16 - 22
December 2016
13 Dzanan Musa (BIH)
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Musa ready to help make more history for Bosnia and Herzegovina

SAMSUN (FIBA U18 European Championship 2016) - Dzanan Musa has already made so much history for Bosnia and Herzegovina. But a victory over Spain in the FIBA U18 European Championship Classification 5-6 game would add another chapter.

Knocking off Spain would mean Bosnia and Herzegovina would qualify for their first-ever appearance in the FIBA U19 World Championship, taking place next summer in Cairo.

"It would mean everything for us to make it there," said Musa, who leads the tournament in scoring with 21.6 points to go with 6.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals.

The 1999-born star guided Bosnia and Herzegovina to their first-ever FIBA U17 World Championship in the summer of 2015 by clinching their first-ever FIBA U16 European Championship title. Musa then helped his country to ninth place at the U17 tournament with an All-Star Five performance which included a record-setting 50 points in a game against Chinese Taipei.

Beating Spain would also help ease the concerns of the often fickle Bosnia and Herzegovina fans back home.

"The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina are strange. When you are on top, you're Michael Jordan or Drazen Petrovic. When you're a little bit down like we were against France (in the Quarter-Finals loss) you're the worst things, the worst guys and you don't do anything for the country, and that's a little bit painful for us," Musa said.

The loss against France gave the Balkan country an important lesson, Musa said.

"It would mean everything for us to make it (to the FIBA U19 World Championship 2017)." - Musa

"To just never give up. We gave up too soon. We had too much respect for them at the beginning of the game. But we saw after half-time that we were competitive against them. But we found that out too late and we lost the game because of that."

Musa himself continues to learn. One of the things he's working on is allowing others to make decisions and control the ball - something that is commonplace at the next level of senior basketball.

"Junior basketball and senior basketball are two different worlds. In junior basketball all eyes are on you and two or three guys guard you. It isn't like that in senior basketball because all the other guys can hurt you too," Musa said.

Musa already has had a major taste of senior basketball as he plays for Cedevita Zagreb and was one of the leaders for Bosnia and Herzegovina's senior national team during the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers.

Dzanan Musa played a major role for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers.

"It was a very, very good experience for me because I had a chance to play with Mirza Teletovic and Jusuf Nurkic, who was my roommate. So that was kind of special for me," said Musa, who averaged 8.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in four games. "I learned to never give up and also that my behaviour has to be better at that level. I'm just a kid who has talent, but to be a good senior player I still have to work hard."

Getting a chance to play against the elite in the world at U19 level would be a huge step as well - one from which Bosnia and Herzegovina are just one step away.