The legend of the Yugoslav women’s basketball Jasmina Perazic, a member of “ Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame” in Knoxville , has , a couple of days ago, arrived to Serbia from USA where she now lives. Ms Perazic has came to her home town upon the invitation sent by Basketball Federation of Serbia and will be its guest during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade , that starts on July 4th, 2016.

Are you excited being again in Serbia, Belgrade, your Novi Sad , being a guest of Basketball Federation of Serbia during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament ?

– The invitation from Basketball Federation of Serbia was a pleasant surprise. This is , really , nice gesture. I am here only for a couple of days but I will appreciate this for ever. I can hardly wait to watch the games , to see the officials in our Federation , old friends…. I have already met Olja Krivokapic Dragicevic, who has taken our 3 x 3 women’s national team to Netherlands. As I know Olja, I am sure that we shall have excellent results.
In 2014 you were introduced into “ Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame” in the USA , and this is fantastic award.

– Yes , I was introduced into “ Hall of Fame “ for Women’s basketball in Knoxville in Tennessee. This is huge award , one of the biggest. It is very appreciated in America , and it is only just a little bit less significant that “ Hall of Fame “ in Springfield and FIBA’s “ Hall of Fame”. I really have never thought about awards , but lot of my team mates and my coach at Maryland University wished me to be introduced into
“ Hall of Fame” and they fought for it. That was very nice surprise when I heard how much they cared ….

You have completed your studies at a university in America , but at the same time you played for Yugoslav National Team. You have spoken in Serbian language , thanked to numerous women basketball players and coaches from Serbia you played and cooperated with, at the end of your very emotional speech during the ceremony of your introduction among immortal ones

– The most important thing for me was the connection to my home land through basketball. I have often had to make choice between playing for a professional team or for national team owing to my obligations in America. National team has always been my choice , because it is the greatest honor. The first invitation for national team I received was very big surprise , and it was after my first year at Maryland. There I had one of the best coaches in America , and Yugoslav national team had a new Head coach. Two players from my team at the university played for the national team of the USA. At one international tournament , where they had opportunity to play against Yugoslav national team, they have informed our new Head Coach Milan Vasojevic that one of the best Yugoslav women’s basketball players is in America. that is how I got the first invitation for the national team’s preparations. I adored all games, preparations, travelling and associating with Yugoslav national team After everything that happened in Serbia nad with Serbia in my speech I wanted to give more appraisals to my country , our wonderful Serbia..
How often do you remember your games in the national team’s game shirt and what it the first thing that occurs your mind from that period ?

– I do not think a lot about past., nevertheless how beautiful it is , probably because of my job. Now I am a coach and my players are the most important for me, I think only about them and their success, how to help them, how to teach and train them, how to prepare them for games, school and success in life after basketball. The most important job for me is to prepare young sportswomen for successful life after basketball

What are the differences between American College and Women’s basketball in our country .

After all theses years , differences are still very similar. Of course, beside t the difference in the age , because at college the age of players is between 17 and 22, there are differences in the game style. Here we still emphasis the offence, we have very good shooters and the assistance is better. We have height , but our game in bounds has more
”refined elements” it is not played as in America with strength and explosiveness . As far as joint game is concerned , collective basketball origins from assistance and joint game in offence, and in America it results from collective defense.

How much are you interested in European basketball?

– I do not have lot of opportunity to watch port in Europe. Although , on internet and social networks I follow our results and use every opportunity to cheer our sportsmen , not only in basketball… And I boast with our successes….

We have heard that many times you have helped our children who go to study and play basketball in America .

– I think that I understand economic situation in Serbia. There are provocative political and economical situations in other parts of the world. Even though that I see a lot of potentials whenever I make a visit here , I also see mentality of people that is obstacle to improvement. However, I believe that this hard time of changes, transition to new work system and travel to more successful future will be accelerated. In the meantime, while here in Serbia there are not too many opportunities for young people, I am ready to help them . In America one can achieve a lot through sport , but the university education is above all.

Will you watch the games of our Women’s national team at Olympic games in Rio ?

– As everyone in Serbia, and like many our people abroad, I am looking forward to watching our sportsmen in Rio. Of course , I would be glad for our team to win Olympic Medal. Several days ago I had an opportunity to meet Sonja Petrovic , just before the game against New York Liberty .I was impressed by her in a moment, not only by her game but also with her personality. I am convinced that Serbia will be successful at Olympic games with players similar to Sonja Petrovic ,and I wish that to them from the bottom of my heart


In 1979 , when she was 19 years old , Jamsina Perazic went to America and spent four brilliant years at Maryland University . She was twice elected among 12 best women’s basketball players in the USA and she played All-star games With Maryland she reached the final tournament NCAA league (1982).

During her professional career she played for many clubs , nad in season 1987/1988 she led Vozdovac up to the Yugoslavia champion title. AT the age 37 she played in Women’s NBA, for New York Liberty .

Jasmina Perazic , has twice participated at the Olympic Games with Yugoslav national team, in 1980 in Moscow and in 1984 in Los Angeles. In Moscow she was a member of the national team that won bronze medal. She was MVP at the European Championship in Hungary in 1983 and European Championship in Italy 1985. At the European Champion ship in Spain, Jasmina Perazic , along with the national team, won silver medal. She wore Yugoslav game shirt at Universiade 1983 ( bronze medal) and in 1987 in Zagreb ( gold medal)