Igor Hadziomerovics international basketball education is paying off for the Boise States mens basketball team.
Hadziomerovic is in his second year of an American immersion. Before arriving in Boise, he studied basketball at the Australian Institute of Sport and played for the Australian U19 National team.
But his first lessons came from his father, Jasmin, a former semi-pro baller in Hadziomerovics native Bosnia.
It was really competitive back in the day, he said. He never let me win. I only started beating him when I was about 14.
Iggy as he is known around the Broncos program was born in Sarajevo but his family moved to Germany when he was a baby to escape the fighting in Balkans. When he was 5, the family got a visa and relocated to Australia.
We thought it was a good opportunity to start a new life there, said Hadziomerovic, who considers himself an Australian.
A few years later, the young basketball player met another aspiring young hoopster on the court.
We were rivals back in the day, said Boise State sophomore Anthony Drmic. He was leading his team and I was leading my team. We had head-to-head battles.
Eventually Hadziomerovic and Drmic, who lived about 20 minutes apart, became teammates on various teams, including a state team that competed at nationals. The pair attended the Institute of Sport together and were both recruited by Boise State.
Drmic committed first, and Hadziomerovic decided later to play with his friend.
I cant imagine it being easy without him, Drmic said. Were roommates. We take all the same classes. Its definitely been an easy transition with him moving here with me.
Said Hadziomerovic: We both decided it would be good because we have known each other for a while.
Hadziomerovics freshman year was derailed by a broken foot, which limited him to 15 games and 4.9 points per game. This year, Hadziomerovic has started all five games for the Broncos (4-1) and is averaging 7.8 points per game. He scored 14 points against UC Santa Barbara.
At 6-foot-4 and 202 pounds, he creates matchup problems for opposing point guards and his feel for the game developed by those different influences is one of his best traits.
Were trying to get him to rely on his feel for the game. He has such a high level of feel, Boise State coach Leon Rice said. To do that, he has to just slow down the game. He makes everybody better.
His size and strength create matchup issues for opponents. Boise State usually has three or four guards on the court, leaving opposing small forwards to try to guard him.
Hes a herky-jerky guard. Its a little like hitting a knuckleball, Rice said.
Said Hadziomerovic: I like to keep a change of pace. Use my size and strength rather than speed. We have a lot of quick guards on our team, which is good. Then I sort of bring a bit of a different aspect to the game.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444,Twitter: @MurphsTurph