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Record Number of Croatians to Play in 2016–17 NBA Season

Record number of Croatians in the NBA this season

Record number of Croatians in the NBA this season

Croatia will have a record number of players taking part in the NBA this year…

The NBA regular season will begin tomorrow on 25 October, and after the news yesterday that Damjan Rudež had made it on the Orlando Magic’s regular-season roster, Croatia will be represented by 7 players. It is the most number of players from Croatia in one season since Croatia’s independence.

Rudež joins fellow Croatian Mario Hezonja at Orlando and the pair will start the season at home against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

Dario Šarić

Dario Šarić

Bojan Bogdanović (Brooklyn Nets) Dario Šarić (Philadelphia 76ers), Dragan Bender (Phoenix Suns), Ivica Zubac (Los Angeles Lakers) and Justin Hamilton (Brooklyn Nets), who is part Croatian and was set to make his national team this summer, round off the Croatian contingent in the NBA this season.

Dragan Bender picked up in the draft this year

Dragan Bender picked up in the draft this year

Three of the seven players are rookies this year – Šarić, Bender and Zubac.

Croatia also has the most players in the NBA this season out of all its neighbours. Serbia has 3; Boban Marjanović (Detroit), Nikola Jokić (Denver) and Nemanja Bjelica (Minnesota), Bosnia and Herzegovina have 2; Mirza Teletović (Milwaukee) and Jusuf Nurkić (Denver), Slovenia have 2; Saša Vujačić (New York) and Goran Dragić (Miami), whilst Montenegro also have 2; Nikola Peković (Minnesota) and Nikola Vučević (Orlando).

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