Spurs take Ser­bia’s Mi­luti­nov at num­ber 26

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY RAUL DOMINGUEZ

Eigh­teen years to the day af­ter se­lect­ing Tim Dun­can, the San An­to­nio Spurs chose another for­mer swim­mer in the first round of the NBA draft by tak­ing Ser­bia’s Nikola Mi­luti­nov with se­lec­tion 26 on Thurs­day.

Mi­luti­nov was a promis­ing swim­mer with Olympic as­pi­ra­tions when he said he was lit­er­ally run out of the pool. Two bul­lies pushed a 12-year-old Mi­luti­nov off the side of pool, nearly break­ing his jaw. He be­gan play­ing bas­ket­ball two days later and has since be­come one of the top Euro­pean cen­ters.

The 20-year-old av­er­aged 10.1 points and 7.7 re­bounds last sea­son while play­ing for Par­ti­zan in the EuroCup and Adri­atic and Ser­bian leagues.

The Spurs used the No. 1 se­lec­tion in 1997 to se­lect Dun­can, who also held Olympic as­pi­ra­tions as a swim­mer be­fore turn­ing to bas­ket­ball.

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