Hart signs with Serbian professional basketball team
After a short and successful stint with the Owensboro Thoroughbreds, Matt Hart returns to basketball overseas
Hart recently signed a two-year contract with KK Sloboda Uzice in Serbia, joining teammate Cayden Edmonson to take the next step in their professional career with his agent pulling some strings.
“I have an agent from Serbia and he mentioned that this team was interested, but they wanted to see me in person and they weren’t going to pay for a flight there, so I just gave it a shot.” , Hart said. âI paid for my own flight to Serbia. I stayed there for two weeks and got a contract so it went well.
Hart went through a plethora of practices and scrums with the team and they liked what they saw and offered the contract soon after.
His path to professional basketball overseas is unconventional, as ending up in Owensboro wasn’t even part of the plan.
“I was in Ireland playing and the season was canceled [because of COVID], so I had no intention of playing in the TBL, âHart said. âBut since the season was canceled, I, you know, needed something to do. I needed a place to play so that’s how I contacted Coach Anderson and then Chris and that’s how I ended up in Owensboro.
The playmaker averaged 16.2 PPG with the Thoroughbreds, averaging 3.6 APG while shooting 50.3% from the field.
Hart said his team will get an attacking edge in him and someone who hopes to lead by example with hard work.
âI’ve always been one of the best shooters of any team I’ve been on and that’s really what I bring to the table,â Hart said. âBut I’m also a complete goalscorer. I can put the ball in the basket in different ways, at all three levels, as they say: layups, midrange, from three, so I will bring a scoring threat. I’m proud to be the hardest worker on the pitch at all times, so they’re going to have a player too.
Owensboro head coach Mark Anderson told Hart to end his season with them on May 30, knowing he needed to stay healthy to deliver his smart play and leadership to his new team.
âMatt was essential because he gave us veteran leadership on and off the pitch,â said Anderson. âHis work ethic was great for young people to see. Matt will bring leadership and solid play to both ends of the court. He has excellent basketball IQ.
Hart is excited for his first season abroad after COVID won out while he expected to play in Ireland.
He’ll face a number of challenges including a language barrier and getting to grips with a new place on his own, but Hart is eager to learn more about the culture there.
“I I love languages ââand I love learning languages, so I’m already starting to learn a bit, âHart said. âIt’s still difficult, I’ll tell you. But this is the hardest part. Language barrier and just, you know, trying to make your way to a new country and a new city on your own.
While there will certainly be a period of adjustment and challenges he faces along the way and off the pitch, Hart is ready to get down to business.
âI love to play,â Hart said. âI’ve always wanted to play professionally. And this is another opportunity to challenge myself. I am always up for a challenge. It’s a very good league, a really physical league. âThe guys are very talented, very tall, you know, physically so. You know, it’s going to be just another challenge, another test for me and like I said, I’m always up for a new challenge.
Hart thanks his teammates, coaches and the friends he made in Owensboro, knowing that they were instrumental in making his professional basketball dreams come true.
âI really enjoyed my time in Owensboro and everyone was so nice to me,â Hart said. All the fans I met and the people I met there were so welcoming to me.