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Unseen service
May 2, 2024
SOCCER STAR Dayne Bartscht ‘04, pictured on the right, was a star player and captain of the soccer team at Greenhills. “He was the guy you wanted on your team and the player that other teams loved to hate,” Associate Director of Admissions and former athletic director Eric Gajar said. “He was chippy, and he didn’t take anything from other people.”
Brewing it up
May 1, 2024

The big Serb

Nikola Sarcevich moves from Serbia, shines on American basketball court
DRIVING HARD Sarcevich drives past an FGR Player in their rivalry game. “Even though we’re missing guys, we find a way to win,” said Sarcevich.
DRIVING HARD Sarcevich drives past an FGR Player in their rivalry game. “Even though we’re missing guys, we find a way to win,” said Sarcevich.

Moving from another country is a complete change in lifestyle for anyone, including Nikola Sarcevich ‘24.  But there is one familiar element that has always been there for him even since his elementary school days; basketball. He has gone from playing overseas to being named the MLive Athlete of the week in January, and it has been a long journey. Sarcevich began his playing career in Serbia where he joined a local team there as a fourth-grader. From there, he continued playing all the way until he moved to Ann Arbor six years later, one month before beginning his sophomore year. He spoke English well when he arrived, allowing him to overcome one of the barriers for players of any sport coming from another country. This year, leading his team alongside the all-senior starting lineup, they have won eight of their last 10 games, including two wins over rival Father Gabriel Richard. 

Sarcevich is statistically playing his best season yet, especially in recent games. Head coach Andrew Wright has been impressed with his performance as of late.

“Offensively, he’s a huge part of the team,” said Wright. “Other coaches will try and game plan for him but so many times I’ve seen him make a shot over top of someone and the coach will just drop their head. He’s a very skilled shooter and certainly a great ball handler.”

“I’ve definitely improved from last season, and I’m taking more threes than last year. Just trying to get every win.” said Sarcevich.

While being a great offensive player, Sarcevich and Wright both agree that he has some work to do on the defensive side of his game, but has shown some good improvement this season. 

“I’ve improved defensively, [Wright] would definitely agree with that.” said Sarcevich. “He knows how much I want to see him improve defensively, and I can see him putting in the effort. Every time he gets better at something, it makes a huge difference.” said Wright.

Offensively, Sarcevich leads the team in points as well as in Wright’s opinion being the most impactful offensive player on the team. His success has come from his ability to reach over defenders and make tough shots in the paint.

“I think everyone knows he’s our most vital offensive player,” said Wright. “I think the team has confidence with him out there, because they know he’s a guy that can get you a basket. He has performed really well under pressure at times when some members of the team weren’t present and he was forced to step up.” 

Sarcevich’s size has contributed a lot to his accomplishments this season. Standing at six feet six inches tall, being a big target in game has given the team an option on almost every push up-court.

“Having him as a big target is a big part of the team’s success,” said Wright. “He has big hands and can calmly distribute the ball back out to other people which is great. We have a lot of guys that help us in that way but having somebody that size that can handle the ball is just basically like having a big guard out there. He’s an easy target.”

“With his height and his skill set, it’s really hard for other teams to defend him. He creates a lot of mismatches for us that way.” said Isaac Hess ‘24.

Sarcevich does not credit himself with the team’s accomplishments this season, being 9-5 in the closing quarter of the season. Instead, he believes that it is his teammates who have just as big a part in this season as he has. 

“We’re getting better each game,” said Sarcevich. “I don’t think we have one single  player as a leader for the team, but I think the whole starting lineup, we’re all leaders for sure.”

Being a senior, Sarcevich is playing his last season as a gryphon. However, he has not ruled out continuing to play elsewhere or at a higher level. 

“I think I could play somewhere,” said Sarcevich. “I don’t think at a super high level, but maybe division three or something similar.”  

“I think that he could play somewhere for sure, maybe division three. He’s good enough to do it.” said Hess.

Sarcevich has led his team through a promising regular season and is now ready to take the team all the way back to the district semifinals where last season the team suffered a final minute loss to Plymouth Christian, 55-58. With a well-seasoned starting lineup, the team is looking to Sarcevich as they prepare to make a run. 


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