FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Jovana Vasic, a women's tennis signee from Bradenton, Fla., was killed in a car accident Wednesday morning en route to Flagstaff to attend school and play tennis at Northern Arizona University.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Vasic family," said Athletics Director Jim Fallis. "The Lumberjack family is shaken by the loss of a young life. What should be a very exciting time with the new school year starting next week is very sad today. Coach Bruno and our whole program are devastated. We were looking forward to her joining our program."
Vasic was a transfer from St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Fla. She would have been a junior on the team this year. She was a native of Des Plaines, Ill., and played at Keystone National High School. She was ranked as the No. 25 player in the National Junior College Athletic Association and played No. 1 and No. 2 singles at SPC last season.
Vasic, 20, of Belgrade, Serbia, attended SPC for two years on a full-ride tennis scholarship. She served as team captain during the 2010-11 season, ultimately leading the team to third place in the national rankings. She was an honors student at SPC and graduated with a 3.36 GPA.
"She was going to change the face of NAU tennis," said NAU Director of Tennis Kim Bruno. "She was a really special person who other people wanted to play next to and be next to all the time. She was the most competitive player I have ever seen. I felt privileged that she chose us and chose to come to school here. Our program is thinking and praying for the Vasic family while dealing with the loss of Jovana within our team."
The accident occurred on I-40 in Wheeler County in Texas. She was with her father, Milan Vasic, driving to attend NAU when the accident occurred. She accepted a tennis scholarship to the university during the summer. The elder Vasic, 43, is still in the hospital.
The university has made counselors available for the members of the tennis program.