Bozicevic shifts from diamond to court, evolves as athlete

Frank Bozicevic has been playing basketball games at the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse for four seasons.  In the midst of his senior season, he serves as one of the catalysts for the men’s basketball team. A decade ago, the thought of Bozicevic one day being in this position wasn’t even on his mind.

“I know people who talk about how they’ve played basketball since they were four,” Bozicevic said. “That wasn’t me. Baseball was my main sport as a child.”

As he grew up, Bozicevic saw a change in the type of athlete he wanted to be. The one-time baseball shortstop thought he’d be better-suited for a faster game, so he devoted more time to basketball.

“I stopped playing baseball after eighth grade,” Bozicevic said. “I realized that basketball was a faster pace. As I got older baseball got slower and basketball kept picking up. I liked the faster paced game.”

A sport change isn’t the only switch Bozicevic made in his athletic career. He wasn’t always the ball-handling basketball player that we’ve seen at Waynesburg.

Although this element of his game has been developed in the last few years, Bozicevic has gotten used to it in college.

“In high school my game was to catch and shoot threes,”Bozicevic said. “I didn’t really handle the ball at all in high school. In college, I developed a point guard role. Since then I’ve felt comfortable having the ball in my hands.”

A more consistent part of his game has been his defensive play. Bozicevic has always been an aggressive defender, and has led the Yellow Jackets with nearly 50 steals this season. This element of Bozicevic’s game was praised by first-year coach Tim Fusina.

“He has good length and can keep the ball in front of him,” Fusina said. “He’s active on the ball, he anticipates well, and he contains the ball well.”

Since arriving on campus, Fusina has implemented the ‘Pack Line’ defensive scheme. Bozicevic was excited about the change, and is pleased with the defensive potential that it provided the team with.

“It’s been fun,” Bozicevic said. “I had never played the Pack Line defense before. I knew that the defense was going to stop teams from getting in the paint.”

The willingness to learn a new system late in his career shows a lot about Bozicevic’s character. Fusina said this has led to the senior’s improvement.

“He has a willingness to learn and adapt,” Fusina said. “That’s why he’s gotten better as the year’s gone on.”

The poise that Bozicevic plays the game with was echoed by his senior teammate, Cam Auld.

“He has quick hands on defense,” Auld said. “He also plays offense with that swagger and chip on his shoulder.”

Despite Bozicevic’s skill set, most say the best part about him is his personality. Bozicevic and Auld have grown close in their time at Waynesburg, bonding over the sport they both love.

“He’s one of my best friends now,”Auld said. “We’ve talked a lot about basketball and where we want to go with it. That’s something we have a lot of common ground on. We’re tight.”

Even though Fusina has only been at Waynesburg for a limited time, he and Bozicevic have also become close in the past year. 

“I sat down with him when I got the job and we went to lunch,” Fusina said. “He’s someone I have a great relationship with, and I expect that to continue past graduation.”

The willingness of the senior to keep improving and adapting over the years has defined Bozicevic, as both a player and person.

“He’s always willing to learn,” Fusina said. “He comes up here often just to talk and see how things are going. He’s an outstanding person and has a great personality.”