LOS ANGELES -- Former NBA center Vlade Divac wants to get
his military status straightened out.
He was surprised to learn that his native Serbia-Montenegro
wants him for the army, and is accusing him of avoiding its
The Serbian media reported that Divac arrived in Belgrade on
Thursday and would meet Friday with defense minister Zoran
Stankovic. Divac didn't sound worried before his trip.
"In my opinion, this is a non-issue and it will be resolved in
the next couple of days."
Serbia-Montenegro's army says it has filed charges against him.
The 37-year-old Divac was obliged by law to join the compulsory
six-month military service by the age of 35, the country's state
prosecutors' office said earlier Wednesday.
It asked Serbia-Montenegro's foreign ministry "to determine
Divac's citizenship and his home address" to be able to carry out
the legal proceedings and hand him the draft notice.
"I have learned about this a couple of days ago and it came as
a complete surprise," Divac said in a statement issued through
agent Marc Fleisher. "I have filed all of the necessary documents
required for postponing army duties on a regular basis with the
Serbian embassy in the United States and the Department of Defense
of Serbia and Montenegro."
Divac, who lives in Los Angeles, could face a one-year prison
sentence in his native country if he does not join the army soon,
legal experts in Serbia-Montenegro said.
He ended his 16-year NBA career last month, taking a job with
the Los Angeles Lakers as a liaison and scout in Europe.
Divac was one of the first Europeans to have a major impact in
the NBA. He was drafted by the Lakers in 1989, and later played for
the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings.