Duretic’s duties twice as nice for SFC
Terriers alum to lead both men's and women's polo squads
Ilija Duretic was always productive in the pool for St. Francis Brooklyn.
Now, the former Terrier standout will be leading both the men’s and women’s water polo teams at his alma mater when the 2022 season begins later this week.
Duretic was named the SFC Brooklyn women’s head coach Monday after assuming the men’s post last August.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Terriers women’s water polo team,” said Duretic, who swam for the Terries from 2013 to 2017.
“After a successful first season with men’s water polo in the fall, I am honored to help guide the women as they return to the pool for the first time since 2020.”
The former Terrier great guided the men’s squad to the NEC Water Polo Championships for the first time in eight years before settling for a runner-up finish in the tournament.
“We are thrilled to have Ilija lead both water polo programs going forward. I was incredibly impressed with his work with the men’s water polo team in the fall, leading the Terriers back to the Northeast Water Polo Conference Championship,” said SFC Athletic Director Irma Garcia.
“He understands the ideals St. Francis College embodies and has shown he is equipped to serve our student-athletes,” she added. “I look to forward to seeing how Ilija can continue to develop our student-athletes in and out of the pool, and continue to advance the program as a whole!”
Duretic was the boys’ and girls’ coach at Saint Andrew’s High School in Florida before grabbing the men’s job.
A member of the Honor Roll throughout his collegiate career on Remsen Street, Duretic was also CWPA Rookie of the Week twice. He will lead the Terrier ladies (4-9, 0-1 NEC) into the pool for the first time Saturday morning at Long Island University in Brooklyn.
The NBA Monday named superstar Kevin Durant its Player of the Week after the heralded forward earned the coveted award for the 29th time during his surefire Hall of Fame career, including his third such accolade as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
Back at full strength following a lengthy layoff due to a knee sprain, Durant averaged 30.7 points per game on 52 percent shooting to go with 7.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per contest.
The former two-time NBA Finals MVP capped a perfect 3-0 week for the previously slumping Nets (35-33) by putting up a season-high 53 points against the New York Knicks on Sunday, only four fewer points than Deron Williams’ franchise record, established on March 4, 2012.
Durant and the Nets, currently eighth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, were scheduled to visit Orlando on Tuesday night.
“Kevin was unbelievable, obviously,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “Carried us. Made a lot of big plays. Rebounds, assists, the whole deal. He was Kevin Durant on full display but I think also you’ve got to tip your hat to all the other guys that did so many things out there.”
“I could go on but it’s a team win and Kevin carried us in a lot of ways but without those other guys, it’s not happening,” added Nash.
Brooklyn also received some negative news Monday as the team was fined $50,000 for allowing an unvaccinated Kyrie Irving into the locker room ahead of Sunday’s win over the Knicks at Downtown’s Barclays Center.
Irving, who is not allowed to participate in the Nets’ games or practices in Brooklyn due to New York City’s COVID-19 mandates, watched the contest from across the Brooklyn bench as he awaits Mayor Eric Adams’ decision on whether to lift or ease the vaccination laws.
“The last two years have been a difficult and painful time for New Yorkers, as well as a very confusing time with the changing landscape of the rules and mandates,” Durant said of his teammate’s ongoing situation.
“I do appreciate the task the Mayor has in front of him with all the city has been through. My frustration with the situation doesn’t change the fact that I will always be committed to helping the communities and cities I live in, and play in.”
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