Star-Bulletin Sports



Savo continues tour
with visit to East champs

By Cindy Luis

He hasn't been drafted ... yet. But Predrag Savovic knows what will be printed on the back of his NBA uniform.


"If they're going to change my name, then it can be only one thing," Savovic said in a telephone call last night from New York. "S-A-V-O. I am Savo. Everyone knows how to say that."

The former Hawaii guard was reacting to a New York Post sports writer changing the spelling of his first name from Predrag to Peja in an article yesterday. It's the same spelling now used by Predrag 'Peja' Stojakovic, a fellow Yugoslavian playing for the Sacramento Kings.

With a week remaining before draft day, Savovic is more concerned about numbers than letters. Yesterday, he was one of four shooting guards who worked out with the New Jersey Nets, who have the 24th pick of the first round.

The Eastern Conference champions, desperately in need of a consistent outside scoring threat, also looked at Stanford's Casey Jacobsen, Cincinnati's Steve Logan and Division II Player of the Year Ronnie Murray of Shaw University.

"It went very well today," Savovic said after his session at the Nets practice facility. "I shot well, scrimmaged well. All together, it was very satisfying. All of them have been."

Today, Savovic leaves for Toronto for a workout with the Raptors. This weekend, he'll be with the Atlanta Hawks for the last of his 15 workouts.

He will then return to New York to wait for the draft next Thursday. Rainbow coach Riley Wallace will be there with Savovic.

"Whether he's drafted or not, I want to be there to support him," said Wallace, who left for Guam yesterday to conduct at basketball clinic.

"I'm very happy Coach Wallace will be here," said Savovic. "We will have a little dinner for him and a gift ... a drafted player."

Savovic's maturity and confidence have been strengths in the interview sessions with the NBA front office personnel. The 26-year-old has also impressed teams with his quick shot release.

"He's been performing great," said Savovic's agent, Marc Cornstein. "Things have been going very well for him. With a week left, there's still a lot of posturing going on with teams so it's hard to say where he'll be drafted.

"Realistically, I think he could go in the middle of the first round. If someone wants to take a chance on an underclassman who's coming out early, that's their decision. But I think if a team is looking for a solid shooter, we have a player for them."

UH Athletics

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