How’s your relationship with the Montenegrin Basketball Federation right now? Are you in good terms? Nikola Vucevic: Yeah, we’re in good terms. I’ve never had an issue with the federation. It was a thing with the coach. I decided not to play with the National Team as long as he was the coach, but everything is good with the federation.
Do you think Nikola Mirotic, Nikola Pekovic and yourself will ever play together for Montenegro? NV: I hope so, I don’t know what the future holds. I can’t answer that question for everybody… Nikola Pekovic has played for our team before, so I’m sure he wants to play although he had some issues with injuries. With Mirotic, the thing that happens is he played for Spain in the junior teams… So we will see. But I hope we can put things together and be a very good team.
The Orlando Magic joins Magic center Nikola Vucevic in his efforts to raise funds for flood victims in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, both countries neighbor Vucevic’s hometown of Montenegro, by donating $5,000 to the Red Cross. Vucevic will also make a monetary donation to the Red Cross to assist in the Balkan Floods’ relief efforts. “It is during times like these we must all band together to help others,” said Magic center Nikola Vucevic. “I thank the Magic for their support in these efforts.”
“For a crash like that, I was lucky,” he said. “It’s very scary. You don’t know if you’re going to live or die. “It makes you look at life differently, not take things for granted. It makes you think about a lot of things. You try to appreciate life more.” Vucevic and his father were returning from a youth basketball camp in the mountain resort town of Kolasin in Montenegro, heading to their home in the coastal city of Bar, as the train suddenly sped uncontrollably down the tracks. Court records stated later that the brakes had failed.
This time of year always reminds Magic center Nik Vucevic “just how lucky I am” – how lucky he is to be alive. “Every time I see a train,” he said, “I think about it.” On this day eight years ago, Jan. 23, 2006, Vucevic was among hundreds of terrified passengers who were on a runaway train that derailed in Montenegro, killing 47 people and injuring nearly 200. Vucevic, then 15, escaped with bruises and cuts as did his father, Borislav.