Dec. 19, 2012
Our new weekly feature "Behind the Bricks" allows DePaul letterwinners a chance to tell the DePaul community a little bit about themselves, a brief reflection on their time as a Blue Demon student-athlete and where they have gone since stepping off the court, field or diamond.
This feature was renamed "Behind the Bricks" to coincide with the dedication of the John and Dale Melbourne Herklotz Letterwinners Plaza and Champions Courtyard. With the plaza filled with 3,800 bricks representing DePaul's student-athletes since 1926, each brick has a story. "Behind the Bricks" will allow letterwinners to tell their "DePaul Story"
Name: Katarina Milinkovic
Sport: Women's Tennis
Years Participated: 2007-2011
What does being a DePaul Letterwinner mean to you?
Being a letterwinner means a lot because it reminds me of the great years I have spent being a part of DePaul family and also brings me closer to the Blue Demon Community.
Why did you choose DePaul?
I chose DePaul because its mission, values and education were a perfect fit for me. I wanted a school that supports diversity, values students and cares about their education. DePaul made me feel welcome although I was 5,000 miles apart from my family. The city of Chicago is an amazing city to live in, and DePaul Athletics, a wonderful environment to develop both athletic and academic skills. DePaul overall was a fulfillment of all my expectations.
What was your favorite memory while at DePaul?
My favorite memory while at DePaul was 2009 when our tennis team made the NCAA tourna- ment for the first time in DePaul’s history. Knowing we brought our team and DePaul to a na- tional level and established a big name in Big East was unforgettable. Once my teammate won the last deciding point in that BIG EAST Semifinal against the USF, we knew we had it; we have made the NCAA Championship! And the best thing of all is that we did it as a team, for each other, for the coaches and for DePaul. The happiness and joy on my teammates’ and coaches’ faces will forever be in my heart, along with all the tears, hugs and singing as we celebrated the victory. I am so proud of what we have done that year and I will always remember it.
What did receiving a scholarship from DePaul mean to you?
Receiving a scholarship from DePaul was one of the greatest achievements I have ac- complished. Being considered a candidate for such a meaningful place on the team made me feel very special and also imposed a little bit of pressure. I wanted to justify everything DePaul invested in me. This scholarship did not only enable me to grow as an athlete but also as a scholar and individual. Without it, I would not have been what I am today. I am truly grateful to everyone who believed I belong to the Blue Demon family.
What was your funniest memory at DePaul?
My funniest memory was one of my very first presentations I did in the Explore Chicago class held by our advisors with all DePaul student- athletes. I was presenting an important person from our community who I considered valuable to be inducted into the Chicago Hall of Fame. As I was introducing Coach Eugene Lenti, I said “I think coach Lenti should be inducted to the “hell” of fame due to all of these amazing accomplish- ments. Yes, myself, by being international and super nervous made everyone get a good laugh.
Brief Summary of your life from graduation till now:
My former teammate Dunja always used to say, “once a Demon, always a Demon”. And here I am, DePaul Women’s Tennis graduate assistant coach. Still part of DePaul Athlet- ics building up my career, education and coaching skills. Another experience for which I thank DePaul.
Is there a recent highlight that you would like to share with Alumni and friends of DePaul Athletics?
I definitely would like to take a moment and emphasize that we have a great group of young women on the current team who are first of all great individuals on the court and in the classroom, and second of all, have already had some great accomplishments this past fall. I really look forward to our upcoming tennis season which starts in January.
What advice would you give to a current or future student-athlete?
Enjoy every single moment of learning, competing and representing DePaul. Remember who you are, where you came from and realize who you started becoming as you became a Blue Demon. That experience will always follow you wherever you go because of its uniqueness.
Travel Destination: Australia for the Australia Open Tennis Championship
Book: Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Author: From former Yugoslavia Ivo Andric
Movie: Slumdog Millionaire
Sports movie: “Once Brothers”, a documentary featuring Vlade Divac, a Serbian NBA Basketball player speaking about Yugoslavian history and politics involving sports and friendship.
Quote: “They looked at the paper and saw nothing in those curving lines, but they knew and understood everything, for their geography was in their blood and they felt biologically their picture of the world.” Ivo Andric, “The Bridge on the Drina”