Serbian living his American hoops dream with Seahawks

Published 11:04 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Lamar State College-Port Arthur sophomore Marko Zelic is a long way from home.
Technically, Zelic is about 5,884 miles from Serbia.
Zelic has dreamed of playing college basketball in the United States since he was a small boy. He took part over a year ago in a showcase in Serbia for coaches from United States to watch.
“It was big for me,” Zelic said of coming to the United States. “At first I was going to attend Oklahoma State, but I did not do so well on the testing because I only had two weeks to prepare.”
That is when a fellow coach got ahold of LSC-PA coach Lance Madison. The rest, as they say, is history.
“I first came to the states in August 2014,” Zelic said. “My first love here is, it is summer all the time. The people here are nice like in my country.”
Of course there are tons of differences between living in a European country and the United States. There are some things Zelic is still getting used to and others he cannot understand.
“Everything is different,” Zelic said. “Everything is very fast here. It doesn’t stop from starting with school at 7 in the morning. In Serbia, we don’t even have fast food. Everything is chill.
“Everything here is in a car. I walk to places 3 or 4 miles here and I get called crazy. Everything is faster than in Europe.”
Zelic said he lived in some apartments near Central Mall, and it was nothing to walk 10 miles to where he needed to go.
“Again, I’d get called crazy,” Zelic added. “In my country, I was used to walking 20 miles. We have cars in Serbia and we have squares, but in Port Arthur everyone insists you need a car.”
Zelic kept going back to the fact that life in Serbia is calmer than in the States.
“Everything here is about getting money,” he said. “Every song and sentence is ‘Get money, get rich.’”
The one thing Zelic wished was different here in the United States?
“The one thing I don’t like is people stare into their phones so much,” Zelic said. “I have all the social media, but I try to put it down and enjoy life.”
The Seahawks are 10-7 and 3-4 in Region XIV heading into Wednesday’s 7 p.m. nonconference game against Lone Star College-Tomball.
“This team understands basketball,” Zelic said. “Basketball is different but when you have good players, you can play anywhere. You can play in China and have success if everyone understands the game.”

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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