Nikola Vučević

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Nikola Vučević
Nikola Vucevic Washington at Orlando 2012.jpg
Vučević with the Magic in 2012
No. 9 – Orlando Magic
Position Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1990-10-24) October 24, 1990 (age 25)
Morges, Switzerland
Nationality Montenegrin
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school Stoneridge Preparatory
(Simi Valley, California)
College USC (2008–2011)
NBA draft 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16th overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career 2011–present
Career history
2011 Budućnost Podgorica
2011–2012 Philadelphia 76ers
2012–present Orlando Magic
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Nikola Vučević (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Вучевић; pronounced [nǐkɔla ʋûːtʃɛʋitɕ]; born October 24, 1990) is a Montenegrin professional basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Southern California before being drafted 16th overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Early life[edit]

Vučević was born in Morges, Switzerland and then raised primarily in Belgium where his father, Borislav, played professional basketball. Borislav played professionally for 24 years and was a member of the Yugoslavia national team, as well as of the KK Bosna team which won the European Champions Cup in 1979. Vučević's mother, Ljiljana, was a 6-foot-2 forward for the Sarajevo club Željezničar, as well as for the Yugoslavia national team.[1] His family moved to Montenegro when he was a teenager.[2] He was named Montenegro's Best Young Player in 2007.[1] He speaks Serbian, English and French.[3]

High school[edit]

Vučević came to Simi Valley, California from his native Montenegro in October 2007 to play his senior year of high school at Stoneridge Prep.[4] He came to the U.S. knowing little English, but did speak French, which many of his teammates also spoke. Under coach Babacar Sy, a friend of his father's, he was team captain and led the team in scoring and rebounding with 18 points and 12 rebounds.[3]

College career[edit]

Vučević played three seasons with the Trojans of the University of Southern California.

Nikola Vucevic with the USC Trojans

Freshman[edit]

Vučević missed the first eight games of the season while waiting to have his amateur status confirmed by the NCAA Clearinghouse. He averaged 2.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 23 games in three starts. Vučević played in his first game with USC on December 15, 2008, against Pepperdine and had two points, two blocks, and two rebounds in six minutes. He made his first start of the season on January 24, 2009, at Washington State and was instrumental in the Trojans' 46–44 win with a season-high eight points and five rebounds. He also scored eight points on February 9, 2009, at UCLA and in his second start of the season on February 19 against Washington State. Vučević had a season-best seven rebounds in that game and matched that total on March 5, 2009, vs. Oregon. Nikola scored six points and had four rebounds in the NCAA second-round loss to Michigan State on March 22. In all, he made 57.8 percent of his shots from the field (26-for-45).

Sophomore[edit]

Vučević began to excel in his sophomore season. He scored 18 points and had eight rebounds in the first game of the season against UC Riverside on November 17, 2009, both totals better than any of his freshman games. Vučević had 18 points and 14 rebounds at Texas on December 3, 2009. He scored a career-high 19 points and had 11 rebounds vs. Loyola Marymount on November 21, 2009, for his first career double-double. Matched his career high with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting at UCLA on January 16, 2010, scoring 17 points in the second half. By the end of the year, he led USC in scoring five times and in rebounding 20 times, including the last nine games.

Overall, he was the second top scorer and leading rebounder on the Trojans, with 10.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Vučević led the Pac-10 with 283 rebounds and offensive rebounds per game (6.3) and his 39 blocks were the fourth most in the conference. Vučević's .504 shooting percentage (126-for-250) led USC and was seventh best in the Pac-10. Vučević was named the 2009–10 Pac-10 Most Improved Player, and earned all-pac-10 second team and pac-10 honorable-mention all-defensive team honors.[5] He had the second most blocks ever in a season by a Trojan sophomore and the third most rebounds. Vučević started all 30 games for USC and posted 10 double-doubles.

Junior[edit]

As a junior, Vucevic was picked to the Fourth Team All-America by Fox Sports[6] and was named to the All-Pac-10 first team. In March 2011, Vučević announced that he would give up his senior year to be submitted to the NBA draft. The website NBAdraft.net projected him as the 23rd pick in the draft.[7]

During his stint with the Trojans, Vučević averaged 11.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

College statistics[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Trojans 23 3 11.0 .578 .000 .875 2.7 0.3 0.4 0.4 2.6
2009–10 Trojans 30 30 32.3 .504 .222 .718 9.4 1.2 0.6 1.3 10.7
2010–11 Trojans 34 34 34.9 .505 .349 .755 10.3 1.6 0.5 1.4 17.1

Professional career[edit]

Philadelphia 76ers (2011–2012)[edit]

On June 23, 2011, Vučević was drafted with the 16th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.[8] During the 2011 NBA lockout, Vučević played for Montenegrin team Budućnost Podgorica. Following the conclusion of the lockout, he returned to the United States and signed his rookie scale contract with the 76ers on December 9, 2011.[9] On February 22, 2012, Vučević scored a season-high 18 points in a loss to the Houston Rockets.[10]

Orlando Magic (2012–present)[edit]

Vučević in December 2013

On August 10, 2012, Vučević was traded to the Orlando Magic in a four-team trade involving Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Arron Afflalo, Andre Iguodala, and other players.[11] On December 31, 2012, in an overtime loss to the Miami Heat, Vučević set a franchise record with 29 rebounds and scored a career-high 20 points.[12] On April 10, 2013, he recorded his second straight 20/20 game with a career-high 30 points and 20 rebounds in a 113–103 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.[13]

On November 6, 2013, Vučević tied his career-high of 30 points in a 98–90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.[14] Vučević's strong play over the second half of the season was noticeable on March 28, 2014 when he dominated the Charlotte Bobcats. He overcame a slow start shooting the ball to finish the game with 24 points and 23 rebounds in an overtime victory. Vučević made nine of his last 11 shots to lead a Magic rally in the second half, while also grabbing 16 first-half rebounds and 10 offensive boards in the game, marking the sixth 20-point, 20-rebound game of his career.[15]

On October 23, 2014, Vučević signed a four-year, $53 million contract extension with the Magic.[16][17] On April 3, 2015, he scored a career-high 37 points in a 97–84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[18]

On November 11, 2015, Vučević didn't start for the Magic against the Los Angeles Lakers, returning to action after a three-game absence with a right knee contusion. Vučević, who had started all 223 games for the Magic over his four-season tenure, came off the bench for the first time and scored 18 points, including a fallaway 18-footer at the buzzer to lift the Magic over the Lakers 101–99.[19] Vučević averaged 18.4 points, nine rebounds and three assists in his first 12 games of December (December 1–23).[20] Shaquille O'Neal is the only other Magic player to reach those numbers in one month in franchise history.[21] On February 7, 2016, he scored 22 points and hit an 18-footer at the buzzer to lead the Magic over the Atlanta Hawks 96–94, winning for only the third time in 18 games in 2016.[22] On February 23, he scored a season-high 35 points in a 124–115 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.[23] On March 31, he returned to action after missing the previous 13 games with a right groin strain.[24] He subsequently came off the bench for just the second in his Magic tenure, as he scored 24 points in a 114–94 win over the Indiana Pacers.[25] He came off the bench for a further three games before returning to the starting line-up on April 8 against the Miami Heat, where he scored a game-high 29 points in a 112–109 win.[26]

NBA 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  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2011–12 Philadelphia 51 15 15.9 .450 .375 .529 4.8 .6 .4 .7 5.5
2012–13 Orlando 77 77 33.2 .519 .000 .683 11.9 1.9 .8 1.0 13.1
2013–14 Orlando 57 57 31.8 .507 .000 .766 11.0 1.8 1.1 .8 14.2
2014–15 Orlando 74 74 34.2 .523 .333 .752 10.9 2.0 .7 .7 19.3
2015–16 Orlando 65 60 31.3 .510 .222 .753 8.8 2.8 .8 1.1 18.2
Career 324 283 30.1 .511 .269 .731 9.8 1.9 .8 .9 14.5

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2012 Philadelphia 1 0 3.0 .000 .000 .500 1.0 .0 .0 .0 1.0
Career 1 0 3.0 .000 .000 .500 1.0 .0 .0 .0 1.0

National team career[edit]

Vučević represented Montenegro Under-20 team at the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship. He then represented the senior Montenegro national basketball team at FIBA EuroBasket 2011 and FIBA EuroBasket 2013. He averaged 5.0 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game in 2011 while backing up Nikola Peković.[27] With Peković out of the 2013 tournament, Vučević started for the team and put up 7.0 points per game and 4.0 rebounds per game.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Holmes, Baxter (March 7, 2011). "USC's Nikola Vucevic is following in his father's footsteps". LATimes.com. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Nikola Vucevic Stats, Video, Bio, Profile". NBA.com. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Moura, Pedro (February 9, 2011). "USC's Nikola Vucevic matures". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ "USC basketball: Nikola Vucevic apologizes for his 'we played like women' comment after Arizona game". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2011-01-30. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  5. ^ "Player Profile: Nikola Vucevic". USC Trojans. University of Southern California. Retrieved June 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ Goodman, Jeff (March 7, 2011). "Goodman's 2010–11 All-America teams". Fox Sports. Fox Sports Interactive Media. Archived from the original on February 1, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ 2011 Mock Draft Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  8. ^ 2011 NBA Draft Results: Nikola Vucevic Drafted By Sixers With No. 16 Pick
  9. ^ PHILADELPHIA 76ERS ANNOUNCE 2011 TRAINING CAMP ROSTER - 12/9/2011
  10. ^ Nikola Vucevic 2011-12 Game Log
  11. ^ "It's official: Howard dealt to Lakers in four-team trade". NBA.com. August 10, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Notebook: Heat 112, Magic 110". NBA.com. December 31, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Notebook: Magic 113, Bucks 103". NBA.com. April 10, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Nikola Vucevic's 30 points, 21 boards help Magic top Clippers
  15. ^ 2013-14 Season Review: Nikola Vucevic
  16. ^ Magic Sign Nikola Vucevic to Contract Extension
  17. ^ Nikola Vucevic agrees to 4-year deal
  18. ^ Vucevic's career-high 37 power Magic over Wolves 97-84
  19. ^ Vucevic hits game-winner as Magic beat Lakers 101-99
  20. ^ Nikola Vucevic 2015-16 Game Log
  21. ^ Wade, Heat rally for 108-101 victory over Magic
  22. ^ Magic beat Hawks on Vucevic's shot
  23. ^ Vucevic scores 35 points to lead Magic past 76ers 124-115
  24. ^ Nikola Vucevic Makes Return, Comes Off Bench
  25. ^ Magic pull out all tricks to pull away from Pacers 114-94
  26. ^ Magic come up big down stretch to stun Heat
  27. ^ "NIKOLA VUCEVIC 2011 Eurobasket Player Box". Eurobasket2011.com. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  28. ^ "NIKOLA VUCEVIC 2013 Eurobasket Player Box". Eurobasket2013.org. 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 

External links[edit]