Croatian basketball officials have left star youngster Dario Saric off the roster for the Under-18 FIBA Europe Championship in Wroclaw, a bitter disappointment for hoops fans waiting to see how the KK Zagreb star would perform in Poland.

Saric, who had a superb campaign for Croatia at the Under-19 FIBA World Championship in Latvia earlier this month, averaging 18.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a 17-year-old. Saric in May guided Zagreb to the  NIKE International Junior Tournament title, winning MVP honors after collecting 19 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in a 76-65 triumph over Zalgiris Kaunas in the final.

The Croatian forward was also named the MVP of the 2010 U16 European Championship with 24.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game, giving Croatians their first U16 gold – and first medal – since the nation won the U16 tournament in 1995.

Another big name the Croatians left off their team was Saric’s Zagreb NIKE IJT winning teammate Mario Hezonja, who averaged 8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists at the U19 Worlds, including 21 points against Canada – as a 16-year-old.

Leaving Saric and Hezonja off the squad will definitely hurt Croatia’s chances of winning a medal in Poland.

Croatian finished eighth at the U19 Worlds despite having five players born in 1994 or 1995 in a tournament including players in the 1992 age group.



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