Arizona Wildcats goalkeeper Philip Borovikanen adapts to American life on and off the field

Earlier this summer, freshman Arizona Wildcats Philip Borovikanen Treated to lunch by the Kings of Tucson.

Former Big Guy in UA Doosan Ristic Was in town and wanted to share some tips for Arizona’s newest Serbian member.

“I think it helps me a lot,” said Borovikanin. “He prepared me for like what the practices would be like here and everything with (Strength and Conditioning Coach) Chris Rounds. Ristic also introduced Borovikanin to some of his fellow Serbs in Tucson.

The encounter with Ristic was one of the highlights of Borovikan’s first few months in Tucson.

That this 18-year-old winds up 6,000 miles from his hometown of Belgrade is a testament to Arizona’s recruiting efforts and Borovikan’s belief that college is the best path to basketball’s future.

Arizona State Set Borovikanen in Recruitment Route in September 2021. Assistant CAk MurphyThe lead recruiter calls him almost every day.

At the time, Borovicanin was lighting the 1st Regional Basketball League in Serbia for KK Beko. He averaged 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists, to lead the team to the championship.

The Borovicanin recruitment has been selected with Texas Tech, Georgia Tech and Xavier who have expressed interest, along with some Euroleague teams. Former Arizona coach Sean Miller He was involved in recruiting Borovicanin to Xavier.

Borovikanen’s decision to choose Arizona was made because of his confidence in the coaching staff.

“Compared to Texas Tech, I had a really great relationship with coach Tommy and Murph and I started to believe them when I chose Arizona,” said Borovikanin.

Lloyd Borovicanin sold on playing European style basketball with a system that allowed more time for development than back home.

“I wasn’t sure I would go to university,” Borovikanin said. “When I made the decision, I thought it was better for young players to play here in college and it was easier than playing in Europe.”

Borovicanin acknowledges that the American game moves faster and is more athletic, but credits the Serbian system for instilling higher IQs in its players.

Basketball pedigree in Serbia is well known. The country has a long history of producing adults, including the former Arizona striker Ivan Radinovic. Serbia is currently undefeated at EuroBasket2022, leading back-to-back NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.

Although the Borovicanin is 6 feet 8 feet tall, he is known as a ranger and not as a great ranger. He grew up like himself after steve curry.

“I think I can go really well here because I can shoot, I can pass,” Borovikanin said. “I can play on the ball.”

The Borovicanin range as a perimeter operator is shown here in this video shared by ESPN’s Jonathan Givoni.

While Borovicanin’s potential is clear, he knows he’s one of the youngest players on the team and that it will take time to adjust to the college game.

During the first pair practice, Borovicanin said he would try no-look passes until Lloyd told him to focus on simple play and on two legs. Borovicanin learns to play more from the ball, too.

“In Serbia… I felt like everything around me was playing ball and I was just playing pick-and-roll,” Borovikanin said. “Here it’s like everyone plays (with the ball). Sometimes you’re off the ball, on the ball. It’s not that similar, but I’m trying to get used to it.”

Borovicanine also gets used to life in Tucson.

He balances his time watching Money Heist and Spiderman (he memorized nearly every scene) and searching for Buffalo’s wings.

Still hesitant about ranch or blue cheese, but that will come with time. So will his contributions to the costume of wild cats.

“I don’t know what role coach Tommy will give me this year,” Borovikanen said. “Whether it’s supporting the team off the bench or playing in a match to score goals and assists, I will try to do my best to help the team win matches.”