Junior Loyola guard Bruno Skokna and 15 other players will compete for one of 12 spots on the Croatian national team at a camp starting Aug. 1.
“I wasn’t expecting it, but I definitely feel confident that I should be there,” Skokna said. “I’m very excited and proud to be invited. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to showcase what I learned [at Loyola] and also to represent Loyola after our run to the Final Four.”
The final roster will go to China to compete in the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Borislav Stankovic Continental Champions Cup. Croatia placed second out of 23 teams in last year’s competition. The United States also competes and hasn’t placed in the top three since 2007.
Other players attending the camp include DePaul center Marin Maric and Duke center Antonio Vrankovic. Skokna said he’s friends with Vrankovic and is looking forward to seeing him again.
“I know some of those guys, but there [are] going to be a lot of guys that I don’t know,” Skokna said. “I’ll get to meet and learn from all of them, which will be awesome.”
If the Croatian national team does well in China they will continue to the qualifiers in September for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
During the 2017-18 season at Loyola, Skokna played in all 38 games, averaging 3.2 ppg and 0.8 apg. He scored a career high 18 points in 23 minutes against Norfolk State on Dec. 9. On Jan. 10, Skokna helped Loyola beat Illinois State in Normal for the first time since 1991 with 11 points in the first half.
Before arriving at Loyola, Skokna competed for Croatia in the European under-18 Championships. He finished as the tournament’s second-leading scorer with 17.7 ppg. Last season, he was named the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Elite 18 Award for having the highest cumulative grade-point average of any MVC student-athlete.