Two forwards will join the James Madison men’s basketball program for the 2013-14 season as part of the spring signing class announced by head coach Matt Brady on Wednesday.
The newcomers include 6-8 forward Ivan Lukic of Serbia and 6-8 forward Tom Vodanovich of New Zealand. They join the fall class of 6-7 guard Jackson Kent of High Point, N.C., 6-7 forward Tom Rivard of Worcester, Mass. and 6-8 forward Paulius Satkus of Lithuania.
Lukic is a native of Loznica, Serbia and becomes the second Serbian native on JMU’s roster, joining 6-10 forward Dimitrije Cabarkapa, who will be a redshirt freshman for the 2013-14 campaign. Lukic graduated in 2012 from Diego Velazquez, a school in Spain, and played for the club squad Espacio Torrelodones under head coach Darko Rajakovic, who has since earned the coaching job with the Tulsa 66ers in the NBA D-League. Lukic competed briefly in the United States for ABCD Academy in Iowa, where he averaged 22.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
Brady commented on Lukic, saying, “Ivan is a 6-8, small forward, wing shooter with a great love for the game and a great zest to improve. He’s a thinner version of Dimitrije and more of a perimeter player. He’s a guy who loves his opportunity to be here at JMU.
Vodanovich is a native of Wellington, New Zealand and plans to study business at JMU. He played for head coach Marcus Gatara at Saint Patrick’s College and won the Wellington Regional Championship in 2012. His also averaged 10 points and seven rebounds for his club team, the Junior Tall Blacks, in 2012. His U19 Wellington club squad won the 2011 national title, which he also achieved in 2010 with his U17 club. Vodanovich has some experience in the United States with an event in Los Angeles as well as a short time competing for SPIRE Academy in Ohio, where he averaged 18.5 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
Brady added, “Tom adds a level of toughness that we don’t yet have. He’s a physically tough guy with a terrific basketball IQ. He’s got a really interesting blend of toughness, physical basketball, baskeball IQ and passing and scoring skills. He’s another guy who, when he visited our campus, fell in love with the JMU opportunity.”
JMU went 21-15 during the 2012-13 season and captured the program’s first Colonial Athletic Association Championship since 1994 to earn a bid to the NCAA Championship. The Dukes earned a No. 16 seed and knocked off LIU Brooklyn in the First Four for the program’s first NCAA win since 1983. On Tuesday, JMU signed Matt Brady to a four-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season.