Athlete of the Week: Rade Joksimovic ’20, Men’s Water Polo

Athlete of the Week: Rade Joksimovic ’20, Men’s Water Polo

Courtesy of Bucknell Athletic Department

Leah Fogelsanger, Senior Writer

The underdog Bison men’s water polo team has had many successes this season, and nobody can deny the substantial impact that senior Rade Joksimovic has had on this team over his past four seasons.

The No. 12 ranked Bison held off the ninth-ranked, undefeated Harvard Crimson in an eventful 13-12 win to earn their first NCAA Tournament victory since defeating Loyola (Ill.) in 1985. Joksimovic, an All-American and four-time MAWPC Player of the Year, led the Bison with six goals.

Since his freshman campaign, Joksimovic has been a driving force for the men’s water polo team and their success. As a co-captain with teammate Cooper Dolan ’20 this season, the senior has taken on a bulk of the responsibility for maintaining a good team culture.

“It seems that we play up or down to the teams, and looking from the outside one can say we are very inconsistent. My only concern moving forward is for people not to be scared of the moment, and not to be scared of big-name schools. We as a team have earned our spot to be part of the final six in the NCAA, and we should believe in our body of work and know that we can play with everyone competitively,” Joksimovic said.

Considering the immense success that both the team and Joksimovic have had over the years, it was difficult for the Serbian native to find a most memorable moment in his career. However, with the win this past weekend and facing the next round in the NCAA tournament, Joksimovic claims that making history was his best memory.

“If you asked me two weeks ago, it would’ve been winning the championship my freshman year, however, this year is something special. Not only because we’ve created history but because it feels special as my co-captain Cooper and I have put so much work in creating the right culture and keeping the chemistry of the team as our utmost priority this season. Having accomplished this as a result of that means that much more,” Joksimovic said. 

“Joining the water polo team has allowed me to reflect that much more on the friends and the everlasting friendship I was fortuned of creating over the years at Bucknell. Having a lot of alumni coming back to support us for our championship last weekend only showed me the love and the support that those friends have for us. I highly doubt I would’ve had that many friends and would’ve created that many connections if it wasn’t for Bucknell Water Polo,” Joksimovic said.

When speaking about what inspired him to work hard throughout his water polo career, Joksimovic gave credit for his success to others over himself. “The obvious answer for who inspires and influences me is my coach, John McBride. He knows how much influence he has had on me over the past four years and that I will forever be grateful for everything he has done for me and my family,” Joksimovic said.

“However, recently I told this person that they were the one that with their own personal growth over the years have pushed me and inspired me to be better and become a better example for our teammates. That person is my senior teammate, Logan Schofield. His growth over the years is nothing short of remarkable, and he deserves all the credit that is being given to me,” Joksimovic said.

As Joksimovic and the rest of the Bison gear up for their next game, the senior is looking forward to “spending this last week with my teammates, as we’ve come such a long way to accomplish what we have done in the previous two weeks. I’m very grateful to be in this position, and I know how much work we’ve put in together, so I just want to stop and reflect, and enjoy making history.”

 

STATS: 

506 goals

181 assists

118 ejections drawn

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