Marko Popović (born 12 June 1982) is a Croatian basketball executive and former professional basketball player. Standing at a height of 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in), he played at the point guard and shooting guard positions. He currently serves as a sporting director for Zenit Saint Petersburg of the VTB United League and the EuroLeague.
|Zenit Saint Petersburg|
|League||VTB United League|
|Born||12 June 1982|
Zadar, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Listed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Listed weight||190 lb (86 kg)|
|College||College of Southern Idaho|
|NBA draft||2004 / Undrafted|
|Position||Point guard / shooting guard|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born in Zadar, Popović is the son of Petar, a retired basketball player and present-day coach. Marko started training in basketball in the youth school of KK Zadar, in 1991, but his family moved to Zagreb in 1994, when the father signed with Benston. Popović then entered the youth system of Cibona, where he remained until 1997, when his family moved back to Zadar. Popović's cadet team won the national championship, and he was voted the MVP of the tournament.
After Popović had a successful 2000 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship with Croatia's junior national team, KK Zadar decided to offer him a seven-year contract, but he declined the offer, and instead went to an NCAA Division II college basketball team in the United States. He joined the College of Southern Idaho, where he stayed for a year.
Popović played with the youth junior squad of KK Zadar in the 1998–99 season, and also played in three games with the club's senior team that season. In the club's youth squad, he scored an average of 25 points per game, which earned him a spot in the top-tier level senior men's team of the club in the following season of 1999–00. After spending a year in the United States, playing college basketball at the College of Southern Idaho (NCAA Division II), he moved back to Zadar, Croatia, in 2001.
In the 2002–03 ABA League season, Zadar surprisingly won the championship, after beating Maccabi Tel Aviv in the finals. Popović played a major role in his team's success, and he was awarded with the MVP title of the leagues' final four tournament, which took place in Ljubljana.
In 2003 he moved to Pamesa Valencia of the Spanish ACB League for the 2003–04 season, where he stayed until February 2004, before moving back to Croatia again, this time to Cibona, with which he won the Croatian League championship in the 2003–04 season.
In 2005 Popović was signed by Turkish League team Efes Pilsen, and the next year, he moved to Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian League, with which he won both the 2006–07 and 2007–08 Lithuanian league championships. While playing with UNICS Kazan, he was named the Finals MVP of the 2nd-tier level European-wide league, the EuroCup, in 2011.
In 2011 he returned to Žalgiris. After leaving Žalgiris in June 2013, Popović agreed to contract terms with the Russian VTB United League team Khimki Moscow Region, as he signed a two-year deal with the club on 7 August 2013. On 16 June 2015, he left Khimki, after spending two seasons with the club.
On 6 October 2015, he signed with the Spanish team Baloncesto Fuenlabrada. In February 2017, he became the all-time EuroCup scoring leader, but was surpassed by Bojan Dubljević and Rafa Martínez later same season. On 17 July 2018, he resigned with the Spanish club. After spending four seasons with Fuenlabrada, in May 2019 Popović announced he will retire from playing professional basketball at the end of the season.
National team careerEdit
Popović played for the Croatian men's junior national teams. With Croatia's under-18 team, he won a silver medal at the 2000 European Championship, which was held in his home town of Zadar. Croatia lost that tournament's gold medal game by one point against the junior national team of France, which was led by Tony Parker. Popović led the tournament in assists, with an average of 5.2 assists per game. He also led the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship in both scoring and assists.
Popović joined the senior men's Croatian national team in 2002, and with the senior team, he played at the following EuroBasket tournaments: in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and finally in 2017. He also played at the 2008 Summer Olympics and at the 2010 World Championship.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||PIR||Performance Index Rating|
- ^ Marko Popovic PG/SG Nationality: Croatia Birth Place: Zadar, HRV Birth Date: 12-06-1982 Height: 185 cm Weight: 86 kg.
- ^ "Košarkaši strepili za pobjedu i protiv Finaca". Slobodna Dalmacija (in Croatian). 31 August 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
[...] Petar Popović, legenda zadarske košarke, koji je potegnuo do Alytusa pogledati uživo nastupe Hrvatske na Eurobasketu. Otac Marka Popovića, [...][permanent dead link]
- ^ a b c d e f Dean Sinovčić (15 April 2003). "Bit ću najniži europski igrač u NBA" [I will be the shortest European NBA player]. Nacional (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- ^ "Eurocup Finals MVP, Marko Popovic of Unics". Eurocupbasketball.com. 17 April 2011. Archived from the original on 20 April 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- ^ "Kapetan može bezbrižno na Eurobasket: Marko Popović se vraća u Žalgiris!". Sportske novosti (in Croatian). 14 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- ^ "BC Khimki inks Popovic to two-year deal". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- ^ "Hvala Marko". BCKhimki.ru. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- ^ "Marko Popovic signs with Fuenlabrada". Sportando.com. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- ^ "Marko Popovic becomes EuroCup scoring king". eurocupbasketball.com. 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- ^ "EuroCup scoring crown belongs to Dubljevic – for now". eurocupbasketball.com. 28 March 2017. Archived from the original on 22 April 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- ^ "Fuenlabrada re-signs Marko Popovic". Sportando. 17 July 2018. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
- ^ "Marko Popovic retires at 36". eurohoops.net. 13 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- ^ Marko POPOVIC (CRO) participated in 17 FIBA / FIBA Zones events.
- Marko Popović at acb.com (in Spanish)
- Marko Popović at basketball-reference.com
- Marko Popović at bgbasket.com
- Marko Popović at eurobasket.com
- Marko Popović at euroleague.net
- Marko Popović at fiba.com
- Marko Popović at fiba.com (game center)
- Marko Popović at fibaeurope.com
- Marko Popović at pbleague.net