Marko Zdero about Serbian 3x3 Academy
    The first 3x3 Academy in the world has started its work recently. Serbian 3x3 Academy based in Novi Sad began a new chapter in the development of 3x3 basketball. Under the direction of Coach Datcha, Nebojsa Boskovic, Fedja Kamasi and a legend player of Novi Sad and national Serbian team Marko Zdero many Serbian players and not only started training right after the quarantine.

    We spoke with one of the main coaches and world-famous basketball 3x3 player Marko Zdero about this ambitious project, their plans and the story of its creation.

    Tell us about the background of the creation of this Academy? How long have you hatched the idea of creating it? How much did the pandemic effect on timing of its launching?

    Prerequisites are experience, knowledge what all of us have, passion for 3x3 basketball and streetball in history. We had this idea for a long time, but after I've finished my playing carrier, we decided to start it immediately. We know that we need time to raise this Academy to the level that we want it to be. The coronavirus pandemic is a nuisance in some way, but on the other side it helped us, because all young and perspective 3x3 players were here, so we could camp with some great players.

    Tell us about the main goals of the academy.

    Our Academy has two branches: one is teaching players by means of practicing individual skills, team tactics and 3x3 camps. The second is bringing up coaches through the clinics and camps.

    So, developing quality teams, players and coaches.

    How is the training process structured at the academy? What are the training levels? Is there a prospect of recruiting and training young players from school age?

    The training process depends on many things. In this situation we improve individual skills, because we didn't create teams, but that is something what we will definitely do in the future.

    Usually, we have young 5x5 players and 18+ 3x3 players. That is the system in our Academy and also in our federation.
    Tell us about the chronology of the creation of the academy? Who came with the initiative? What part did the Serbian Basketball Federation and other partners take in it?

    This is a private Academy, so the federation has nothing here, despite the fact that we work for the federation as national team coaches.

    As I said, all of us had the idea to make something like this by ourselves, but we decided to make it together what eventually was the right thing to do.

    Marko Zdero, Danilo Lukic and Nebojsa Boskovic. We called Fedja Kamasi to do the physical education. This is the short story.

    How many teams / players do you currently have in the training process? Is the academy set up for expansion? Are you going to work with non-Serbian teams or is it an exceptional project to raise the level of Serbian 3x3 basketball and prepare young players who will replace the elder Serbian teams?

    At this moment we are working with team Novi Sad, professional 3x3 players who play in Japan, one girl from the Serbian 3x3 national team and young 5x5 players.

    Our vision is to help young players in creating new teams, to practice 3x3, but not only in Serbia, even more we want to make a global story through the camps by recruiting top players, making teams which will be the best in the world.

    We have Serbian in our name because we are from Serbia, from the country with the most titles and success in this sport in its history, and that is what we want for these teams and nations who are ready to be the best. We are a global Academy.

    When did you begin to think about coaching and when exactly did you finally decide to become a coach after the end of your career?

    During all my career I was interested in coaching. I worked with young kids for a certain period in my playing career, so it is not something completely new for me.

    Coach Datcha began working with Novi Sad in 2014. How was your transition from player to coach in interaction with Datcha? What processes are you responsible for, and for which ones is Datcha in preparing the national team / Novi Sad?

    Firstly, he was my coach, but we had a specific way how all of us practiced. All plans and programs we made were planned together with other coaches. The transition was easy because we know how we both think, it's sometimes different, but always in the same way!

    For now we do everything together. As a coach he has more experience but I see some things on the other side, so we make our decisions together.
    What processes are Nebojsa Boskovic and Fedja Kamasi responsible for at the academy?

    Nebojsa Boskovic is still playing, but also he coached the Chinese and Serbian national teams and he has the same ambitions like us. In the Academy he does 3x3 coaching. Fedja Kamasi is in charge of paths players' strength and condition.

    How did your gaming experience affect your coaching?

    I suppose very well. I know how players think, and what can be bad and what can be good. I think that I know better how to communicate with players, how to make them understand all the things we plan, our philosophy of the game.

    In an interview for FIBA3x3 Datcha said "Players create coaches, coaches create players". What do you think about this statement?

    That is a fact. If you coach a player and he became a better player and he shows results, these results make the coach bigger. Not always, sometimes you need time, but in professional sport only results can measure your coaching ability and your work.

    In the United League 3x3 Serbia is represented by the Old Town team. The team takes third place in the overall standings after 4 tours. How do you assess the chances of Old Town to win the second season of the League? Are the players of this team involved in the training process of the academy?

    I know all players from Old Town, I played against some of them, and some of them I coached in national team and in Academy (Trajkovic, Kapetanovic - new player). All I can say that there is combination between experienced and young players, generally talented team, but in this moment they are still in process to be in, for example, top10. That means a lot of work.

    Can they win the United League Europe 3x3? Why not!

    By the way, Serbia became another country where quarantine was abolished. Moreover, last weekend was held the first tour of Serbia 3x3 national tournament where the first place was taken by the 3x3ub team with Ivan Popovic @ivanub, Marko Brankovic @brankovic_24 (has played for Ljubljana 3x3 team in ULE3x3) and Nebojsa Kilijan (@kilijan___n) (has played for Old Town in 4th tour of ULE3x3) in roster.

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