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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 26, 2002

Savovic chosen for NBA camp

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

Predrag Savovic is already in pre-draft form.

Savovic, who just completed a record-setting career with the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team, was invited yesterday to participate in the prestigious NBA Pre-Draft Camp next month.

"I'm excited about it," said Savovic, who averaged a team-leading 20.3 points per game for the Rainbow Warriors last season. "But right now I'm just taking things day by day. I don't want to get myself too excited over everything."

Approximately 65 of the top draft prospects are invited to the Pre-Draft Camp, which will be held June 4-7 at Chicago. The prospects participate in various drills and scrimmages in front of representatives from every NBA team.

Savovic is actually listed as an alternate for the camp, but UH head coach Riley Wallace said he has been assured by a NBA official that Savovic will participate.

"Savo's in," Wallace said. "I talked to a guy from one (NBA) team who said Savo will get drafted, it's just a matter of where."

In the latest mock draft on NBAdraft.net, Savovic is listed as the second round pick of the Boston Celtics, the 50th selection overall.

Former 'Bow forward Troy Ostler participated in the Pre-Draft Camp last year, although he did not get drafted. He was also originally listed as an alternate.

In preparation for the June 26 NBA Draft, Savovic said he has been training "three hours a day, six days a week" since the UH season ended last month.

He has dropped 16 pounds off his 6-foot-6 frame, and now weighs a solid 217. He is projected as a shooting guard, the same position he played for three seasons at UH.

"Just a lot of dieting and working hard," said Savovic, who is originally from Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia. "I had to lose the weight to become more mobile."

Yesterday, Savovic worked one-on-one with former 'Bow Jarinn Akana, who is now a director of player development for the Denver Nuggets.

"(Akana) pointed out some basic things I need to work on," Savovic said. "We mostly did dribbling and shooting drills, nothing fancy."

Savovic said he will depart Honolulu next week for New York. He is hoping to showcase his skills in private workouts with various NBA teams over the next few weeks.

He will also graduate next month as a double major in international business and finance.

Savovic, 25, completed his UH career as the fourth-leading scorer in school history with 1,414 points. He is the all-time UH leader in 3-pointers with 178. He is also the only player in UH history to earn first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors twice.

• No Canada: Hawai'i sophomores Carl English and Phil Martin received invitations this week to try out for Canada's national team. However, both indicated that they would likely decline because of prior scheduling commitments this summer.

• Recruiting update: The 'Bows have two more scholarships available with three potential candidates.

Three players have visited UH in recent weeks: Michael Kuebler of Clackamas Community College (Ore.), and Weatherford (Texas) teammates Emigijus Lukosius and Vaidotas Peciukas. The 'Bows are hoping to get two of those three players, although all three are still being recruited by other programs.

Kuebler, a 6-5 guard, is also looking at Boise State and Furman; Lukosius, a 6-6 forward, is being recruited by Georgia and Indiana State; Peciukas, a 6-6 guard who only recently declared his intention to leave Weatherford, is being sought by several nationally ranked programs, including Oklahoma and Illinois.

Each of the three players averaged more than 20 points per game last season.