NPH NCAA Diary – Introducing Dejan Kravic
Since many don’t know who I am, I would like to introduce myself.
My name is Dejan Kravic, and I am a Serbian who has lived in London, Ontario for most of my life, so I’m also a proud Canadian.
My family is my inspiration, my motivation, my everything. I am extremely grateful to be this years diary holder for NPH, and I hope you all enjoy my posts throughout this season.
My journey so far has been far from ordinary. Two years ago, I made the rare leap from the CIS to the NCAA; I transferred from York University to play south of the border at the highest level in college basketball. After much thought, I made the ultimate decision to attend Texas Tech University and play for the Red Raiders.
There was a catch however. Per NCAA transfer rules, I had to sit out a season before I could play. Some may say it sucks sitting out, but I only looked at the positives. It gave me a chance to get better, stronger, faster, and more prepared for this level without losing a season of eligibility. Overall, it was both physically and mentally grueling, but nonetheless an unbelievable learning experience that I will forever cherish.
After 642 days of not playing a single basketball game, the wait was over and it was finally time to put a jersey on. If a few years ago I told someone I would be where I am today, I would get laughed at.
When I initially decided to transfer, many questioned how a kid who nobody has heard of will leave an average CIS team in hopes of making an impact on a high-major D1 program. There were also people, including those close to me, who figured I would ride the bench or not be able to handle the physical and fast-paced level of play, and therefore return to Canada. I did not let the criticism get to my head or to my heart; rather, I use it as fuel and take it out on my opponents.
This past season had its ups and downs, but looking back at it, I am so glad I made the decision to play in the NCAA. I started almost every game and even made a buzzer beater put back in front of 19,000 fans to win a playoff game. I played in one of the best conferences in America [BIG12], got to travel around the country on private jets, and got to play in unbelievable arenas filled with passionate fans. Lastly, I played against some of the top college players and coaches in the country. So far it has been nothing but a blessing and the best part is, it’s far from over.
I will be entering my senior season under our new head coach, the legendary Tubby Smith. Our team goals are to finish in the upper half of the Big12 standings and just like every team, we are determined to be a part of the Madness in March.
As for individual goals, I am looking to build on the positives from last season and also add the new aspects to my game that will help me become a more complete player. I do not want to predict any statistics or individual accolades but rather, I hope that all the work I put in this offseason will pay off and allow me to have a breakout year.
For now though, I am focused on today and not worried about yesterday or tomorrow. I appreciate everyone who has been there for me and helped me get to where I am today. I will continue to represent Canada as best as I can and I hope you all continue to follow my journey.
Catch you later,