Aug. 6, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- Redshirt sophomore Stefan Nastic recently wrapped up competition as a member of the Serbian National Team at the FIBA U20 European Championship in Slovenia.
A dual citizen of Serbia and Canada, Nastic helped guide Serbia to a fourth-place tournament finish following a 67-66 loss to Spain in the bronze medal game. Serbia was undefeated through its first seven games prior to a 73-68 loss to Lithuania in the semifinals.
"I am truly grateful for the opportunity and proud to have been able to represent my roots and one of the countries that has meant so much to my family," said Nastic, who was born Serbia before moving to Canada as a young child. "I was exposed to different skills, pressure situations and intense preparation. Throughout the entire experience, my love for the game and competition only grew from the first team meeting to the last second of the bronze medal game."
Nastic played in all nine games, averaging 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while shooting 56.8 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. Nastic saw his playing time increase as the tournament progressed, logging at least 19 minutes in each of the last four games while falling just shy of a double-double in three contests during that stretch.
The experience proved to be a valuable one for Nastic, who also competed for Serbia at the FIBA U18 European Championship during the summer of 2010.
|Germany||18||3-6||0-0||7 (OF- 3, DF- 4)||3||6|
|France||7||0-1||0-0||1 (OF- 0, DF- 1)||0||0|
|Ukraine||19||4-6||7-10||7 (OF- 3, DF- 4)||0||15|
|Russia||22||4-6||4-4||9 (OF- 4, DF- 5)||0||12|
|Latvia||19||2-5||5-6||9 (OF- 3, DF- 6)||1||9|
|Lithuania||25||5-7||1-2||9 (OF- 3, DF- 6)||1||11|
|Spain||20||3-5||1-4||4 (OF- 2, DF- 2)||1||7|
Nastic welcomed the opportunity to compete on the international stage after receiving limited playing time during his first few seasons. As a rookie in 2010-11, Nastic appeared in only five games (3.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg) before missing the remainder of the year with a foot injury.
"In order to be more effective, I will always continue to work on my strength and conditioning," added Nastic. "I was very satisfied with myself in this area during the tournament, but I also know there is always work to be done and I look forward to being the best player I can be for our team next year. There won't be a day when I'm not working on my strength or fitness to prepare for the season."
In 25 games as a reserve last year, Nastic averaged 2.0 points and 1.1 rebounds per game. Nastic enjoyed his best game against California on Jan. 29, pouring in a career-high 11 points (7-10 free throws) while grabbing seven rebounds in 19 minutes.
With Stanford losing frontcourt players Josh Owens, Jack Trotter and Andrew Zimmermann to graduation, Nastic will have a chance to showcase his game in an increased role this year.
"I see my role as someone who will come in and do whatever is needed for our team to win," said Nastic. "Whether that is rebounding, energy or a strong presence on both ends of the floor, I am capable of positively contributing to our team goals. I take pride in everything I do, but especially in the low post and adding toughness down low."