Athlete of the Week: Sava Dragic

Sava Dragic didn’t excel at soccer growing up, but, through hard work and determination, Dragic created a successful soccer career in his home country of Serbia.

Dragic said, “When I was a kid, I used to do a lot of sports, and soccer was one of the sports that I was the worst at. It was the only sport that I wanted to improve, so I started practicing it, and now I’m still doing it today.”

All of Dragic’s efforts have paid off, as he has garnered a number of impressive soccer achievements.

In his hometown of Belgrade, Serbia, Dragic played for FK Policjac Belgrade and was the youngest member to ever play on their senior squad. Dragic also served as team captain for Serbia’s U-19 division soccer team and won the country’s first league title.

Dragic described the transition from Serbia to the U.S. as fairly easy due to his tight schedule.

“At the beginning, I thought it was going to be hard, but [my schedule] was packed with so many things that I had to do, so I had forgotten about feeling homesick. When the semester ended, and I finally had some spare time, I realized that I could really use a trip home, and that’s what I did. But I didn’t really feel homesick at all with all of the things that I had to do,” he said.

Dragic is a freshman computer science major and hopes to use his degree to travel.

“I picked out this major because it’s one of the majors that allows me to get a job easily anywhere in the world,” Dragic said. “And that’s really what I want.”

When he is not working on academics or practicing soccer, Dragic enjoys participating in charity events around campus.

Dragic offered some insight into his passion for soccer.

What do you think is the hardest part of playing soccer?
“The hardest part is trying to make a team in to a single unit, where everyone performs together and thinks together. If you get a team who would die for each other, then that’s what every other team is trying to get — to be united.”

What is the most rewarding part of playing soccer?
“The friendships that I have acquired. All of the people whom I’ve met through soccer are the friends who I still have today. Meeting people from all around the world, and being on a team with them and being friends with them, is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Have you had any coaches who influenced you during your soccer career?
“My coach back home. He took on the role of a second father in my life. He’s been my coach for 10 years and has taught me everything about soccer and a lot of life related stuff as well.”

Are there any professional athletes whom you look up to?
“A lot of professional athletes, especially the ones who come from my country. Not just by their athletic achievements but also by their humanitarian work.”

If there was one thing that you could change about soccer, what would it be?
“In the NCAA rules, I would change the time limit. I hate the countdown because, the last ten seconds, everyone stops playing. That’s one of the biggest things that I don’t like about it.”

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
“I love listening to music, drawing and just going to the beach and enjoying Florida while I’m here.”

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