Another Maine connection to the Summer Olympics has emerged.
Lee Academy alumnus Mihailo “Michael” Vasic is a member of Serbia’s 3×3 men’s basketball team that this week captured the bronze medal in the inaugural edition of that sport as an Olympic event in Tokyo.
Serbia went 7-0 in pool play during the tournament, then lost to the Russian Olympic Committee in the semifinals before defeating Belgium 21-10 in the bronze-medal match — with Vasic scoring the game-ending basket.
Vasic, a native of Novi Sad, Serbia, spent the 2013-14 school year at Lee Academy studying and competing on the school’s preparatory basketball team. At the end of that season, he was ranked as Maine’s fifth-leading prep basketball player in the Class of 2014, according to New England Recruiting Report.
The 6-foot-7 forward went on to play at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, for two years before transferring to the NCAA Division II University of New Haven for his final two years of college.
As a junior at New Haven he set a single-season school record by shooting 61.5 percent (126-of-205) from the field during the 2016-17 season.
He returned to his native country and began playing 3×3 basketball professionally, making his debut in international competition at the 2019 FIBA 3×3 World Cup, where his team finished in fourth place.
This style of basketball, with three players for each team on the court at a given time, is played on a half court with one basket.
Baskets are worth one point each, except shots from beyond the arc are worth two points.
The 3×3 version of basketball has a 12-second shot clock, and each game lasts just a single 10-minute period or until one team scores 21 points, whichever comes first.
The International Basketball Federation created a standard set of rules and staged the first World Cup tournament in 2012.
The men’s team from Latvia and the United States women’s squad captured the gold medals in the discipline at this year’s Summer Olympics. Each defeated the Russian Olympic Committee in the championship game.