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Dusan v Goliath
NOVI SAD (Dusan Bulut's 3x3 Thrill) - There is a place in the heart of current Israel, by the name of Shfela. It is a series of ridges and valleys that are connected to the Judaic mountain on the east by the broad, flat plains of the Mediterranean. It is a breathtaking region, home to vineyards, wheat fields and forests. But it is also of great strategic importance.
In the 11th century BC, the Philistines sent their best warrior, a giant named Goliath to fight the opponent one-on-one. The winner got the valley.
In the 21st century AD, August 2012, I fought my own giants: Spain's Jorge Garbajosa, the USA's Ira Brown and France's JBAM. Unlike them, who were some of the most recognisable contestants, my teammates and I did not have a successful background. In fact, we had to face a number of challenges in order to literally go from the streets to the World Championships podium in Athens' Zappeion Square.
I spent most of my time trying to refute stereotypes about myself as a streetball player in the basketball world, but here I was at the (first) FIBA 3x3 World Championships. Happy people do what they enjoy, and enjoy what they do ... I thought to myself.
And I didn't do any of that for money and fame. All the problems and situations I was faced with helped me improve and gave me courage to face the more complex circumstances. I've invested in the future and had the opportunity to choose my own destiny. The greatest blessing is that essential feeling of freedom and independence. That is why I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.
Goliath was over two metres tall, had a bronze helmet on his head and armour over his body. With him he carried a spear and a sword as well as a big shield. He expected a warrior similar to him, who will confront him in a hand-to-hand fight. When only David accepted the challenge, his king offered him his spear and armour. However, David said it would only slow him down. He was rather short and looked like a little boy dressed in plain shepherd's clothes. As he walked towards his rival, he armed himself with five pebbles from the ground and put them in his bag.
What happened next is part of the legend - from a great distance, before Goliath was able to reach him with his spear - David hit him with a stone from his sling and in that dazed state cut off his head with his sword.
Following David's recipe, during that hot night, on that Antique square, we scored from long distance, played using speed, tricking monstrous giants out of the paint and remained alone under the hoop. I had only one thought in my head: that nothing except a gold medal would save me from mockery and humiliation back in Serbia.
David needed only one victory and I just received an invitation that thirty days from now in Moscow I have to face new giants.
Dusan Domovic Bulut
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