Dragic buzzer-beater lifts Slovenia over Turkey in Eurobasket exhibition

Suns point guard Goran Dragic is getting an extra dose of competition, conditioning and, perhaps most importantly, leadership as he and the Slovenian national team prepare for Eurobasket 2013.

For those who aren’t familiar with Eurobasket, think of it this way: it’s soccer fan fever transferred to the hardcourt, where it’s nation vs. nation rather than club vs. club. The two-week tournament will be well worth following come mid-September, when the real games start.

For now, most of the Eurobasket teams are participating in “friendlies”, exhibitions that serve as tune-ups heading into the real deal. As a standout NBA player, Dragic is already being billed as one of the marquee players of the field.

The Suns’ leading scorer lived up to that billing over the weekend, hitting a game-winning shot in a sequence that has become familiar to Suns fans: a twisting, contorting layup that leaves the defense leaning one way while leaving Dragic with a sufficient opening for a contorting layup, which he sank with 2.5 seconds left over Turkey.

Don’t forget, Turkey, not Spain, was the world’s heaviest punch against Team USA back in the 2010 World Championships. Dragic’s crunch-time chops showed up against a quality opponent, an experience that should only help Phoenix in the upcoming season.

Dragic: “Inside my blood. I love basketball.”

Gerald Bourguet is a guest contributor from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State.

Goran Dragic grew up wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps. But a leg injury and his mother’s urging pointed him down the path toward eventually replacing Phoenix Suns legend Steve Nash.

The new starting point guard for the Suns began his athletic career on a soccer pitch in Slovenia, but his journey detoured to the hardwood of the NBA. This road would take him from Slovenia to Spain to Phoenix to Houston and back to Phoenix, but Dragic is finally where he wants to be.

“It’s just inside me,” he said. “Inside my blood. I love basketball.” [Read more...]

Goran Dragic's World Championships Tracker

Suns point guard Goran Dragic was representing Slovenia in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey before his team fell to Suns teammate Hedo Turkoglu and Turkey in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Take a look at Dragic’s play in the tournament by reading below. [Read more...]

Dragic Wins MVP as Slovenia Captures Stankovic Cup

Yes Goran, you won the MVP.
(Photo courtesy of David Zhu)

After making a name for himself domestically during the 2010 NBA Playoffs, Suns point guard Goran Dragic has continued that trend this summer, albeit internationally. [Read more...]