EuroCup stepping stones: Dusko Savanovic

May 15, 2020 by Print
EuroCup stepping stones: Dusko Savanovic

The 7DAYS EuroCup has always been a stepping stone to greatness as the stories of former players like Dusko Savanovic attest. Born in Belgrade, Savanovic grew up with FMP Zeleznik's youth teams, which at the time were well-known for developing talent. FMP produced Milos Teodosic, Ognjen Askrabic, Zoran Erceg and Aleksandar Rasic, among others, and Savanovic made his EuroCup debut with FMP.

EuroCup experience

Savanovic made his EuroCup debut in the 2005-06 campaign at the age of 22. Already in his second game, people started to take notice as he went off for 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting and a PIR of 31 in a road win at Queluz. FMP finished the regular season with a 7-3 record and Savanovic ranked 10th in PIR (18.7) and 13th in scoring (15.8 ppg.). However, the team lost in the eighthfinals against ASVEL Villeurbanne. Savanovic went on to play for UNICS Kazan in the next two EuroCup campaigns. He helped UNICS reach the EuroCup Semifinals in 2007 before falling to Real Madrid. A year later, Savanovic averaged 11.2 points and led UNICS to the EuroCup Final Eight where it lost against Akasvayu Girona in the quarterfinals. In his first three EuroCup seasons, Savanovic's teams won 27 of their 43 games (62.8%).

What came after

Savanovic joined Cajasol Sevilla and exploded in the 2009-10 season when he averaged 14.7 points and led the team to the Spanish League playoffs for the first time in a decade. That led to an offer from Valencia Basket, where he established himself as one of the best stretch power forwards in Europe. In his first EuroLeague season, Savanovic averaged 11.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 21 games in leading Valencia to the playoffs. After losing to Real Madrid in a five-game series, Savanovic was selected for the 2010-11 All-EuroLeague Second Team.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul bought out his contract and Savanovic played for the Turkish powerhouse from 2011 to 2014. In 2013, for the second time in his EuroLeague career, Savanovic was one win away from the Final Four, but Efes lost against Olympiacos Piraeus in Game 5 of their playoff series. He played two more seasons for FC Bayern Munich in which he participated in both the EuroLeague and the EuroCup. Savanovic finished his career with Italian side Dinamo Sassari. For his career. Savanovic scored 1,155 points in 108 EuroLeague games (10.7 ppg.) and 646 points (10.8 ppg.) in 60 EuroCup contests.