Ukic could have been the only NBA player of the Croatia National Team.
But last January, he asked to be waived by the Milwaukee Bucks to come back to Europe and play for Euroleague powerhouse Fenerbahçe Istanbul.
At only 25, his talent and his experience make him the leader of Croatia.
Roko-Leni Ukic was born and raised in Split and so naturally he started to play basketball with KK Split, following in the footsteps of legends like Toni Kukic, Dino Radja or Zoran Savic.
He won the national youth championship twice with the cadet team and was named MVP of the competition in 2000.
He debuted with the senior team that same year, at the early age of 16.
In 2002, he led the Croatian Junior National Team to the Gold medal at the 2002 FIBA Europe U18 Championship with Marko Banic and Marko Tomas.
He was drafted in 2005 by the Toronto Raptors in the second round, but decided he was not ready to play in the NBA. That’s why he joined TAU Vitoria to play both in the Liga ACB and the Euroleague.
One year later, he moved to Barcelona.
In 2007, Jasmin Repesa, who was also his coach in the national team, convinced him to sign with Roma.
After being the reserve point guard in Vitoria and Barcelona, he assumed a starter role in Italy.
This experience gave confidence to him and he decided in 2008 that it was time to play in the NBA.
In Toronto, he was the backup to his former Vitoria teammate Jose Manuel Calderon, averaging only 4.2 points and 2.1 assists in 12 minutes.
At the end of his rookie season, he was sent to Milwaukee.
But he averaged only 8 minutes per game last season with the Bucks and decided to come back to Europe.
He has played with Croatia in three EuroBasket tournaments as well as the 2008 Olympic Games.
Ukic is a scoring point guard, but also a good playmaker. He is also a reliable defender thanks to his height and long arms. He still needs to improve his outside shooting.
Championnat du monde de basket l Campeonato del mundo de baloncesto l Basketball-Weltmeisterschaft l Παγκόσμιο Πρωτάθλημα Μπάκετ l Svetovno prvenstvo v košarki l بطولة العالم في كرة السلة