March 13, 2022 – Legendary former Croatia water polo player Damir Burić played an official game for Pula’s KK Stoja against Rijeka’s Kvarner Junior in the 16th round of the Second League – West on Saturday night. The 41-year-old talks about why he swapped the pool for the court.
It was a historic Saturday for Pula sports and Stoja basketball, as the famous Pula water polo player Damir Burić joined them on the Stoja primary school court.
Burić was a significant part of Pula water polo history back when the city was without a pool. He won everything possible with the Croatia national team – Olympic, world, and European gold, while the same goes for the club level, as there is no trophy he did not win, reports Jutarnji List.
Here is a breakdown
– Gold (London 2012)
– silver (Rio de Janeiro 2016)
– Gold (Melbourne 2007)
– silver (Kazan 2015)
– bronze (Rome 2009 and Shanghai 2011)
– gold (Zagreb 2010)
– Silver (Kranj 2003)
– gold (Pro Recco 2010 and 2012)
Thus, Burić made his debut in the yellow and blue jersey in a significant victory against Rijeka – 119: 66.
Buric participated in the victory with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and several attractive “water polo” assists, and he played for two quarters.
“Ha, ha, it turned out to be a much bigger story than I thought … It’s true, but I just started training,” said Damir Buric. Although the rhythm of training suggests it is more serious.
“Monday to Friday, once a day, 8 to 10 pm. Listen, after water polo, where you have two workouts a day for two and a half hours each, this is nothing, haha. In essence, I decided to train for myself , to clear my head and body. It would not be good to relax. “
His connection to basketball is not surprising.
“If we look purely at height, yes, I have some prerequisites.” Burić is 205 cm, after all.
“For athletes, it’s hard to separate yourself from sports just like that. I’ve been playing basketball since high school. When I got serious about water polo, I couldn’t practice regularly anymore. But even then, when I had some free weeks, I’d play. “
Can he dunk?
“I could, but now I’m not even trying, haha. I’m taking care of my spine. I train with young guys, 16-18 years old, a few 25-26 year olds, one is 33, and I am 41. So be careful. I run, I wear out, but I still avoid some things. I mean, I can dunk it in, it’s not a big success, but I save myself. “
How does he shoot?
“Haha, I have to admit that when I was younger, I shot better. However, it’s good and getting better.”
He plays on the wing.
“Wing, center, sort of. I mean, it’s the Second League. After all, we don’t have a lot of tall players. Thank God it’s like that because I wouldn’t even bother if it was different.”
How did he decide to join his hometown club, Pula’s Stoja?
“In principle, I played all last summer, but not seriously training. The club president, Šime Vidulin, is a good friend of mine from school days, and he persuaded me to come to training. So I trained a little for myself because swimming and gym get a little boring when you’re always alone. And then I came about a month and a half ago. I’ve been with them constantly ever since. “
Stoja Basketball Club has certainly never had a more celebrated member!
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