Bozicevic brothers relish opportunity to travel to Ireland with Waynesburg men’s basketball
Brothers Frank and Mark Bozicevic traveled beyond the borders of the U.S. once as kids, but the trip to Canada, they said, didn’t register as they were too young to remember much of the details of the journey.
The Gateway graduates and members of the Waynesburg men’s basketball team hope their current 10-day team trip to Ireland contains a plethora of positive memories, both on and off the court.
“It’s a trip with my favorite people,” said Frank Bozicevic, a senior guard and returning starter.
“I couldn’t wait to get back to campus to get ready for the trip, especially now with Mark playing. He’s already like a brother with the other guys on the team.”
Nine members of the team, along with the Yellowjackets coaching staff that includes newly hired head coach Tim Fusina, embarked on the trip to the Emerald Isle on Sunday. The itinerary mixes sightseeing and 10 practices with three games against some of the top club competition in the country.
“You’re with your friends, you’re playing basketball, and you get to experience a new country and culture. I don’t know what is better than that,” Frank Bozicevic said.
The Ireland trip is a special one for Mark Bozicevic, who committed to play at Waynesburg before graduating from Gateway in 2018. He said after a time of reassessing his place at Waynesburg and not playing this past season, he re-committed to playing for the Yellowjackets and is looking forward to his first collegiate campaign.
“As the year went on, I got more comfortable. I went to games, and I realized how much I missed it,” said Mark Bozicevic, known as a 3-point threat during his playing days at Gateway.
“I felt more at home, and I decided to stay. Now that this year is getting closer, I am ready to put my all back into it.”
Fusina said it’s been a busy time since he was officially hired July 19, but with several of the veteran players leading the way, the transition also has been as smooth as possible.
“I think this trip is a tremendous advantage for us,” Fusina said. “It’s something that not a lot of schools at our level have the ability to do. As a new coach coming in and getting a lot of work in already, this is something that is vital to our success. Frank’s been one of those guys who has helped me a lot get settled into my new coaching role in the program. I am looking to continue to bond with the players, not only on the court but through all of the other opportunities on the trip.”
Frank Bozicevic appeared in a combined 41 games with six starts over his freshman and sophomore seasons. His role increased significantly in the 2018-19 season as he started 24 of his team’s 26 contests and finished third on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game.
He led the team in steals (48) and averaged 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 81 percent from the free-throw line.
“Personally, I thought I made good strides last season, offensively and defensively,” Frank Bozicevic said. “Going into my senior year, I want to be known as one of the better-balanced players in the league. I want to put people on notice that I can make shots, distribute the ball, get guys open and also be a havoc on defense.”
Waynesburg is hoping to improve on an 8-18 overall record and a 7-9 mark in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. The Yellowjackets saw its 2018-19 season come to a close with a loss to Westminster in the first round of the PAC Tournament.
“The way (the seniors) look at it, this is our last year, so we want to give it our all,” Frank Bozicevic said. “There’s no next season. We have one goal, and that’s to win the conference championship. We’ve been building towards that over the past couple of years.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-856-7400 x8632, [email protected] or via Twitter .