Friday, June 20, 2008

Former St. Joe's player dies in Serbia

-Courtesy of St. Joseph's University

Nemanja Petrovic, who played basketball for Saint Joseph's University from 1994 to 1997, passed away this week in his native Serbia.

Petrovic, 34, was hospitalized more than a week ago for an illness, which eventually turned into a viral infection affecting his lungs and heart.

"Nemanja was a young man who fully seized the opportunity provided at Saint Joseph's. An outstanding student, a great teammate and a proud graduate, he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go to his immediate and extended family both in Yugoslavia and America," said
SJU head coach Phil Martelli, who served both as assistant coach and head coach during Petrovic's career.

Petrovic was a member of Saint Joseph's 1997 team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16, was ranked 12th in the nation and won the school's last Atlantic 10 championship. The 6-10 center was also on the Hawks' 1996 team which was the NIT Runner-Up.

Petrovic, a native of Belgrade, came to the United States and completed his scholastic career at North Penn High School. He began his collegiate career at the University of Maryland in 1992 but transferred to Saint Joseph's in 1993.

He played in 18 games in his first season with the Hawks in 1994-95 and was the recipient of the team's Academic Award. He was hindered by a back injury his junior season but earned Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team honors. As a senior, Petrovic started 31 games, averaging 6.9 points and 5.2 rebounds for the squad that reached the Sweet 16. That year, he was a GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, an A-10 All-Academic honoree, and was the recipient of the
Harry Merril Sportsmanship Award from the Philadelphia Big 5.

He graduated from Saint Joseph's in 1997 with a degree in finance.

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