Until last January, Ante Tomic was still considered as a prospect.
But as soon as he signed with Real Madrid, he quickly turned his high potential into great talent and showed it was time for him to play at the highest level.
He will now have the opportunity to show it at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
The big man was born in Dubrovnik, where he started playing basketball.
He then played with Zadar youth teams before joining KK Zagreb in 2004, where he integrated the senior team.
Incredibly mobile for his height, he even played in the shooting guard position when he was young, showing very good ball handling and impressive passing skills.
That’s why a lot of experts started drawing comparisons with Pau Gasol and Toni Kukoc.
But Tomic needed additional time to develop and played almost six seasons with KK Zagreb to gain experience, confirming that you sometimes have to be patient with big men.
In 2009, he was named the MVP of the Adriatic League, averaging 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.
This season, he could have earned the award for the second year in a row, being the best scorer and rebounder of the competition with 17.9 points and 8.9 rebounds, but he left Zagreb in January.
He had caught the eye of coach Ettore Messina, and Real Madrid signed him to a 3.5 year contract.
The Croatian center quickly fitted into the squad and even became the best player of the Spanish based team in the Euroleague, averaging 11.0 points and 3.6 rebounds.
Tomic will play in his first major competition with the senior national team at this FIBA World Championship. He will draw a lot of hopes from Croatian fans since Nikola Vujcic and Mario Kasun will not be in Turkey.