NEW SIGNING: Former Wollongong Hawks star Mirko Djeric will line up for the Townsville Crocodiles this weekend. The young Australian who missed the World under-19 championships after being shot at a party said he is fit and ready for the new NBL season.
NEW SIGNING: Former Wollongong Hawks star Mirko Djeric will line up for the Townsville Crocodiles this weekend. The young Australian who missed the World under-19 championships after being shot at a party said he is fit and ready for the new NBL season. GETTY IMAGES

Croc has another shot at NBL dream

NEW Townsville recruit Mirko Djeric, 18, shows great maturity when answering a question he's been askedover and over again.

"Just how did you end up getting shot in the leg?"

Djeric was at a house party in Sydney's west in June when the incident, still under police investigation after some gatecrashers clashed with revellers, happened.

Luckily the stray bullet did not hit a bone or an artery and, after being ruled out of the under-19 championships for Australia, Djeric is now in good health for the start of the NBL season.

The Crocodiles will open their campaign against Cairns at home on Saturday night, and Djeric could start the game, as the guard was recruited to cover for injured Boomer Peter Crawford.

It is quite remarkable to think Djeric can now laugh off being shot in the leg, let alone be at peak fitness for a new season.

"I don't mind people asking me about it because it is an interesting story," said Djeric, who got his start at the Wollongong Hawks last season.

"I was at an 18th party, there were a lot of people around and I guess I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I felt disappointed and unlucky to miss out on representing Australia, but lucky the bullet missed hitting a bone or an artery."

Djeric said he was amazed by the community environment at the Crocs, with it

being well documented how much local fans rallied to help save the club from

financial disaster.

But he said the players also embodied that spirit.

"The players have been terrific - they sent lot of cards and texts while I was in hospital," said Djeric, who gets driven by

teammates to and from training and games

because he doesn't yet have his licence.

"The leg feels 100% now and I've forgotten about it."

The talented

Serbian youngster is so far beyond being shot that he is now training the house down in his attempt to be recruited by a top European club.

"I signed a two-year deal, with an option to go to

Europe next year if I'm good enough," he said.

"That's something I've

always wanted to do

"My dad inspired me from a young age - he used to show my videos of a Serbian player called Drazen

Petrovic - he was one of the European greats."


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