June 7, 2006
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Nedim Pajevic, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound post player who started 23 games as a junior at Weber State in 2005-06, has transferred to UC Santa Barbara for his final season, head coach Bob Williams announced Wednesday.
Pajevic, a native of Bosnia, played two seasons at Santa Ana Community College before moving on to Weber State. In 2005-06 - his one season as a Wildcat - he started 23 of the team's 27 games, averaging 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per contest. He also led WSU in field goal percentage at 54.1% and he made 74.5% of his free throws.
Pajevic scored a season-high 17 points in a Weber State win over Idaho State on Jan. 28. In fact, during the Wildcats' season-long four game winning streak, which began with the win over ISU, he scored in double-figures each time. Pajevic tallied 10 or more points six times over Weber State's final nine games, averaging 10.2 points and shooting 60.9% during that span.
"We couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring in a proven big man who can rebound, defend and score around the basket," Williams said. "Nedim gives us security at the five position in the 07-08 season."
Williams said that he accepted Pajevic as a transfer on the suggestion of Joe Cravens, Weber State's former coach.
"Coach Cravens felt very strongly about Nedim," Williams recalled. "He really believed that his game had developed to the point where he will not only be a contributor but a major contributor in the Big West."
Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Pajevic and his family departed the war-torn country in the mid-1990s. His father came to the United States in 1993 and the rest of the family joined him in Orange County in 1994. Pajevic attended Newport Harbor High School before his two-year stint at Santa Ana College. Although he still bears the scars from injuries caused to his left leg by shrapnel from an exploded mortar, Pajevic's ability to play basketball is not affected. He is also happy to be back in California, which he now calls home.
"California is my home and the chance to return there for my final year of college basketball was a chance I could not pass on," Pajevic said. "I had a good year of experience in Utah, but I am thankful that the coaches at UCSB thought enough of me to offer me a scholarship."
By NCAA rules, Pajevic must sit-out the 2006-07 season as a redshirt. He will have one year of eligibility remaining.