Northern Star: Vid Milenkovic
For this week's Northern Star, we talk with one of the top players on the UWS men's basketball team.
SUPERIOR, Wis. – Wisconsin-Superior’s Vid Milenkovic is a long way from home.
“I’m from Zurich, Switzerland and I got recruited for basketball. Eventually I moved to Serbia and I played high school basketball over there,” said Milenkovic.
And basketball is in his blood as his father is a coach overseas.
“There were days when I really didn’t want to go, but he still made me. Looking back, eventually I did find love for it and I’m glad I’m still doing it,” Milenkovic said.
After high school, an agent sent out his recruiting tape across the United States. And that’s how he found UWS.
“UW-Superior has a great niche for international students. There’s opportunities out there. Vid is one of those examples. We’ve got two other international players on our roster right now and Vid’s been a great role model for them,” head coach Greg Polkowski said.
But Milekovic has had to battle a lot of adversity with the jackets as his junior year was cut short due to injury.
“I almost stayed and just wanted to finish school, even forget about basketball. But something inside told me not to. Of course, it’s hard and not easy. But at the same time, it’s a process and a journey that I really enjoy. And I stayed optimistic and positive and just blessed to be here where I’m at right now,” Milenkovic said.
“The dedication that he’s put in, not only to raise his game to the next level it’s at right now, but to go through two major injuries. A lot of people talk about that. A lot of people value that. But to actually do that is a testament to his care for the program,” said Polkowski.
Now healthy, Milenkovic is dominating the UMAC, averaging nearly 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, which both rank third in the conference. And this weekend, he scored his 1000th career point in a Yellowjackets uniform.
“He can shoot it from the perimeter. He can go off the bounce, off the dribble and get to the rim. He finishes really well. He can play back-to-basket and has a great feel for the game down there, understands angles,” Polkowski said.
“I’m just blessed to be playing again. And all the winning and the individual awards is just extra,” said Milenkovic.
And thanks to the Swiss army knife, the ‘Jackets are in position for their first conference title since 1941.
“We got to stay sharp. We can’t get too confident, always humble ourselves and never think too far because that’s when you lose focus and just keep doing what we’re doing,” Milenkovic said.
“I know it would be a culmination of him and his classmates, his whole senior class, of what they’ve gone through. But yeah, we’d be lying if we wouldn’t acknowledge that it would a little something special for Vid, having gone through what he has gone through. I’m just happy for him and him just having this opportunity to use his talents and his personality to let it touch everybody. I’m just happy for him and happy to just be a part of it, even from the sidelines,” said Polkowski.