When he took care of the cadets (U17) selection of Mega Bemax last summer, Dragoljub Avramovic quickly fit the dice on the team and began the journey which ended in May with a great triumph and the title of Serbian champion. In the great finals against Crvena zvezda, the cadets of Mega celebrated after an overtime with 102:100 and thus brought the club second title in U17 competition.

This summer, Dragoljub Avramovic became the head coach of junior selection for Mega Bemax, and will thus accompany some of the players who played for cadet selection on their way to first team and senior basketball. Currently, there are about 20 players in joint training for junior’s and cadet’s selections, so these selections are near the end of formation.

However, we will go back a little first. If we were to introduce last season of cadets in numbers, it would look like this:

– 28 official matches (3 in qualifiers for the Triglav Cadet League, 22 in the league and 3 in the final tournament)
– 27 wins
– only 1 defeat (in the last round of the league without several major players)
– total points difference in the season plus 953
– average points difference in wins plus 36.5 points

A fantastic season is behind you, you set a difficult task for Veselin Petrovic who took U17 selection, but Branko Milisavljevic with the Euroleague Junior Finals didn’t make it easy for you?

– High standards however you look hahaha … Joke aside, the above results are certainly satisfying, the title itself is beautiful, but not the most important. The main goal is to empower these guys to be good players, to have a good attitude. They were selected so that at one point they had to show the ambition, the work, the confidence and the conditions that were given to them and they began to show it. I’m sure at least one of them will play in the NBA, that some will play top-notch basketball,

said Avramovic and continued:

– We will see in 2.3 years when they enter senior basketball, that shipwreck needs some patience. To the first team are now coming the players who have undergone through all the selections of the club, from pioneers such as Aleksandar Langovic.

Let’s go back to the beginning of last season, when you were selected as the head coach of cadet’s team of Mega::

– I had a conversation with the people from the club before the start of the season, I got the answer that everything I did before, I still do. The selection of players was already excellent at that moment, the basis existed before. For example, the preparatory game, Nikola Jovic, who is 196 at the moment, thin, physically not yet at a certain level, but has a talent where he stands out in relation to others and a sense for basketball. I said, “He’ll start every game for me this season and have a minutes at the expense of results.” We all have a common goal, players constantly progressing and getting them ready for senior basketball. Titles, results are nice but they are losing value, if those players are not ready when reaching the senior level, then it is much harder to correct some mistakes and omissions. We have to believe in them and when mutual trust builds, then good things come,

Avramovic looked back on last summer and continued:

– The conversation with the players last August was as follows: “we have 6 competitive games, 3 in league qualifications and 3 in the final tournament. Everything between is work checks”, of course, with some games against Partizan, Crvena zvezda where we can see where we are in that moment. They were told that in the finals we would play against Crvena zvezda and what I wanted in the finals what we do throughout the season: individual responsibility, firmness, desire to compete, team spirit, to characterize the attitude.

The team and players grew throughout the season:

– For example, two seasons ago Petar Kovacevic played 2.3 minutes on average per game, last season through training he became one of the most important players, the captain of the team. We have really good communication and that work has had to come to the fore. Player development is affected by everything, how they come to training, when they come to training, how they talk to the coach, the referees, the people in the club, how they react to substitutes, how they behave off the field, at home, and all these things must be influenced and we work with them to make them top players. I came during the season one hour before training to talk individually to a couple of players before training, at least 10 minutes each, as how was school, you were good at training, not happy with how you train … to show them that they are important, that their work is followed. When we are on the field, communication is just a basketball story, the only time I can joke. Off the field, we can joke and be more relaxed, but for any failure to comply, the player will suffer the consequences. There is no reaction after a mistake on the field to immediately be a defense mechanism, to be the wrong referees, other players. You made a mistake, missed a couple of shots, we continue to play, I certainly won’t take you off after two turnovers and three missed shots.

Very important for the progress of the players and the team are the conditions in the club:

– I have been attending Mega’s practices for 5 years, Dejan Milojevic is a great friend of mine, I know Vesa (Petrovic) and Vule (Avdalovic) well. This is the first time I have met this, 24 hours a day people work for us, to make us better. Everyone is maximally dedicated. At first it was new to me, I didn’t see anyone have this kind of communication and club conditions. People here don’t just come to work and go home. Everybody acts like a family, everyone strives for everything to be right and that is very important.

Kondicioni trener Pavle Tasić, Dragoljub Avramović, pomoćni trener Petar Radonjić, fizioterapeut Vanja Radojević

Physical and conditioning coahc Pavle Tasic, Dragoljub Avramovic, Assistant coach Petar Radonjic, Physio Vanja Radojevic

The junior team just got together, you’re still not complete. What are your plans for this season and how do you see the difference in coaching in relation to U16 cadets Mega Bemax ?

– This season we will play the junior league exclusively with 2002 and younger. The first two weeks we will have joint practices with the cadets, so after that practices will be separated, although certainly some players will perform for both selections. There are currently just over 20 players in these two selections, so it can be said that we are near the end of the selection process. The selection base was practically formed 2, 3 years ago, so every season there was only an upgrade. There is a system in the club starting with the U15 selection, it is planned well in advance and it all gives more than good results,

said Avramovic and continued:

– There is a difference compared to last year with the cadets, not only in competitions, but also in the game itself, which is more intense, the players are stronger, the bodies are bigger … We are expecting qualifications for Roda Junior League, then the league itself, then the semi-final ABA junior tournament followed by qualifiers for the Junior Euroleague. It’s a long season, but we’re not specifically preparing for competitions but to play a good basketball,

finished coach of Mega Bemax juniors Dragoljub Avramovic.

As in previous years, you will be able to follow the news and results of the youth selections of Mega through the club’s official website and club profile on social networks.

Photo: Mega Bemax