Q&A with Adam Tatalovich: Recalling his Serbian roots

(Photo caption: Hobart native Adam Tatalovich, a pro personnel scout for the Sacramento Kings, stands with Cavaliers star LeBron James.)

Adam Tatalovich, a 1996 Hobart High School grad with deep family roots in the Serbian community in Northwest Indiana, was recently featured in a Times newspaper article discussing his career path as he navigates life in the NBA working as a pro personnel scout for the Sacramento Kings.

While the news article focused on Tatalovich’s professional development, he is still managing to maintain connections with his faith and Serbian culture that grew from his earliest experiences with Serbian churches in Northwest Indiana. He continues in his faith and is building new connections in the Serbian community during his travels crisscrossing the country as he scouts NBA talent covering up to 20 professional basketball games per month.

Read the entire most recent article about Adam Tatalovich and his work currently with the Sacramento Kings by clicking the link below:

Q&A with Adam Tatalovich: Recalling his Serbian roots

Q: What are some of your connections with Serbian culture and Churches growing up in Northwest Indiana?
A: I was baptized at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in East Chicago, Indiana and went frequently there with my Baba during my toddler days because my entire family was from “the Harbor” area. After I started grade school, my family moved to Hobart where we were members and attended St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church for the duration of my childhood growing up until college. We actually lived a half mile from the old church and hall when it was on 49th Avenue in Hobart.

Q: Describe some of your connection with St. Sava Church in Merrillville.
A: I had a great connection with St. Sava growing up, attending Sunday School every Sunday with Divine Liturgy. I was very passionate being an altar boy…I probably preferred serving in the altar over being in Sunday School…it was fun assisting Father John…I could cut a mean loaf of bread…and as all altar boys do…sneaking some handfuls of bread now and then. I was also a member of the Kolo dancing Folklore group for a large duration of my youth until my middle school years.

Q: What are some of the other church connections and memories you had growing up?
A: I remember wanting to be a priest when I was around 5-6 years old. I would be at my Baba’s house in East Chicago and would use her living room as the church and the closet as the altar…I had the double doors, robe, candles (no flames of course), cross, and something resembling a censor. The priest at East Chicago at the time would give me tiny pierces of incense that I treasured.

Q: What are your connections with the church today?
A: With my career I have been moving around a lot, but when I am in the Northwest Indiana area I find myself returning to my earliest roots visiting St. George in East Chicago most often where I have found connection with Father Alex. I still try to get to St. Sava in Merrillville when I can and believe it’s the most beautiful church in North America. I definitely try to get back for a Serb Fest (www.serbfest.org) when I can each year in the summer.

Q: With your travels taking you around the country and around the world in your professional basketball career, do you find time with such a busy schedule to find connection in the Serbian communities and churches you visit?
A: On a recent work trip in early Jan. 2017 while I was scouting in New York I had the opportunity to connect with Bishop Irinej who I met while I was working with a professional basketball team in Australia a few years back. He invited me to a dinner with Princess Elizabeth and Prince Dimitri which was an absolute honor.

The prior week I was traveling in Boston and went to the Christmas service at the St. Sava Boston/Cambridge Parish, where Father Aleksandar invited me over to his family’s home for Christmas lunch.

I also attend the Serbian Church of the Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary in Fair Oaks when I am home in Sacramento, California. I have also visited the St. Sava Parish in Jackson, CA which is 45 minutes outside of Sacramento and it is the oldest Serbian Church in North America.

When I was living and working in Australia I also attended both Serbian Churches while I was based in Perth, Australia for 3 years.

More about Tatalovich’s career development in professional basketball


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