BELGRADE, SERBIA – Former Cal water polo standout and 2012 Olympian John Mann is continuing to play among the world’s elite and was recently involved in a phenomenal match as he helped Crvena Zvezda (Red Star) to the 2014 Serbian Cup with a 12-11 victory over Radnicki on Jan. 28 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Crvena Zvezda goalkeeper Denis Sefik hurled a last second shot the entire length of the pool as time expired http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g3lcTnne9A to give Mann’s squad the spectacular win. Sefik’s shot popped past Radnicki goalie Zdravko Radic to give the home team the victory. Mann had tallied a goal during the tournament’s title match.
"What an incredible way to win the Serbian Cup,” said Mann, who helped propel the Golden Bears to the 2006 NCAA title and was the recipient of the 2006 Pete Cutino Award as the nation’s top collegiate water polo player. “It immediately brought me back to the 2006 NCAA championship game (when Jeff Tyrrell last second shot gave the Bears a 7-6 win over USC), and it was even more amazing to share it with my former Cal teammate Dre (Andrija Vasiljevic) who was in the stands watching.
"It was a very physical and intense match in front of an amazing crowd. This experience has been fantastic and I am very proud to be a part of this team and to win the Serbian Cup."
"It is very exciting to see John having success at the highest levels in Professional Water Polo,” said Cal water polo coach Kirk Everist, who coached Mann from 2003-06. “The Serbian league features some of the best teams and players in the world and we are all proud of his success this year."
Another former Cal water polo player, Ivan Rackov (2008-11), who hails from Belgrade, competed in the Serbian Cup for Partizan and helped his team to a third-place finish. Rackov was the recipient of the Pete Cutino Award and was the national player of the year in 2010.
Pete Cutino was the legendary Cal water polo coach who led the Golden Bears to eight NCAA titles and mentored eight NCAA Players of the Year, including Kirk Everist in 1988.