Nikola Vujčić

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Nikola Vujčić
Nikola102.JPG
Vujčić, while playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv, in 2006.
Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv
PositionTeam manager
LeagueIsraeli Premier League
EuroLeague
Personal information
Born (1978-06-14) June 14, 1978 (age 41)
Vrgorac, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalityCroatian / Israeli
Listed height6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2000 / Undrafted
Playing career1995–2013
PositionPower forward / Center
Number7
Career history
1995–2001Split
2001–2002ASVEL
2002–2008Maccabi Tel Aviv
2008–2010Olympiacos
2010–2011Efes Pilsen
2011–2013Split
Career highlights and awards
As player

Nikola Vujčić (born June 14, 1978) is a Croatian former professional basketball player and the current team manager of the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv. During his playing career, at a height of 2.11 m (6'11") tall, he played at both the center and power forward positions. As a player, he was a two-time EuroLeague champion (2004, 2005), a five-time All-EuroLeague Team selection (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), and he was also voted as a member of the EuroLeague 2000–10 All-Decade Team.

Vujčić was the first player in the EuroLeague's current era (2000–present), to achieve a triple-double. On November 3, 2005, he helped in Maccabi Tel Aviv's 95–68 win versus the Polish club Prokom Trefl Sopot, with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.[1] On November 30, 2006, Vujčić recorded another triple-double, the second in the EuroLeague's current era (2000–present), in Maccabi Tel Aviv's 110–87 win over the Slovenian club Union Olimpija, with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.[2]

Professional playing career[edit]

Vujčić made his professional club debut with the Croatian club KK Split, in the 1995–96 season, after coming up through the youth teams of the club. He played with Split through the 2000–01 season. As a member of Split, he wore the number 7 jersey that had once belonged to the former Split star and former NBA player, Toni Kukoč. With Split, Vujčić twice appeared in the Croatian League playoff's finals. With the club at the European-wide level, he also played in 28 FIBA Saporta Cup games (2nd European Level), in 23 FIBA SuproLeague games, and in 34 EuroLeague games (1st European level).

In 2001, he was signed by the Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv, as a replacement for Nate Huffman, who was expected to leave the club. At the last moment though, Huffman decided to return to the club for one more season, so Maccabi sent Vujčić on loan to the French club ASVEL Villeurbanne. Vujčić helped ASVEL win the French League championship, for the first time in 21 years. He also played in 14 EuroLeague games that season (2 with Maccabi and 12 with ASVEL), in which he averaged 15.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.[3]

With Maccabi Tel Aviv, From 2002 to 2008, he won two EuroLeague championships (2004 and 2005), five Israeli Super League championships, four Israeli State Cups, and one Israeli League Cup.

On June 18, 2008, he signed a two-year contract,[4] worth 4.5 million euros net income, with the Greek Basket League club Olympiacos Piraeus. On October 25, 2010, he signed a contract with the Turkish Super League club Efes Pilsen.[5] After playing with Split, from 2011 to 2013, he announced his retirement from playing professional basketball.

National team playing career[edit]

As a member of the senior Croatian national team, Vujčić played at the 1999 EuroBasket, the 2001 EuroBasket, the 2005 EuroBasket, and the 2009 EuroBasket.

Managerial and player developmental career[edit]

After he retired from playing professional basketball, Vujcic opened up his own basketball academy, in his home-town of Split, Croatia, where he would go on to help train young players to improve their basketball skills. Two of the main prospects to have been a part of the academy were Dragan Bender, whom eventually became the number 4 overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft, and Ante Žižić, who was drafted 23rd overall in the same draft.

In the 2013–14 season, Vujčić returned to one of his former clubs from his playing days, Maccabi Tel Aviv, to work as the team's manager. After he took over that position, Maccabi Tel Aviv went through an historic down period for the club, as at one point, the team had failed to win three consecutive Israeli national league championships (2015–2017), and at another point, had also failed to reach the EuroLeague's postseason phase four years in a row (2016–2019). Subsequently, many Israeli sports journalists and basketball analysts claimed that the team's inability to achieve its goals was due to the policies that had been implemented by Vujčić.

Personal life[edit]

Vujčić, was born in Vrgorac, in inland Dalmatia, SR Croatia, in the former SFR Yugoslavia. On January 17, 2018, after he had lived in Israel for 10 years, the Israeli Ministry of Interior granted Israeli citizenship to Vujčić and his family, after he had requested it.[6].

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: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

Denotes seasons in which Vujčić's team won the EuroLeague
Led the league

EuroLeague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2001–02 ASVEL 14 2 26.2 .516 .263 .714 6.4 1.6 1.4 .7 15.7 19.3
2002–03 Maccabi 20 16 28.5 .551 .386 .691 7.1 1.8 1.4 .8 17.6 21.2
2003–04 Maccabi 21 21 34.9 .548 .226 .800 6.9 3.0 .9 .8 16.8 20.0
2004–05 Maccabi 21 21 26.4 .581 .391 .726 5.6 3.0 1.1 .8 13.9 17.9
2005–06 Maccabi 24 24 31.2 .458 .405 .656 5.7 3.9 .9 .9 11.9 15.4
2006–07 Maccabi 22 22 31.0 .541 .467 .745 7.6 3.9 1.1 .8 14.9 21.7
2007–08 Maccabi 12 9 21.0 .544 .400 .559 4.3 3.2 .7 .2 9.6 11.3
2008–09 Olympiacos 21 20 22.2 .553 .250 .645 3.8 2.6 .8 .5 11.4 13.9
2009–10 Olympiacos 22 1 14.3 .584 .000 .577 2.7 1.7 .5 .3 7.4 8.3
2010–11 Efes Pilsen 15 14 18.1 .411 .000 .697 3.1 2.1 .6 .2 6.5 6.7
Career 192 150 25.8 .532 .345 .695 5.4 2.7 .9 .6 12.7 15.9

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maccabi Elite vs. Prokom Trefl Sopot Box Score". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Maccabi Elite vs. Union Olimpija Box Score". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  3. ^ VUJCIC, NIKOLA EuroLeague 2001-02 STATISTICS.
  4. ^ Nikola Vujcic chooses Olympiacos.
  5. ^ "EFES PILSEN tabs veteran center Vujcic". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  6. ^ Full-fledged Israeli: Vujcic received citizenship.

External links[edit]