Roko Ukić

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Roko Ukić
Roko Ukic FB.JPG
No. 32 – Cedevita Zagreb
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
League Liga ABA
Croatian League
Euroleague
Personal information
Born (1984-12-05) December 5, 1984 (age 30)
Split, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
Nationality Croatian
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2005 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41st overall
Selected by the Toronto Raptors
Pro career 2000–present
Career history
2000–2005 Split
2005–2006 Tau Cerámica
2006–2007 FC Barcelona
2007–2008 Lottomatica Roma
2008–2009 Toronto Raptors
2009–2010 Milwaukee Bucks
2010–2012 Fenerbahçe Ülker
2012–2014 Panathinaikos
2014–present Cedevita Zagreb
Career highlights and awards

Roko "Leni" Ukić (born December 5, 1984) is a Croatian professional basketball player who plays for Cedevita Zagreb of the Croatian League. Standing at 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m), he mainly plays at the point guard position, but he can also play shooting guard position.

Professional career[edit]

Split[edit]

Ukić was born and raised in Split, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia, where he began playing basketball for the youth clubs of KK Split in 1992. He competed on cadet and junior teams for the club, winning the national youth championship twice with the cadet team and earning the MVP award of the Croat cadet championship in 2000. Ukić joined the club's senior team, KK Split, in 2000, at the age of 16. He scored his first professional points on October 14, 2000, as his Split Croatia Insurance team won the game against Šibenik (93:79). Ukić finished the game with five points.[1]

At the age of 17 Ukić was already team captain. During his five years with the club, he won the Croatian Championship in 2003 and the Croatian Cup in 2004. In the Cup final against Zadar, Ukić scored the winning buzzer beater.[2] Ukić played for Split until 2005, when he was drafted by the NBA's Toronto Raptors in the second round, with the 41st pick overall, after averaging 18.5 points and 4.3 assists, in 35.2 minutes per game for Split in the Adriatic League.[3]

Tau Ceramica[edit]

Rather than risk being buried on the bench as a reserve player in the NBA, he opted to join Tau Cerámica of the Spanish ACB League, a team that had an open spot at the backup point guard position in 2005. In his first season abroad Ukić became the first Croatian player to win Spanish ACB League's Player of the week award. He got the award for scoring 27 points against CB Valladolid.[4] Ukić won the Spanish Cup 2006, and played in the Spanish ACB League Playoffs, eventually losing out to Unicaja Malaga in the finals by 3–0.

Barcelona[edit]

After spending a season with Baskonia, he moved to Spanish League rivals FC Barcelona in the summer of 2006, where he also held the backup position at point guard. With Ukić in the line-up, Barcelona won the Spanish Cup 2007, but lost the 2007 League finals versus Real Madrid by 3–1.

Virtus Roma[edit]

In the summer of 2007, he moved to the Italian League team Virtus Roma, on a loan deal, where he was coached by his mentor and Croatian national basketball team coach Jasmin Repeša. Ukić had his best Euroleague season with Virtus, averaging 13.3 points and 3.4 assists per game. He reached the national championship finals once again, and once again his team was only second best. Montepaschi Siena won the finals by 4–1.

NBA[edit]

On July 16, 2008, Ukić agreed to a three-year deal with the NBA's Toronto Raptors.[5] During his first NBA season, he appeared in 72 games, as a backup at point guard to his former Saski Baskonia teammate, José Calderón, wearing jersey #1 for the Raptors. In 12.4 minutes of play, he averaged 4.2 points and 2.1 assists, with career highs of 22 points on February 22, 2009, against the San Antonio Spurs, and 10 assists on March 27, 2009, against the Oklahoma City Thunder.[6]

On August 18, 2009, Ukić was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with Carlos Delfino, in exchange for Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems.[7] On January 4, 2010, he was waived by the Milwaukee Bucks, at his own request, because he wasn't satisfied with his role on the team.[8]

Fenerbahçe Ülker[edit]

Ukić then left Europe and moved to the NBA. After being waived by the Milwaukee Bucks during his second NBA season, in January 2010, Ukić returned to Europe when he moved to the Turkish League club Fenerbahçe Ülker.[9] He signed a two-year contract on June 17, 2010.[10]

Ukić led his club to the 2009–10 Turkish Basketball League title, hitting the game-winning shot in Game 3[11] and scoring 15 points in Game 6 win by 76:51.[12] The club had previously won the Turkish Cup, with Ukić's 11 points in the final game versus Mersin BB.

In the 2010–11 season Fenerbahçe repeated the double. Ukić was voted MVP of the Turkish League Playoffs. Fenerbahçe also reached the Top 16 phase of the Euroleague, with Ukić posting averages of 13.2 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. His final season with the Turkish club was injury plagued.

Ukić missed the start of the season 2011–2012 due to a foot stress fracture, and later on in the season he suffered a broken finger.[13]

Panathinaikos Athens[edit]

In 2012, Ukić signed a two-year contract with the Greek League club Panathinaikos.[14] In his first season with the club, he won the third double of his career. In the final of the Greek Cup, Panathinaikos beat Olympiacos 81:78, as Ukić scored 18 points and won the MVP award.[15]

Panathinaikos and Olympiacos played again in the League finals, and Panathinaikos claimed the title with a 3–0 series sweep. Ukić was the leading scorer of the finals. In Game 2 he scored 17 points in 23 minutes on the court, helping his team to a 63:52 victory.[16]

Ukić played in 28 Euroleague games in 2012–2013, averaging 8.9 points, 2.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game.[17] He won the Player of the week award for his performance in Round 8 of the Top 16. Panathinaikos won away at BC Žalgiris 78:73, with Ukić's 21 points, six assists, four rebounds and index rating of 28.[18] After the game, Ukić said he had felt back pain and had thrown up on the Panathinaikos bench in the final minutes of the game.[19]

Ukić missed the beginning of the 2013–14 season because of the Achilles tendon strains in both feet.[20]

Cedevita Zagreb[edit]

On August 7, 2014, Ukić returned to Croatia and signed a one-year deal with Cedevita Zagreb.[21]

Croatian national team[edit]

Ukić is a former member of the Croatian junior national teams, earning with them a gold medal at the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, and he also played with Croatia's junior national team at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Greece, averaging 19.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.6 steals per game, as his team reached the semifinals.[22]

He has also been a member of the senior men's Croatian national basketball team. He has played with Croatia's senior national team at the: EuroBasket 2005, the EuroBasket 2007, the 2008 Summer Olympics, the EuroBasket 2009, the 2010 FIBA World Championship, and the EuroBasket 2013. From 2010 on, he is the Croatia's national team captain. With 1,471 points (as of September 2014), he is 3rd in the list of all-time top scorers for the Croatian national team.[23]

Personal life[edit]

The father of Roko Ukić is Zoran Ukić, drummer of the Split-based rock band The Obala and former drummer of the dissolved Daleka Obala. Roko Leni got his first name after his grandfather and his middle name after drummer Lenny White. He also plays the drums.[24][25]

Ukić is married to his wife Tamara, and he has a daughter, Sara, who was born October 20, 2007, in Rome.[26] He also has a son, Luka.

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: Euroleague is not the only competition in which player participated for the team during the season.

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Toronto 72 0 12.4 .380 .177 .733 1.0 2.1 .4 .0 4.2
2009–10 Milwaukee 13 0 7.5 .467 .250 .818 .2 .9 .1 .0 3.1
Career 85 0 11.6 .387 .189 .746 .9 1.9 .4 .0 4.0

Euroleague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2005–06 Tau Cerámica 17 3 14.6 .322 .189 .706 1.3 1.9 .4 .1 4.4 3.2
2006–07 Barcelona 23 4 16.1 .387 .350 .630 1.3 2.0 .4 .0 5.1 5.2
2007–08 Lottomatica 19 15 29.5 .470 .351 .824 2.4 2.8 1.1 .3 12.7 11.4
2009–10 Fenerbahçe 1 1 28.8 .500 .333 1.000 6.0 4.0 .0 .0 20.0 21.0
2010–11 Fenerbahçe 14 14 27.9 .483 .419 .818 2.5 3.5 .9 .1 13.2 13.4
2011–12 Fenerbahçe 15 15 28.0 .401 .293 .725 2.8 2.1 .6 .0 11.1 7.9
2012–13 Panathinaikos 28 23 27.0 .398 .306 .639 2.7 2.8 .5 .1 8.9 8.8
2013–14 Panathinaikos 29 27 22.4 .346 .246 .720 1.5 2.4 .6 .1 6.3 4.0
2014–15 Cedevita 8 4 22.4 .368 .281 .842 2.0 4.9 .4 .0 10.1 10.3
Career 154 106 23.3 .404 .308 .727 2.1 2.6 .6 .1 8.6 7.6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slobodna Dalmacija archive". arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr (in Croatian). 2000-10-15. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Ukic buzzer beater". youtube.com. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  3. ^ Prospect Profile Roko Ukic.
  4. ^ "Hrvatska reprezentacija ide dalje". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2005-11-21. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  5. ^ Raptors Sign Roko Ukic.
  6. ^ NBA.com Roko Ukic Career Stats Page.
  7. ^ "BUCKS COMPLETE TRADE WITH RAPTORS". NBA.com. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 
  8. ^ "Bucks Request Waivers on Ukic". NBA.com. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  9. ^ Euroleague.net Fenerbahce Ulker announces agreement with Ukic.
  10. ^ Ukic signed 2 years contract
  11. ^ "Ukić zabio za pobjedu". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  12. ^ "Ukićevi rasturili Efes, uzeli duplu krunu". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  13. ^ "Ukić na pauzu zbog slomljenog prsta". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2011-12-30. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  14. ^ PANATHINAIKOS signs playmaker Ukic
  15. ^ "Panathinaikosu slavlje u kaotičnom finalu grčkog kupa, Roko Ukić MVP". hrsport.net (in Croatian). 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  16. ^ "Greek League finals, Game 2: June 9, 2013". euroleague.net. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  17. ^ "Profile on Euroleague.net". euroleague.net. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  18. ^ "Top 16 Game 8 bwin tri-MVPs: Devin Smith, Roko Ukic and Luka Zoric". euroleague.net. 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  19. ^ "Player of the Game: Roko Ukic, Panathinaikos Athens". youtube.com. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  20. ^ "Greens' Ukic expected to miss 6 weeks with injury". euroleague.net. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  21. ^ "Kapetan reprezentacije Roko Ukić u Cedeviti". kkcedevita.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  22. ^ Archive.FIBA.com Roko-Leni UKIC 2003 FIBA U-19 World Championship.
  23. ^ "Ukić treći najbolji strijelac Hrvatske svih vremena, znate li tko su prva dvojica?". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 4 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  24. ^ "Zvuči sjajno: Poslušajte kako na bubnjevima 'roka' Leni Ukić". 24sata.hr (in Croatian). 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  25. ^ "Focus on: Roko Ukic, Panathinaikos Athens". youtube.com. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2014-01-17. 
  26. ^ Sara Ukic has been born.

External links[edit]