Nikola Dimitrijevic: New Freezer, Varsity Volleyball Captain

Senior Nikola Dimitrijevic prepares to receive a serve.

Senior Nikola Dimitrijevic prepares to receive a serve.

Aleksandar Stosovic

Aleksandar Stosovic

Senior Nikola Dimitrijevic prepares to receive a serve.

By Aleksandar Stosovic, Staff Writer

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To many, sports are just a recreational activity, a source of entertainment, or simply a way to stay fit. Very few people have the experience of a sport completely shaping the way they live their life.

To senior Nikola Dimitrijevic, volleyball has been a lifestyle for the past five years.

“On average, I spend twelve hours a week playing volleyball. It’s a huge time commitment, but I can’t see myself doing anything else.” Dimitrijevic said.

Out of the four years he’s been playing varsity volleyball at West, he has spent three as the team’s captain. Other than the countless of hours practice and in-game experience, teamwork is what he says makes him perform at such a high level.

“I listen to input from everybody to make myself a better teammate. I value what everyone says regardless of their performance or play experience, and I try to lift them up emotionally if they’re down.” Dimitrijevic said.

His leadership is admired by all who experience his energy during intense matches, and even during team bonding events.

“Nikola’s a great teammate,” senior Kevin Balint said. “He is a great leader on and off the court. He knows when to be serious and when to be funny. Also, he tries to have a friendship with every single one of his teammates which is what a good leader does.”

In regards to his athletic achievements, Nikola owes all of his success to those behind the scenes- the trainers. Every day during his study hall he’s across from the weight room, stretching and rolling out his muscles.

“Foam rolling is key to achieving a forty inch vertical and max definition on your quads,” Dimitrijevic said.

Nikola is a great role model for all student-athletes. Other than managing his often overwhelming AP course load, he also finds time to walk his pet dog and help his parents with chores around the house.

His 33 ACT score and 3.7 GPA earned him a scholarship at UIUC where he will be studying chemistry on a pre-med track. Academically speaking, Nikola’s performance is never sub-par. He stands out in all of his classes, especially in Public Speaking.

“Nikola is a wonderful young man who stands out in my class because he was the recipient of this year’s award. He gave the most important speech to me in Southern Illinois at a restaurant, where he told me how to use a claw machine. I utilized the things he told me in his speech and what do you know, I won a prize out of the claw machine,” English teacher Dr. Andrew Jeter said. “I value him a lot as a student, and he also owes me five bucks.”

Although he carries himself seriously, there are many humorous aspects to his personality. His ability to come in clutch within the endgame has landed him the nickname of “New Freeza”, because of how cold his skills are. Most fans combine this with his other name, “Big D”, which references his 6’4″ stature’s effectiveness on the defensive end and his last initial.

Despite planning not to play in college so he could focus on his studies, Dimitrijevic knows that volleyball will forever remain a big part of his life.

“As a person, it has made me assume a position of leadership, which I don’t think anything else could have made me do. In terms of relationships, I’ve made some of my best friends through volleyball. I think the sport will continue to impact me through the rest of my life because the community is tightly knit and everyone is close with one another.”

When he isn’t studying or playing volleyball, he could be found at Avalanche Bubble Tea, his favorite place to go on Friday nights.

Nikola’s ambitions extend far beyond the court, and his diligent work ethic gives testament to his ability to achieve whatever he has a passion for.

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