Nikola Jovanović ( Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Јовановић , born January 6, 1994) is a Serbian professional basketball player for Crvena zvezda of the Basketball League of Serbia. He played college basketball for USC.

Early life

Growing up in Serbia, Jovanović played basketball for the junior cadet teams of KK Crvena zvezda (2010–11) and KK Partizan (2011–12). [3] After moving to the United States in 2012, he enrolled at Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2012–13, he averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds while leading the Apaches to a 30–4 record and a No. 2 ranking in the state of Florida. He was ranked at the No. 20 prospect in the state of Florida by Florida Hoops.

College career

Freshman year

As a freshman at USC in 2013–14, Jovanović averaged 8.0 points and 4.4 rebounds while making 24 starts and appearing in all 32 games. He made 76.1 percent of his free throws, which was eighth-best all-time by a Trojan freshman, and hit 51.6 percent of his field goals, which were 10th best by a USC freshman all-time. He scored a season-high 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting against California on January 22, 2014. He was bestowed the Harold Jones Award at the team banquet following the season as the team's Most Improved Player. [4]

Sophomore year

As a sophomore in 2014–15, Jovanović showed improvement in almost every area, leading the team with an average of 7.0 rebounds per game and finishing second in scoring with a 12.3 average. He started 31 of USC's 32 games and played in each contest. On January 29, 2015, he scored a career-high 30 points in USC's triple-overtime 98–94 loss to Colorado. He earned the Bob Boyd Award as the team's top rebounder, given out at the USC Men's Basketball Awards Banquet following the season.

Junior year

As a junior in 2015–16, Jovanović averaged 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds for a Trojans team that had a better-than-expected season and earned a spot in the NCAA tournament. On January 30, 2016, he scored a season-high 28 points against Washington. [5] On February 28, he became the 36th Trojan to score 1,000 points or more in his USC men's basketball career. [6] He earned the Bob Boyd Award as the team's top rebounder for the second consecutive year. [7]

On April 14, 2016, Jovanović declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final year of college eligibility. [8]

Professional career

After going undrafted in the 2016 NBA draft, Jovanović joined the Detroit Pistons for the Orlando Summer League [9] and the Los Angeles Lakers for the Las Vegas Summer League. [10] On September 26, 2016, he signed with the Pistons, [3] but was waived on October 17 after appearing in one preseason game. [3] On October 30, he was acquired by the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League, an affiliate of the Pistons. [3] On March 2, 2017, Jovanović was traded to the Westchester Knicks. [3]

On July 29, 2017, Jovanović signed a three-year deal with Serbian club Crvena zvezda. [3] [3]

Personal life

Jovanović is the son of Ljubiša and Dragana Jovanović, and he has one sister, Tamara, who is a student-athlete at Loyola Marymount University. [3] His father played professional basketball in Europe for 15 years ( Partizan, Rabotnički, Soproni Ászok, etc.). Jovanović is fluent in Serbian, French and English.