Changing Courts: Former OSU tennis star Adamovic suiting up for basketball 25 Oct 09:18
Basketball is Katarina Adamovic’s favorite sport.
She doesn’t like to dribble up and down the court, though, preferring to rather play defense.
The former Oklahoma State tennis phenom is spending one more year exhibiting her exuberant personality in front of the Cowgirl faithful. Instead of dazzling on the tennis court, though, Adamovic is moving to the hardwood and trading in her racquet for a pair of high-top shoes.Adamovic, a native of Cacak, Serbia, finished her tennis career in the spring, but as she is continuing work on her General Studies degree, Adamovic has eligibility in other sports. She knew which one she wanted to pick.
“(Assistant) coach (Bill) Annan told me to join and it was kind of up in the air but then I thought, this is what I want,” Adamovic said. “I want this so let’s do it. I think that I have something, maybe it’s not the game, but something I can contribute and help the girls in a way and I’m actually excited to have one more year in the orange and black honestly.”
Annan was on board as was coach Jim Littell, who decided to reward Adamovic with a scholarship for all her service to the school so far and also to help her finish her degree.
“She has represented herself, the tennis program and her family in a very positive fashion here at Oklahoma State,” Littell said. “You like to reward those type of young ladies and those are the type of people who you want in your program on a daily basis.”
Adamovic is currently an observer at the Cowgirls’ practices, but she is well-versed in many of the intricacies of the sport. As a girl, she played both tennis and basketball, before starting to solely play tennis when she was 12.
It wasn’t shooting hoops or playing H-O-R-S-E either; she played pickup games with her cousin, Mihailo Jovicic, who is one of the hottest prospects in EuroLeague.
Jovicic, a point guard for Mega Bemax in Serbia, a club that has produced such NBA players as Nikola Jokic and Boban Marjanovic, was the first person Adamovic told about her new venture.
“He was super excited and said he wished he could come to one of the games,” Adamovic said. “I told him that I would let him know everything. He said he would give me a few tips so I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, I’m open for any advice. I need it.’”
Littell, who knows it will take a while for Adamovic to get up to the speed of the Division I level, is excited for her to enjoy playing another season as well as the competitive nature she brings to the locker room.
“I have watched her play and she is very intense, very demanding of herself and that’s evident every time that you watch her play and she likes to win,” Littell said. “You want to surround yourself and your program with people of that attitude.”
Adamovic, a former All-American, will have to adjust to being one of the shortest players on the Cowgirls’ squad, standing at 5-foot-8. Although she loves defense – preferring it on the tennis court and holding the same opinion on the hardwood – she will try to hit a 3-pointer if she is given the chance.
Littell said he appreciates how realistic Adamovic is and how humble she comes into practice every day. On a team that has six new players, Littell said Adamovic has done a good job of helping the chemistry develop.
“She has fit in very well with our players,” Littell said. “She has always got a smile on her face and she has a very optimistic view on everything that she is doing from tennis to the classroom to basketball and that positive attitude is very infectious. ... She is very observant, but it is a different game than she is accustomed to and she is just trying to figure a lot of that out. I will try to implement her into some of the things we’re doing as the season pregresses.”
Adamovic has not forgotten about her teammates back at the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center, playing in the Stillwater Pro Tennis Classic in September and keeping up with how Cowgirl tennis is doing.
She’s hoping they will come see her at Gallagher-Iba Arena this winter and see her take on this new challenge – playing a game she has always loved.
“Every sport you need to play for people in the same way” Adamovic said. “This is a bigger crowd than we had in tennis and I think it is going to be a great experience. ... It’s hard, it’s so busy for me but this is what I wanted and I’m really excited to see how I’m going to deal with everything and the challenges of a new team and new sport, but so far so good.”