EuroBasket 2015 Group C hosts Croatia on Friday afternoon announced their 12-man roster for the big event, 24 hours before the opening tip.
Star small forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who was voted on the All-Tournament Team at EuroBasket 2013, headlines the ambitious roster which head coach Velimir Perasovic has at his disposal this September.
Bogdanovic, who is coming off a promising rookie season in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets, has led the national team in scoring through their recent campaigns at EuroBasket 2013 and the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
But the 26-year-old natural-born scorer is not the only star on this Croatian team, as no big name wanted to miss out on the opportunity to represent their nation in front of their home fans, in Zagreb.
In addition to Bogdanovic, Perasovic can count on the wing with the exhilarating talents of young prodigy Mario Hezonja, the sharp-shooting of Damjan Rudez of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the all-round skillset of Krunoslav Simon.
Team captain Roko Leni Ukic, Rok Stipcevic and the naturalised Dontaye Draper who played for Croatia in their successful EuroBasket 2013 campaign, will share the point guard position.
At the power forward spot, the immensely talented Dario Saric is complemented by veteran fighter Luka Zoric while at the ‘5’ spot Croatia count on their star center Ante Tomic of FC Barcelona Lassa and Miro Bilan.
The real big news however, as well as the main reason why Perasovic announced his final roster in the 11th hour, is the return to the national team of Marko Tomas, who had missed several days of practice towards the end of training camp.
The 30-year-old guard/forward who was once considered a player of tremendous potential has been dogged by injuries more than any other player who will step out at EuroBasket 2015.
Tomas picked up an injury a couple of days before EuroBasket 2009 and missed out on the tournament in Poland, got injured in the second game of EuroBasket 2011 and was sent back home and then, to top it all off, he was also injured in the final week before the start of EuroBasket 2013.
Perasovic finally decided to include him in the team conscious of the fact that, if Tomas he stays healthy, he provides even this deep Croatian team with a fantastic alternative on the wing, especially on the defensive end.
Croatia embark on their Group C campaign on Saturday against neighbours Slovenia and will then face Greece, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Netherlands and finally Georgia.
Croatia final EuroBasket 2015 roster: Miro Bilan, Bojan Bogdanovic, Dontaye Draper, Mario Hezonja, Damjan Rudez, Dario Saric, Krunoslav Simon, Rok Stipcevic, Marko Tomas, Ante Tomic, Roko Ukic, Luka Zoric.