Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hadzic Well-Prepared For Bigger Role

Following a summer in which he averaged 17 PPG for the Florida Elite on the AAU circuit, Damir Hadzic is looking to author an encore at Conrad Academy in Orlando.

A 6-foot-8 stretch four type, Hadzic possesses a steady stroke from beyond the arc.

Hadzic's wowing 7-foot-1 wingspan renders him hard-to-guard at the prep level, as the Bosnian-born role player continues to put his weight on the Division-I scales.

 Hadzic, like highly-sought after high-major recruit LuGuentz Dort before him, has transferred to Conrad Academy from Arlington Country Day in Jacksonville, Fla.

Hadzic, who grew up in Italy, rattled off Bradley, Arkansas-Little Rock, Tennessee Tech, UMBC, and Utah Valley as potential NCAA suitors.

He's yet to schedule any visits, instead turning his attention to his beefed up defensive role at Conrad Academy this winter.

"I've improved on defense and I want to work on my defense more as my role increases," Hadzic said.

"I want to play harder. This year, I think is going to be a good year for us. We lost last year (at ACD) in the semi-finals to West Oaks. We want to revenge that this year and get to the championship."

Hadzic will also shoulder more responsibility on the defensive glass. He spent the summer adding bulk  to a once-leafy frame, working on vital aspects such as boxing out and providing increased physicality with wider bigs down low.

Conrad Academy head coach Shaun Wiseman is known to employ a souped-up, high-horsepower attack which emphasizes scoring between 7-17 seconds on the shot clock.

In addition to working harder on the glass, Hadzic vows to use those no longer slim and dainty arms to manipulate and change the trajectory of shots in the paint, where he'll be bordered by an influx of 7-foot and 6-foot-11 transfers this season.

Hadzic is also cognizant that he'll play a supplemental role to Dort, the bulldozing 6-foot-4 guard on which Conrad Academy will lean for leadership and beyond-his-years playmaking acumen.

"He's a leader again this year," Hadzic said. "He had his injury last season but he got back. I saw him playing in AAU, he was killing. So, he's gotten healthy and he'll be a leader again. I feel really confident playing with him. He knows how to pass the ball, he's extremely unselfish. He just flat out knows how to play."