Name: Darko Milicic
Nickname: Serbian Gangster (Detroit Pistons)
Origin: Novi Sad, Serbia
Schools: Hemiska HS (Montenegro)
Drafted: 2003, First Round, 3rd pick by Detroit Pistons
Languages: Serbian, English
Teams (jersey): KK Hemofarm Vrsac (13), Detroit Pistons (31), Orlando Magic (31)
IBN Darko Update: 09/05/2005With Larry Brown leaving the Pistons for the New Yorks Knicks for the upcoming 2005-06 season, Chauncey Billups had this to say, during his visit to Detroit radio station WXYTAM 1270, about Brown’s treatment of Darko during his tenure “Larry beat him up too much. He tore the kid’s confidence apart too much, and it was tough for him to recover,” Billups said. “The kid has unbelievable talent. There’s nothing he can’t do out there on the court. In the playoffs, we’re smiling and laughing and having fun out there. I’ve never seen Darko smile one day ever in practice or playing, and that’s a problem.”… I guess we’ll see if the Darko really has the stuff this next season, there are a lot of people out there that have already written the 21-year old off. (How can you write a 21-year old off that hasn’t played significant minutes?) Certainly, one can assume that his talent and ability hasn’t earned the playing time, but the fact that he was a #2 pick with a good 15 years ahead of him, I think it’s a little premature and presumptuous to judge Darko from his first 2 years in the league…
NBA.com: Personal Facts: Has a 7-foot-5 wing span. Darko’s father is 6-7 and his mother is 6-3. Darko is supposedly a skilled and strong big man who is comfortable at any spot along the front line. His biggest challenge has been getting playing time in system that relies on veteran players to play the most important minutes for his European team.
Career Highlights & History: His team, Hemofarm Vrsac, first ascended to the first division in Yugoslavia in 1998-99. He was a member of the Hemofarm Vrsac junior team in 2000-01. Milicic was a member of the Yugoslavian team that won the European Cadet Championships in 2001. He was also a member of the team at the Under-20 Championships in 2002, but coaches did not play him in competition. Through 20 games during the 2002-03 season, he was playing 20 minutes per game for Hemofarm Vrsac, averaging 9.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots. He was shooting 49 percent from the field and 68 percent from the foul-line. Darko saw more playing time in the North European Basketball League (NEBL), where he competed against other top European clubs. In 10 games, Milicic averaged 14.2 points and 7.0 rebounds. He scored 21 points in a victory over Greek power PAOK. He also tallied 23 vs. PAOK in the losing rematch. And in won amazing game, Milicic exploded for 37 points in a victory over Skonto (Latvia). ESPN Magazine featured Milicic on their cover in an issue about the NBA draft.