Stefan Jankovic 6'9 wing from Kiski School - National Prep Tip Off Highlights (via CityLeagueHoopsTV)
Stefan Jankovic is coming off of a very successful year at Huntington Prep (WV) and is transitioning to the AAU circuit with Team Takeover Canada/CIA Bounce. We caught up with the 6'10 220 big man as he was buying some Air Jordan's in a Huntington mall.
Stefan talked about his strengths and weaknesses, his play at the Boo Williams (EYBL), and his overall recruitment with us.
Click through to get the down low on Jankovic and his game
Stefan Jankovic was a relative unknown a year ago, but his transfer to Huntington Prep in West Virginia, as well as his play on AAU circuits last summer has turned some heads. Jeff Bzdelik was one of the first people to notice Stefan and he continued to check in on him as his high school year progressed.
"Wake Forest was definitely one of the first high major schools to offer me," said Jankovic. "Along with West Virginiathey have been there since the beginning. That's really important, and something that, when I sit down and make my final decision I will think back to. I have nothing but good thoughts about Wake, they have been very loyal to me. I would say that Wake Forest is my favorite right now
The recruitment has been led by Coach Bzdelik and Coach Pope, and Stefan spoke highly of both of them. "I have developed a very strong relationship with Coach Pope. That is another advantage to knowing them for a while. I am quite comfortable with them and feel like I can really talk to them. Things like that can make a pretty big difference."
Jankovic and his AAU team (CIA Bounce) just finished up their first EYBL tournament at the Boo Williams. He picked up a slight injury in the opening minutes of the first game, but still managed to play all of the games without much of a problem.
"It was the first game of the first tournament. I'm not going to sit out, I want to be out there with my teammates and do everything that I can to help us win. Shooting was not easy for me to do so I just focused on passing the ball for the most part. I believe I went 9/10 for the whole tournament, so while I was not taking a ton of shots, I was very efficient with the shots that I did take."
When asked about his game, Stefan was very quick to point out his strongest point, "Versatility. There are not a lot of 6'10 guys that can pass the ball and move as well as I can. I averaged something around 6 assists this past year, and that is something that I am very proud of."
His weakness is also something that he should overcome with time. "Strength is the biggest problem for me right now. Ballhandling is coming along alright, but I need to be much stronger with it in college than I am now. I'm not too concerned about either one. Time and practice will heal both of those things."
It is this kind of attitude that will help Jankovic succeed wherever he winds up. The native Croatian has picked up a lot of high major offers, and is ranked as a 4* by ESPN. He is planning on making a decision at the end of the AAU season, and has plenty of schools to choose from. One thing that Wake Forest has in it's favor is the style of basketball that Coach Bzdelik plays.
"I feel like I fit right in there with that kind of offense. You look at Carson and what he is doing at the 5 position, and I could easily see myself out there with them running that. It plays to my strengths of a hybrid 3/4, and will allow me some flexibility to use my versatility."
The CIA Bounce are playing in the Pittsburgh Jam Fest next weekend, and then have a break before they head to Dallas for the second EYBL event at the end of April. Once again, I would encourage anybody that can make these events to head out and lend their support to potential future Deacs.
Stefan was a pleasure to talk to and it is easy to see why Coach Bzdelik and Coach Pope are so high on them. It also seems like Wake Forest has a great chance at him and he would be a fantastic addition to the Class of 2012.