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01/09/2011
Erazem LORBEK (Slovenia)

KLAIPEDA (EuroBasket 2011) - One would think that a Euroleague champion, two-time Euroleague finalist, EuroBasket semi-finalist and U20 European champion would consider himself a leader.

Well, that is not the case for Slovenia center Erazem Lorbek.

The 27-year-old Kranj native has had so much success and picked up so many accolades over his club and international career. Yet the oldest of three basketball brothers passes the responsibility of leadership to others - who he says have more experience.

When asked if he feels he is a key player for Slovenia in their hopes of reaching the 2012 Olympics, Lorbek responded: "No, we have some guys who are more experienced than me. I just feel myself as a guy who is just happy to play for the national team."

Lorbek is a reserved personality and known to sit and play the piano away from the court. But the 2.10m big man plays his opponents on the court.

He won the 2010 Euroleague crown with Barcelona and reached the 2004 and 2009 finals with Fortitudo Bologna and CSKA Moscow, respectively.
Even though Slovenia have reached the last two FIBA World Championships, Lorbek did not play at either Japan 2006 or Turkey 2010 despite playing at the 2005, 2007 and 2009 EuroBaskets.

Lorbek would be hard-pressed to pass up national team next summer should Slovenia remain in the running for the 2012 Summer Games in London.

"Surely the Olympic Games are a dream of every sportsman. But it is always a long way to earn a right to play there. Only two teams from EuroBasket will qualify directly to the Olympics," said Lorbek.

Lorbek will play a crucial role in getting Slovenia to their first ever Olympics - the next step in the country's evolution after their first two FIBA World Championship appearances.

"There is always a pressure," said Lorbek.

"That is a rule for (EuroBasket). So, yes, we all feel the pressure. But we know how to deal with it."

For Lorbek, perhaps part of the way of dealing with that is to delegate leadership duties to other veterans on the squad.

That leaves him to perform at his high level and do his thing - something which has brought Lorbek's teams success in the past and likely in the future as well.

 

FIBA

 

  

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