Aleksandar Pavlovic calls himself a virtual "runaway" from his home in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, four years ago to study and play basketball one year at Archbishop Spalding High School.
"It took me five months to convince my parents to let me come here," said Pavlovic who is now a junior standout at Division II Shippensburg University. "It's safe to say they didn't want me to leave home. Things weren't that good back home when I left."
But Pavlovic, 17, had an endless thirst for knowledge, and he would not be satisfied until he was enrolled at Spalding. The books were a first priority, and he used his basketball talent as a secondary resource to get into school.
"I'm not going to play basketball after college. I have too many other goals, like getting a good job," said Pavlovic, a history and political science major.
Everything meshed in the classroom and on the basketball court at Spalding, where the 6-foot-6, 205-pound perimeter shooting specialist helped lead the Cavaliers to a 32-3 record. Pavlovic averaged 14 points at Spalding and attracted enough attention to earn a basketball scholarship to LaSalle University. But Pavlovic found himself sitting on the bench behind All-America Rasual Butler at Division I LaSalle, so he transferred to Shippensburg for his sophomore year.
Basketball life was good again for the three-point shooting expert.
He led the team in scoring (11.5 points) last season and in three-point shooting percentage (39.7) and had a dream shooting night against Pitt-Johnstown. Pavlovic hit nine of 10 shots from the field, including three of four beyond the arc
But the game has turned sour again this season for Pavlovic.
"I gave up about seven games ago," he said. "Our coach [first-year coach Dave Springer] felt like he didn't have enough control over the team, so he started to install all kind of rules."
Shippensburg has gone 1-12 after a 5-0 start, and Pavlovic has dropped from a 13.4 scoring average through seven games to 10.3. He has fallen to 4.6 rebounds from a team-leading 6.9 rebounds a game after seven games. Pavlovic is second on the team in scoring and rebounding.
Senior Courtney Turner (Wilde Lake) is one of three Rutgers gymnasts who shares the school record of 9.950 in the floor exercise.
Turner equaled that record this month, and she has posted floor exercise marks of 9.325 and 9.000 in two other meets. Turner's top vault score this season is 9.625.
Joel Brown (Woodlawn) is a two-time NCAA All-America in the 1,600-meter indoor relay event at Ohio State, turning in a top time of 46.1 seconds in his leg. Brown, a junior, is undefeated in the 55-meter hurdles. Last spring, he was a provisional qualifier for the NCAA championships in the 100-meter hurdles.
Freshman Michael Lookingland (Loyola) was named the Rookie of the Year on the Bucknell soccer team Saturday night at the school's awards dinner. Lookingland scored three goals and had three assists this past season even though he was a central defender.
Sophomore Anthony Jenkins (Woodlawn) posted the fastest 500-meter time (1 minute, 6.78 seconds) of all Virginia Tech entries in the Father Diamond Invite at George Mason University. He also ran on the 1,600 relay team which finished third.
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