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Friday, May 06, 2011“Leaving Nashville…Goodbye Lipscomb. It’s been great. I want to thank everyone in the community for supporting me! God bless you all” – Adnan Hodzic via Twitter (May 6, 2011)
Once in a visiting radio broadcast, the lane at Lipscomb was referred to as the “Great Eastern Europe Nation of Hodzic.”
Adnan Hodzic spent four years dominating the low post for the Lipscomb Bisons. His accolades are nearly too many to mention. He was a three-time First Team All-Atlantic Sun Selection, an Associated Press All-American, and Lipscomb’s NCAA-era career leading scorer with 2,002 points.
It can be easy to write off a player from a “Mid-Major” school. But in 10 games against “Major” programs over the last three years he averaged 18.7 points and 7.7 rebounds.
Now Hodzic will replace his purple and gold Lipscomb jersey for the blue and gold jersey of the Bosnian Senior National Team.
“I get to represent my country which is just amazing,” Hodzic said. “I just feel blessed. It’s the only thing to say. I feel like God gave me this opportunity. Not many players get to represent their country.”
Hodzic returns to his home nation which he and his family fled in 1994 during the Bosnian war in order for Adnan to have eye surgery in the United States.
Hodzic flies to Bosnia on July 16 to train with the national team and participate in a couple “friendly” games prior to the European Basketball Championship in Lithuania.
Bosnia is grouped with Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, and one additional team to be determined. They will open with a game against Greece on August 31. The EuroBasket Championship continues through the finals on September 18 with the top two teams guaranteed spots at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
After the Bisons season ended in March, Hodzic quickly signed with Pro One Sports Management. He has finished classes at Lipscomb and will take two more online classes this summer to finish his degree in Marketing.
Hodzic will train in Indianapolis in May before heading to San Francisco to work out for a month. He hopes to work for several NBA teams throughout the period.
The Eurobasket Championship will feature the top talent throughout Europe and also draw the eyes of scouts from throughout the world. Assuming he isn’t selected in the NBA draft on June 23, Hodzic plans to move swiftly on several professional offers instead of waiting until after the Eurobasket Championship.
“I don’t look at overseas as a secondary option,” Hodzic said. “I want to sign before I go over there in order to go over there and have fun instead of playing with the pressure to perform for better offers.”
Hodzic hopes to land in Spain’s ACB league, which is generally regarded as the top league in the world outside of the NBA. He turned down a professional contract with an ACB team days after this year’s season ended, choosing to finish his degree at Lipscomb.
Teams in the Lega A in Italy and the Israeli Basketball Super League are also exhibiting strong interest in Hodzic. Teams are generally restricted to two Americans on their roster, but because Hodzic holds dual citizenship, he does not count towards that restriction which improves the financial offers he receives.
“The situation is the most important thing I will look at when I sign,” Hodzic said. “I want to go somewhere that I can succeed and play in the best league possible.”
Hodzic’s family currently resides in Indianapolis, but will travel to the EuroBasket Championship. They have yet to determine whether or not to return to Bosnia permanently.
The professional ranks will be significantly different than his time as a student-athlete with a dual purpose of maturing both as a player and a person.
“Your next coach only cares about you to the extent that you perform,” Hodzic said. “It’s something that is almost scary and I have to be smart from here on out.”
Hodzic will relish his time at Lipscomb and the bonds that he has built.
“This has been the best four years of my life,” Hodzic said. “It has been awesome to come to a place where my hard work paid off. My coaches cared about me. Sometimes you don’t realize what you have until it’s time to move on to the real world.”