Roko Ukić

Roko Leni Ukić (born December 5, 1984) is a Croatian professional basketball player for Cedevita Olimpija of the Slovenian League, ABA League and the EuroCup. Standing at 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m), he mainly plays at the point guard position, but he can also play at the shooting guard position.

Roko Ukić
No. 10 – Cedevita Olimpija
PositionPoint guard / Shooting guard
LeagueSlovenian League
ABA League
EuroCup
Personal information
Born (1984-12-05) December 5, 1984 (age 35)
Split, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
NationalityCroatian
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2005 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41st overall
Selected by the Toronto Raptors
Playing career2000–present
Career history
2000–2005Split
2005–2006Tau Cerámica
2006–2007FC Barcelona
2007–2008Lottomatica Roma
2008–2009Toronto Raptors
2009–2010Milwaukee Bucks
2010–2012Fenerbahçe
2012–2014Panathinaikos
2014–2015Cedevita
2015–2016Varese
2016Cantù
2016–2017AEK Athens
2017–2018Cedevita
2018–2019Levallois Metropolitans
2019–2020Antibes Sharks
2020–presentCedevita Olimpija
Career highlights and awards

Professional careerEdit

 
Ukić in action with Fenerbahçe Ülker in 2010.

Ukić was born and raised in Split, where he began playing basketball for the youth clubs of KK Split in 1992. He competed on cadet and junior teams for the club, winning the national youth championship twice with the cadet team, and earning the MVP award of the Croatian cadet championship in 2000. Ukić joined the club's senior team in 2000, at age 16. He scored his first professional points on October 14, 2000, as his Split team won the game against Šibenik (93–79). Ukić finished the game with five points.[1]

At age 17, Ukić was already the team's captain. During his five years with the club, he won the Croatian League championship in 2003, and the Croatian Cup in 2004. In the Croatian Cup final against Zadar, Ukić scored the winning buzzer beater.[2] Ukić played for Split until 2005, when he was drafted by the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the second round, with the 41st pick overall, after averaging 18.5 points and 4.3 assists, in 35.2 minutes per game, for Split in the ABA League.[3]

Rather than risk being buried on the bench as a reserve player in the NBA, Ukić opted to join Tau Cerámica of the Spanish ACB League, a team that had an open spot at the backup point guard position in 2005. In his first season in a foreign league, Ukić became the first Croatian player to win the Spanish ACB League's Player of the Week award. He got the award after scoring 27 points against CB Valladolid.[4] Ukić won the Spanish Cup 2006, and played in the Spanish ACB League Playoffs, where his team eventually lost to Unicaja Malaga in the finals, by a 3–0 series score.

After spending a season with Baskonia, he moved to the Spanish League rivals, FC Barcelona, in the summer of 2006, where he also held the backup position at point guard. With Ukić in the line-up, Barcelona won the 2007 Spanish Cup, but lost the 2007 Spanish League Finals versus Real Madrid, by a 3–1 series result.

In the summer of 2007, he moved to the Italian Lega Basket Serie A team Virtus Roma, on a loan deal, where he was coached by his mentor and Croatian national team head coach, Jasmin Repeša. Ukić had his best EuroLeague season with Virtus, averaging 12.7 points and 2.8 assists per game. He reached the Italian League's national championship finals, and once again his team was only second best. Montepaschi Siena won the finals by a 4–1 series result.

On July 16, 2008, Ukić agreed to a three-year deal with the Toronto Raptors.[5] During his first NBA season, he appeared in 72 games, as a backup at point guard to his former Saski Baskonia teammate, José Calderón, wearing jersey #1 for the Raptors. In 12.4 minutes of play, he averaged 4.2 points and 2.1 assists, with career highs of 22 points on February 22, 2009, against the San Antonio Spurs, and 10 assists on March 27, 2009, against the Oklahoma City Thunder.[6]

On August 18, 2009, Ukić was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, along with Carlos Delfino, in exchange for Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems.[7] On January 4, 2010, he was waived by the Bucks, at his own request, because he was not satisfied with his role on the team.[8]

After being waived by the Bucks during his second NBA season, in January 2010, Ukić returned to Europe, when he moved to the Turkish League team Fenerbahçe Ülker.[9] He signed a two-year contract on June 17, 2010.[10]

Ukić led his club to the 2009–10 Turkish Basketball League title, by hitting the game-winning shot in Game 3 of the league's finals[11] and scoring 15 points in Game 6 win by a score of 76–51.[12] The club had also previously won the Turkish Cup, with Ukić scoring 11 points in the Cup's final game versus Mersin BB.

In the 2010–11 season, Fenerbahçe repeated in winning the Turkish double. Ukić was voted the MVP of the Turkish League Playoffs. Fenerbahçe also reached the Top 16 phase of the EuroLeague, with Ukić posting averages of 13.2 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. His final season with the Turkish club was injury plagued.

Ukić missed the start of the 2011–12 season, due to a stress fracture in his foot, and later on in the season, he suffered a broken finger.[13]

In 2012, Ukić signed a two-year contract with the Greek League club Panathinaikos.[14] In his first season with the club, he won the third double of his career. In the final of the Greek Cup, Panathinaikos beat Olympiacos 81–78, as Ukić scored 18 points, and won the Final MVP award.[15]

Panathinaikos and Olympiacos played again in the Greek League finals, and Panathinaikos claimed the title, with a 3–0 series sweep. Ukić was the leading scorer of the finals. In Game 2, he scored 17 points in 23 minutes on the court, helping his team to a 63–52 victory.[16]

Ukić played in 28 EuroLeague games in the 2012–13 season, averaging 8.9 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game.[17] He won the Player of the Round award for his performance in Round 8 of the Top 16. Panathinaikos won away at BC Žalgiris, 78–73, with Ukić contributing 21 points, six assists, four rebounds, and a performance index rating of 28.[18] After the game, Ukić said he had felt back pain, and had thrown up on the Panathinaikos bench in the final minutes of the game.[19]

Ukić missed the beginning of the 2013–14 season, because of Achilles tendon strains in both feet.[20] On August 7, 2014, Ukić returned to Croatia, signing a one-year deal with Cedevita.[21]

On October 9, 2015, Ukić signed a two-month contract with Italian club Pallacanestro Varese.[22] Following the expiration of his contract, on December 16, 2015, he parted ways with Varese.[23] On January 11, 2016, he signed with Pallacanestro Cantù for the rest of the season.[24]

On September 1, 2016, Ukić signed with Greek club AEK Athens for the 2016–17 season.[25]

On July 22, 2017, Ukić returned to Cedevita, signing a two year-deal.[26] He left club in July 2018. On August 2, 2018, Ukić signed a one year-deal with French Pro A club Levallois Metropolitans.[27] On July 31, 2019, he had signed with Antibes Sharks of the Pro B.[28]

On July 16, 2020, Ukić signed with Cedevita Olimpija.[29]

National team careerEdit

Ukić is a former member of the Croatian junior national teams, earning with them a gold medal at the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, and he also played with Croatia's junior national team at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Championship held in Greece, averaging 19.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.6 steals per game, as his team reached the tournament's semifinals.[30]

He has also been a member of the senior Croatian men's national team. Some of the tournament's he had played in with Croatia's senior national team include: EuroBasket 2005, EuroBasket 2007, 2008 Summer Olympics, EuroBasket 2009, 2010 FIBA World Championship, and EuroBasket 2013. Since 2010, Ukić has been the Croatian national team's captain. With 1,471 points scored (as of September 2014), he is third in the list of all-time top scorers for the Croatian national team.[31]

He also represented Croatia at EuroBasket 2015,[32] where they were eliminated in the eighth finals by the Czech Republic.[33] He also played at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and at EuroBasket 2017.

Personal lifeEdit

His father is Zoran Ukić, drummer of the Split-based rock band The Obala, and the former drummer of the dissolved Daleka Obala. Roko Leni Ukić got his first name after his grandfather, and his middle name after drummer Lenny White. He also plays the drums.[34][35]

Ukić is married to his wife Tamara (b. 1985), and he has a daughter, Sara, born October 20, 2007, in Rome.[36] He also has a son, Luka.

Career statisticsEdit

Legend
  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
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

NBAEdit

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Toronto 72 0 12.4 .380 .177 .733 1.0 2.1 .4 .0 4.2
2009–10 Milwaukee 13 0 7.5 .467 .250 .818 .2 .9 .1 .0 3.1
Career 85 0 11.6 .387 .189 .746 .9 1.9 .4 .0 4.0

EuroLeagueEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2005–06 Tau Cerámica 17 3 14.6 .322 .189 .706 1.3 1.9 .4 .1 4.4 3.2
2006–07 Barcelona 23 4 16.1 .387 .350 .630 1.3 2.0 .4 .0 5.1 5.2
2007–08 Lottomatica 19 15 29.5 .470 .351 .824 2.4 2.8 1.1 .3 12.7 11.4
2009–10 Fenerbahçe 1 1 28.8 .500 .333 1.000 6.0 4.0 .0 .0 20.0 21.0
2010–11 14 14 27.9 .483 .419 .818 2.5 3.5 .9 .1 13.2 13.4
2011–12 15 15 28.0 .401 .293 .725 2.8 2.1 .6 .0 11.1 7.9
2012–13 Panathinaikos 28 23 27.0 .398 .306 .639 2.7 2.8 .5 .1 8.9 8.8
2013–14 29 27 22.4 .346 .246 .720 1.5 2.4 .6 .1 6.3 4.0
2014–15 Cedevita 8 4 22.4 .368 .281 .842 2.0 4.9 .4 .0 10.1 10.3
Career 154 106 23.3 .404 .308 .727 2.1 2.6 .6 .1 8.6 7.6

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Slobodna Dalmacija archive". arhiv.slobodnadalmacija.hr (in Croatian). 2000-10-15. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  2. ^ "Ukic buzzer beater". youtube.com. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  3. ^ Prospect Profile Roko Ukic.
  4. ^ "Hrvatska reprezentacija ide dalje". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2005-11-21. Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  5. ^ Raptors Sign Roko Ukic.
  6. ^ NBA.com Roko Ukic Career Stats Page. Archived 2009-03-08 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "BUCKS COMPLETE TRADE WITH RAPTORS". NBA.com. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  8. ^ "Bucks Request Waivers on Ukic". NBA.com. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  9. ^ Euroleague.net Fenerbahce Ulker announces agreement with Ukic.
  10. ^ Ukic signed 2 years contract
  11. ^ "Ukić zabio za pobjedu". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2010-05-25. Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  12. ^ "Ukićevi rasturili Efes, uzeli duplu krunu". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2010-06-02. Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  13. ^ "Ukić na pauzu zbog slomljenog prsta". kosarka.org (in Croatian). 2011-12-30. Archived from the original on 2014-12-05. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  14. ^ PANATHINAIKOS signs playmaker Ukic
  15. ^ "Panathinaikosu slavlje u kaotičnom finalu grčkog kupa, Roko Ukić MVP". hrsport.net (in Croatian). 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  16. ^ "Greek League finals, Game 2: June 9, 2013". euroleague.net. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  17. ^ "Profile on Euroleague.net". euroleague.net. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  18. ^ "Top 16 Game 8 bwin tri-MVPs: Devin Smith, Roko Ukic and Luka Zoric". euroleague.net. 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  19. ^ "Player of the Game: Roko Ukic, Panathinaikos Athens". youtube.com. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  20. ^ "Greens' Ukic expected to miss 6 weeks with injury". euroleague.net. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  21. ^ "Kapetan reprezentacije Roko Ukić u Cedeviti". kkcedevita.hr (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  22. ^ Pallacanestro Varese announces Roko Ukic
  23. ^ Roko Ukic, Pallacanestro Varese officially part ways
  24. ^ Pallacanestro Cantù lands Roko Ukic
  25. ^ Roko Ukic signs one-year deal with AEK Athens
  26. ^ "He is back - Roko Leni Ukić signs 2-year deal with Cedevita". aba-liga.com. 22 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Roko u Parizu; Ukić potpisao za Levallois". sportklub.hr. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Antibes Sharks land Roko Leni Ukic". Sportando. July 31, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  29. ^ "Roko Leni Ukić moves to Cedevita Olimpija". aba-liga.com. 16 July 2020. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  30. ^ Archive.FIBA.com Roko-Leni UKIC 2003 FIBA U-19 World Championship.
  31. ^ "Ukić treći najbolji strijelac Hrvatske svih vremena, znate li tko su prva dvojica?". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 4 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  32. ^ "CROATIA UNVEIL AMBITIOUS EUROBASKET SQUAD". eurobasket2015.org. 4 September 2015. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  33. ^ "CZECHS MAKE FIRST QUARTER-FINAL TRIP". .eurobasket2015.org. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  34. ^ "Zvuči sjajno: Poslušajte kako na bubnjevima 'roka' Leni Ukić". 24sata.hr (in Croatian). 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  35. ^ "Focus on: Roko Ukic, Panathinaikos Athens". youtube.com. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  36. ^ Sara Ukic has been born. Archived September 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit