Philadelphia Sixers forward Dario Saric finished with the second-most votes in the NBA’s 2017 Rookie of the Year race, behind only Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon.
This summer, he is playing in the Eurobasket tournament for Croatia. His team will play Russia in the Round of 16 next week. Here is what Saric said about which honor he would prefer (via FIBA):
“Even if I had won it, I would’ve traded it for a medal with the national team. Because we have waited for a medal for so long in Croatia, we have dreamed about winning a medal, if not the whole country, then the whole basketball population over there. Everybody who is involved in basketball in Croatia.”
His teammates include Dragan Bender of the Phoenix Suns and Bojan Bogdanovic of the Indiana Pacers.
If the country continues to perform well in the tournament, they can take home a title for the first time since 1995. Saric says this is more important to him than any personal accolade.