Philadelphia 76er Dario Šarić could well become the first Croatian to be named Rookie of the Year in the NBA.
Last night he continued his amazing form in his debut NBA season by shooting a career-best 29 points against the LA Lakers at the Staples Centre.
Besides being the top point-scorer on the night, Šarić lead the way with rebounds in his team’s 118-116 win.
Many pundits believe Šarić, who earned a call up to play for the World team in the NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars Challenge in February, is set to be named 2017 Rookie of the Year.
“We believe the Rookie of the Year goes through Philadelphia. Time and time again we see why Dario’s name is mentioned in this conversation. He picks up things fast and he has the ability to learn NBA stuff fast”, Philadelphia 76ers Head Coach Brett Brown said.
If he manages to win the award he will become the first Croatian to achieve this feat.
The award, which has been won in the past by the likes of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal and Alan Iverson, has only ever been won 3 times by non-Americans.
After Saturday night’s match against the LA Clippers Šarić spoke to CroatianSports.com about life in the NBA as a rookie, the Croatian national team and the legacy of carrying on the name of Dražen Petrović, who was from his home town of Šibenik.