and LucArthur Vebobe.

A source close to the NCAA has said the situation could cost Savovic his entire senior season. But UH submitted information to the NCAA that would cost Savovic 10 games at the most if the Shimonovich precedence is used.

Zivanovic said the NCAA inquiry would not affect him.

"I never played with pros, against pros and never got paid," Zivanovic said.

Zivanovic arrived in Hawaii last Friday. He said this is the first time he has ventured out of Europe.

Zivanovic, 19, played both forward positions for his Yugoslavia club team (there are no high school teams there). Statistics were not available, but Zivanovic said he was also recruited by Pittsburgh, Providence and San Diego.

"Hawaii is a great place," Zivanovic said. "I like the islands and the beach. But the main reason I came here is to go to school. And for basketball, I feel like I can gain strength here and become a better player."

Since he arrived, Zivanovic has been to the beach and to a picnic with other members of Hawaii's Serbian community.

The Rainbow coaches recruited Zivanovic sight-unseen.

"But we have a contact in Yugoslavia who hasn't steered us wrong yet," Wallace said.

Zivanovic said another reason he chose to attend Hawaii is that he knows Savovic and forward Radovic, who are both also from Yugoslavia.

"We expect him to be able to contribute right away," Wallace said. "From what I've been told, basketball-wise he's a lot like Bosko."

Zivanovic joins 6-8 forward Tony Akpan, 6-4 guard Mark Campbell, 6-7 forward Paul Jesinskis and the 6-8 Vebobe to complete UH's recruiting class for the coming season.

The Rainbows have also added a new administrative assistant. Jed Frost, 30, was a volunteer assistant at Iowa State last year and was a high school head coach for four years.

More hoopla: Wallace said he has received a firm commitment for a home game against Georgetown "within the next three or four years." ... NCAA rules prohibit Wallace from talking about specific walk-ons before the start of school. But he commented that "This is probably the best walk-on bunch we've had." ... Shimonovich, who participated in last week's Big Man Camp, said the clinic improved his basic knowledge of footwork. ... Milos Zivanovic is not related to former Rainbow player Ales Zivanovic. But Ales Zivanovic's father's name is also Milos. ... Wallace returned last week from Quantico, Va., where he attended the Marine Corps commissioning of his son, Rob. ... Savovic returned to Hawaii on Sunday. He said he will remain at UH to graduate in December even if his eligibility is lost.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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