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Sixers news: Dario Saric would trade NBA Rookie of the Year for medal with Croatia

Philadelphia 76ers power forward Dario Saric has shined in the EuroBasket 2017 for his native Croatia this past offseason after a stellar rookie year. Saric has made it a point to play for his national team in events such as these ever since he was a teenager.

In fact, Saric is so heavily invested in playing for his home country that he recently admitted he would have traded away the NBA Rookie of the Year award for a medal with Croatia, according to fiba.com:

“Even if I had won it, I would’ve traded it for a medal with the national team. Because we have waited for a medal for so long in Croatia, we have dreamed about winning a medal, if not the whole country, then the whole basketball population over there. Everybody who is involved in basketball in Croatia.”

Although he finished second in the voting behind Milwaukee Bucks point guard Malcolm Brogdon for the award, many argue that Saric was the best rookie in the league. While his comments may come as a surprise, they make sense when one considers the family background he comes from.

Saric is the son of two professional basketball players including his father, Predrag, who played with NBA legend Drazen Petrovic the last time Croatia won a medal in 1995. Saric’s versatile skill set could be exactly what his country — and the Sixers — need at this time.