Erazem Lorbek is an accomplished basketball player in his own right, he won the 2010 Euroleague crown with Barcelona and reached the 2004 and 2009 finals with Fortitudo Bologna and CSKA Moscow, respectively.
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 big man from Slovenia whose draft rights is owned by the San Antonio Spurs plays hard against his opponents on the court and knows how to play under pressure.
After leading Slovenia into victory over Bulgaria in EuroBasket opener, Lorbek was the second leading scorer for Slovenia with 12 points, three rebounds and shot 57.1 percent from the field in 24 minutes of action, helping Slovenia edge Ukraine 68-64 for his team’s second win in as many games at the EuroBasket tournament.
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.