Runnin’ Utes Officially Sign International Player, Luka Tarlac

May 17, 2022, 3:44 PM
Craig Smith - Utah Spring Game...
University of Utah basketball coach Craig Smith is introduced during the Red and White game in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah basketball coach Craig Smith offically added talented international player, Luka Tarlac to the Runnin’ Utes roster Tuesday evening. Tarlac was born in Serbia in Belgrade. He has been playing for Dunav (a team in Serbia) on loan before committing to the Utes.

About Tarlac

At six-foot, eight-inches, the international small forward will once again bring some size to the Runnin’ Utes. This past season with Dunav, Tarlac averaged 8.1 points per game, and 2.8 rebounds in 19 total games played.

Before Tarlac played for Dunav in 2021-’22, he spent two seasons with Partizan NIS U19. In 2018-’19 Tarlac averaged one-point per game, 3.5 rebounds and .5 assists in just two games played. Tarlac participated in five games for Partizan NIS U19 in the 2019-’20 season where he averaged 12.8 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

A Familiar Face

Playing in a new country can be intimidating, but Tarlac will have a familiar face with him on Utah’s roster. Guard Lazar Stefanovich joined the Utes last season in year one of Smith’s rebuild of the program. He is set to return this season and played with Tarlac in Serbia. Just like Tarlac, Stefanovich was born and raised in Belgrade, Serbia.

Other Newcomers

Tarlac becomes the fourth new addition in Smith’s second year with the Utes. Mike Saunders Jr. joined the team via transfer portal from Cincinnati. Wilguens Exacte Jr. is another international student from Canada who spent time playing in South America. Finally, Keba Kita comes to the Utes from the Wasatch Academy just down the road in Mount. Pleasant, Utah.

Smith also brought on assistant coach Chris Burgess from BYU. Burgess played for the Utes from 2000-2002 after starting his collegiate career with Duke. Burgess spent some time in the NBA before playing internationally. In 2015 Burgess started his coaching career at Utah Valley before heading to BYU.

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