Tomislav Zubcic is currently one of most constant players in VTB League, where he averaged 15.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game with Enisey Krasnoyarsk. In Fiba Europe Cup, he had better numbers on each category: 16.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists on average. The Croatian center accumulated already a lot of experience playing in many different European leagues and I tried to find out a bit of his story in this interview.
At 23 years old you were selected to the Lithuanian All-Star game. How did you feel about it?
First of all thank you for the opportunity to speak with you and all the people who love the game of basketball. Regarding my selection to the Lithuanian All-Star game, it was a special feeling none the less, but maybe if I look at it from this point in time, that selection was an appreciation of the work and effort I have put in on and off the court to be the best I could be at that point.
What’s the secret of the Croatian basketball school? I mean you produce every decade so many talented young players, more than other big countries in Europe.
Croatia and the Balkan countries in general have a very talented basketball population, and the thing is we as a nation love basketball as much as football, that’s why we have an equal pool of talent to choose from. Also, we have a great people who are working in basketball, so we are provided with a great basketball fundamentals and the way of thinking about the game which is crucial for the development of any basketball player.
You have played almost everywhere, from Croatia to Spain, Germany, Lithuania, Turkey and Russia. Which was your greatest moment in your career till now?
I have been fortunate enough to be playing in some of the best leagues in Europe. What that experience has taught me, is to never look at my previous accomplishments as something I should be talking about. My goal is to work hard at any time I am on the hardwood because for me and my mentality every victory is the thing that counts.
What’s your biggest goal in life?
From a professional stand point, the goal is to be healthy, so I can play the game that I love on highest level possible for a long time and try to get better every single day. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends and soon I am going to become a parent for the first time, and I can’t wait to take on that role in life.
You are one of best big men from the 3 point line in VTB League and Fiba Europe Cup. How much is native talent and how much work in these successful stats?
Personally, I think that talent has nothing to do with it. In Pro basketball hard work and dedication to details on the daily basis is the key and at the end of the day that’s what is giving me an opportunity to grow and develop myself as a basketball player in any segment of the game, including the 3 point range.
Which is your favorite player from NBA at the moment and why? And from European basketball?
I respect everybody who plays basketball at any level, because it takes a lot of effort, time and dedication to be a player. The only difference between the NBA and European basketball is on the physical side of the game, where the NBA is still the superior one. But in the terms of talent and game development and the quality of the players, the European basketball is there side by side with the NBA.
Photo: FIBA Europe Cup