Klemen Prepelic: “Limoges was a turning point in my life and career”

‘s story Clement Priepelec It is closely related to France. He played there for two years during his professional career, when he won the European Championship title with Slovenia. But above all, his personal fate almost changed against the Blues. On August 5, 2021, the former Limoges and Levalloa full-back is literally on the verge of becoming a national icon in Slovenia. In the final seconds, he thought he had made his way to the basket in order to send his country to the Olympics final, but Nicolas Batum emerged from behind to crush the bulge on the board and sign the greatest act.. in the history of French basketball.

398 days after Saitama, Klemen Prepelic found the France team, certainly deprived of its executioner, on Wednesday noon. In the columns of Basket Le Mag currently for sale, Klemen Prepelic has agreed to return to this legendary moment.

“I was convinced I had passed Batum. There are very few players in the world who could have done this counter. Unfortunately for us, it was one of them. […] You’ve probably seen this procedure about 1,000 times already. It didn’t happen at all: there wasn’t even a second to realize what was happening and make a decision. So yeah, of course I’ve seen it again, but if I start to get bothered by the procedure, my nerves might get wrecked. I don’t want to say to myself, “What could I have done instead?” It’s a blow to get mentally drained, maybe falling into depression. Some players may become depressed due to such an action. This is not my case, I will never be like this: I always want to have the last ball in my hands, no matter the consequences. One day, I will be proud of this work. »

Clement Prieblich’s interview is devoted entirely to the counterattack of Nicholas Batum
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Priblic’s ordeal after fouling Batum in the Olympic semi-finals (Image: FIBA)

Since his stay in France, Klemen Prepelic has completely changed his situation. At the time of his signing with Limoges in 2016, he was a friendly recruiter for a private club in the European Cup, but is far from a superstar. Arriving from Oldenburg, he then split Beaublanc throughout his CSP season: spirited striker fans on one hand, and headstrong detractors on the other. But the following summer everyone was in agreement… The Maribor native was the Slovenian crowning champion in Istanbul, filling in for surgeons Goran Dragic and Luka Doncic to sign a brutal quarter-final in the final against Serbia (93-85).

“That summer, I was the third offensive choice behind Goran and Luca. There were a lot of options for me, a lot of systems for me. When they came out, I wanted to take responsibility. I scored two goals – three very difficult baskets, causing mistakes. But Everyone was good in this money time.We proved we are a team out of Goran and Luca.My bloodline?Actually, I don’t have any pressure in these moments.I don’t think what could happen.It’s just a sport,it’s the least pressure we can bear in our life.There are things Much harder in life than basketball. We just try to have fun, it’s something Luca gave us. He’s very young but he taught us to really enjoy playing basketball.”

Small anomaly at the time: After his money time at 7 units and the final at 20 points, Klemen Prepelic returned to Pro A, alongside Levallois. Just a matter of timing: Fortunately for them, the Metropolitans 92 got their hands on the Slovenian sniper before the EuroBasket started. Motivated by his performance, Real Madrid and other continental giants studied the matter during the tournament. But no one went to redeem his contract with the Ile-de-France club, leaving Prepelic to live a second season in Pro A equivalent to the first (15.4 points by 38%, 2.8 rebounds and 3 assists, compared to 15.8 points at 41%, 2.7 rebounds and 3.7 passes). The current Valencia shooter remembered his time in the LNB.

“My season in Limoges was very important. It was a turning point in my life and my career. At that time, I had changed the agent, to leave with Quique Villalobos. We were looking for a place where I could regain my confidence, as I would have a coach that I respect. It is clear that Dusco Vugosevich was the perfect coach for that. It was difficult of course, nothing is easy with Dule. We trained a lot, there was only one match a week. It was difficult but it paid off when I won the EuroBasket the following summer. After that, I also had fun My time at Levallois Family Club.Freddy (Futhox) was a perfect coach for me,Sacha Giva,Bobo (Diao) and Flo (Petrus) also helped me a lot.We had a good group of youngsters.We had our ups and downs,the club had some financial problems But we managed to beat that. I advise all European players to go to France, especially from the Balkans. LNB is a good place to prove your worth.”

Clément Pribelich with Levallois in 2017/18 (Photo: Sebastien Grasset)

Since then, Clement Priebrich has done more than prove his worth. The top scorer in Liga Endesa in 2020 with Badalone, in the very closed circuit “50-40-90” (50% two points, 40% three points, 90% free throws) last year in the EuroLeague with Valence, he is above all currently one The main players in the selection of reference on the world stage: Slovenia. Seeing this nation on the brink of the Olympic final – and coincidentally controlling other sports like skiing or cycling, with the phenomena of Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogakar – is absolute demographic nonsense: only €2 million inhabit the republic that grew out of the former Yugoslavia. So why this concentration of talent, even if it is one of the new pearls in world basketball? Klemen Prepelic responds.

“It’s a mental story, the country is very sports-oriented. But basketball struggled for a long time. We had excellent teams on paper, even better than now. In 2009, when we went to the semi-finals, the team was huge but there was no harmony: There was always a guy who wanted to be more special than the others. It doesn’t work that way in team sport. We had a blockage with the quarter-finals. Before 2017, we were 1/8. It was hard to live with, very frustrating. Especially since The only time we won, in 2009, we lost the next two games to get the medal. There was a little blockage because historically we knew we had never won those matches. Even in 2017, our quarter was our toughest game! Latvia kept coming back, and we didn’t know Never how to kill the game.But that year we had a lot of confidence.Igor (Kokoskov) changed everything: he’s a great coach and a great guy. He kept telling us that Slovenia is our team, that Slovenia played before Igor and will play after Igor. It’s the same with Luka Now… he’s probably going to be the best player in our history for a very, very long time. It’s key Our success because everything becomes easier next to it. Without him, we would not be able to compete at the highest level. He is one of the greatest players in the world, if not the greatest. With him, we want to become a permanent force in European basketball. We have great self-confidence, a great group of players: perhaps the best team chemistry of all the teams. We know who our men are, who the lieutenants are, and who the players are. We’re the team that has the most fun on Earth, getting 100 points per game (laughs). Everyone wants to be in a team like this, everyone prefers attacking to defense. »

But before it becomes a “permanent force in European basketball,” Slovenia will retaliate against France on Wednesday. It won’t erase anything but it’s a story of pride…


September 7, 2022 at 6:00 am

‘s story Clement Priepelec It is closely related to France. He played there for two years during his professional career, when he won the European Championship title with Slovenia. But above all, his personal fate almost changed against the Blues. On August 5, 2021, the former back of Limoges and Levallois appeared …

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