Kosovo rings home
OSU's Savovic as concerned about bombings as basketball
Posted: Wednesday March 24, 1999 09:58 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Boban Savovic's thoughts this week alternate between basketballs and bombs.
While the Ohio State freshman from Serbia is busy preparing for Saturday's Final Four game with Connecticut in St. Petersburg, Fla., his heart and mind are thousands of miles away in war-torn Yugoslavia.
Savovic grew up in Montenegro, a province just north of Albania and west of Kosovo on the Adriatic Sea. His parents, Nikola and Olivera, live in the city of Herceg-Novi, within 100 miles of the most intense fighting between Serbians and ethnic Albanians.
NATO bombings began Wednesday in Kosovo.
"There is no fighting in the cities now. It is all in the mountains. But it is war, so they are in danger," Savovic said.
The 19-year-old speaks to his parents by telephone twice a week but he has not seen them in more than 18 months.
Savovic's parents haven't seen him play since he immigrated to the United States.
He had hoped his parents would be able to see the Final Four game on television.
"I talk to them, but they say they won't [see it]," he said. "It won't be shown. I really don't know the reason."
Point guard Scoonie Penn said Savovic has talked to teammates about the devastation in Yugoslavia, but remains upbeat. He said it won't affect Savovic's play Saturday.
"He talks about it sometimes," Penn said. "He talks about how they're at war, and how his friends may die. Boban is a kid who's been through a lot. Boban is a very mature freshman in terms of life experiences."
Savovic just hopes for peace.
"My country has been at war for the last 10 years and I don't know why. Who knows why?" he said.
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