Nov 23, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward/center Pero Antic (6) shoots against the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Celtics won 94-87. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Macedonians are fully behind Pero Antic and the Atlanta Hawks


As a follow-up to my debut article from Thursday, I figured I’d continue the trend and talk some more about Macedonia and the Macedonian support for the first Macedonian representative in the NBA, Pero Antic.

Antic has been a shot in the arm for the Hawks offense, and it’s been a surprise, simply because very few really thought it could happen. Many knew what he was capable of but no one knew he would have his best month in the NBA in January. With Pero just recently earning a starting role and performing well in that starting role, the attention of the NBA and Macedonians everywhere has turned up on him.

One Macedonian that has become very proud of Pero Antic is Meto Koloski. I had the opportunity recently to interview Mr. Koloski through email. Here are the questions I asked and the answers he gave:
—–
Dalton: What is it that you do? What are you trying to accomplish in Washington?

Koloski: I am the President of the United Macedonian Diaspora, a leading organization for Macedonians worldwide. Based in Washington, D.C., with offices in Toronto, Melbourne, and representatives throughout the world, UMD has a big, multi-faceted mission, from promoting Macedonian art, culture and music to providing scholarships and leadership training to Macedonians all over the world, to funding health clinics, senior homes and orphanages in Macedonia.
We want to make sure the public is aware about Macedonia and its rich heritage, culture, and people.
—–
As you can see by his answer on what he does, he is one of the leading supporters of Macedonians that now call the United States of America their home. Antic is really becoming the staple for the Republic of Macedonia, and I’m sure there are more than a few kids in Macedonia loving their Antic jerseys right now.
—–
Dalton: How do you feel about Pero Antic representing the whole country of Macedonia and what does it mean for the future?
Koloski: Excited, hopeful, inspired, and optimistic. Being the first Macedonian national in the NBA, Pero Antic is an excellent ambassador for Macedonia and represents what Macedonia has to offer to the world.  Thanks to Pero, Americans and the world can see how driven Macedonians are. 
—–
Mr. Koloski was obviously really excited about Pero getting a rise in playing time and his playing performance really picking up. He also gives thanks to Pero for showing the world that Macedonians are full of energy and drive to perform to their best every day or at any task that they wish to accomplish.
—–
Dalton: How does it feel to see the overwhelming support of Macedonians in just about every city that Pero visits with the Hawks?
Koloski: I have not seen this much unity among Macedonian-Americans since protests before the White House, State Department, and the United Nations in 2001.  It is refreshing and motivating to see our people go out in numbers to support one of our own.  Although, many of us are born in the U.S., and are not Macedonian citizens, we still hold some kind of affinity to the homeland of our parents, grandparents, and ancestors, whether that is through the food, music, and now sports, thanks to Pero Antic.  Seeing the Macedonian flags and symbols flying at almost every game Pero has played in, gives me so much pride. In some countries in the world, Macedonians have no human rights, but in the U.S., we are proud to be Americans of Macedonian heritage.
—–
Dalton: Do you think Pero playing in the NBA will open up doors for Macedonian athletes making a name for themselves in the United States?
Koloski: Without a doubt, there are so many talented athletes in Macedonia, in basketball, soccer, handball, swimming, among other sports.  Macedonia is a country of 2.1 million, the size of Vermont, but has given birth to some of the world’s greatest, like Mother Theresa and Alexander the Great.  Hope through sports, Macedonia can be even more recognized.
The last thing I wanted to ask Mr. Koloski was about was if Pero playing in the NBA opened up doors for more Macedonians born athletes to make a name for themselves in the US. Even though handball isn’t very popular in the US, there are talented handball players in Macedonia that should be recognized for what they do and how they perform. Swimmers, and footballers are also among Macedonian talent that should be recognized because someday they can be in Pero’s place as a star in an US sanctioned professional sport.
—–
Mr. Meto Koloski is also the admin of a facebook fan club page for Pero Antic. Go and give it a like I’m sure he can use the support the name of it is Pero Antic NBA. You can also go give him a follow on twitter @MetodijaKolosk if you’re a little uneducated on Macedonia and what they go through daily he’s the man to follow.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Macedonia Pero Antic

  • Frank Apostolakides

    Congratulations to Pero Antic and all the people who associate with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    I am an indigenous Macedonian from the Greek province of Macedonia. My ancestors have lived in this area for thousands of years.

    I don’t appreciate having my identity hijacked by a newly formed country that is desperately seeking an identity of its own.

    Alexander the Great has nothing to do with you Mr. Koloski. Mr. Koloski kindly stop using Pero Antic to promote your propaganda and dupe the citizens of Atlanta.

    http://macedonia-evidence.org/

    • Dalton Keene

      I apologize if anything I said in the article was offensive. I was just interviewing Mr. Koloski because he was the admin of the Pero Antic Facebook page. So again apologies if anything I said offended you.

      • gpop87

        Hey Dalton, don’t mind what F.A. is saying above. The Republic of Macedonia is an independent country with its own identity, people, and language. F.A.’s comments are merely a reflection of the Greek government’s systematic policy of denying Macedonia’s identity, people, and language over unfounded fears that the Macedonian region (in Greece) and people will one day reunite with the Republic of Macedonia. We are very proud of Pero, and hope many more Macedonian athletes can follow in his footstep.

  • Guest

    Once again a Greeks holding Macedonians hostage. There are many Macedonians still living in Pella, Macedonia that have to be forced into being Greek so when you correct that problem Frank let the world know. Also if you need more proof on them being Macedonian, feel free to ask your government to conduct DNA test bc discriminating against your own citizens is a crime itself. Those people have been there for thousands of years and you have walked in and made them prisoners.

  • Johnkoolhak

    Once again Greeks holding Macedonians hostage. There are many Macedonians still living in Pella, Macedonia that have to be forced into being Greek so when you correct that problem Frank let the world know. Also if you need more proof on them being Macedonian, feel free to ask your government to conduct DNA test bc discriminating against your own citizens is a crime itself. Those people have been there for thousands of years and you have walked in and made them prisoners.

    • Frank Apostolakides

      What are you talking about?

  • Frank Apostolakides

    Simply making your readers aware Mr. Keene.

    • gpop87

      Simply giving you the truth.

      See Treaty of Bucharest 1913.

      • Frank Apostolakides

        Firstly, what does the Treaty of Bucharest have to do with Alexander the Great? Secondly, I am aware of your countries propaganda gpop87. This is supposedly when your country was taken away and carved up amongst Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. Unfortunately for you a country named Macedonia never existed. Previous to 1913 Macedonia was a province of the Ottoman Empire. The word Macedonian was used in the regional sense to describe someone living in this area (could be a Turk, Bulgarian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian, Albanian, etc.) There was never any record of anyone called an ethnic Macedonian as your countrymen like to describe themselves by monopolizing the name of a region, Your country and identity is a modern construct. Oh, and a funny thing is that your country’s national heroes during the time of the Treaty of Bucharest all self identified as ethnic Bulgarians. So kindly spare us the nonsense.

        • Johnkoolhak

          There was once a Kingdom of Macedonia (separate from Athens rule) and from this kingdom, Macedonians marched from to crush Athens. Then there were provinces of Macedonia under Roman rule, Ottoman rule, etc. and once again, these provinces were separate from Greece. Do you notice a trend… SEPARATE FROM GREECE!! And good thing you mentioned that Macedonia was carved up with Greek involvement. How could a so-called “Macedonian-Greek” agree to divide such a historical piece of land?!? If your people were Macedonian, they would never agree to divide Macedonia with the other occupiers. All of you hand something to gain, someone else’s land. And lastly, I am so glad for the advances of modern science. We have learned that the DNA of Macedonians is SEPARATE from the DNA of Greeks. Good luck with your lies and the truth will one day be exposed.
          GO PERO, MAKE US PROUD.

          • Frank Apostolakides

            Yes there once was a Kingdom of Macedonia, a Greek city state. You know, the one that spread the Hellenistic civilization throughout the known world at the time. What do they have to do with you?

            http://macedonia-evidence.org/

          • Johnkoolhak

            A city state is completely different from a kingdom. The city states were occupied by the Macedonians and then forced to join the kingdom. A lot of cultures were adopted by the Macedonians along with Persian and Egyptian that’s what makes an empire. It has a lot to do with my Macedonian culture bc you know who is an enemy and not an enemy. Whats it have to do with you? Its ok to be different and still work together, that’s how USA became so great. Learn to except cultures.
            You need to except that Macedonian will always exist no matter how hard the Greek government tries to punish innocent people that want freedom.

          • Frank Apostolakides

            374 Scholars from distinguished Universities from all around the planet say otherwise but somehow they are all wrong. Give it a rest please. I have nothing more to say.

            http://macedonia-evidence.org/

          • guest

            Look at the names of those scholars. The majority are Greeks or are married to a Greek, so there is no bias in their opinion?

          • Frank Apostolakides

            I am not sure how you figured out who is married to a Greek person but I count some 80 Greek names. I guess the other 300 are on Greece’s payroll.

          • guest

            That letter was written by Stephen G. Miller an American that has worked in Greece (in Nemea not far from Argos) and is maried to a Greek woman for many years – search the interent you will find it. He is hardly one that can be considered an unbiased academic.
            Also, anyone holding a Chair of ancient greek or hellenistc Studies at a Univeristy and anyone working for them would rush to sign it lest it affecft the funding for their department. Again, personal benefit being the top priority in deciding on signing or not signing that letter, not academic integrity.

        • gpop87

          I never mentioned Alex the Great. The Treaty of Bucharest 1913 is not propaganda or “supposed”… It is the legal document of the division of Macedonia after Ottoman occupation. Macedonia never existed as a country prior to independence from the Ottoman Empire in the same sense that Greece never existed as a country prior to its independence from the Ottoman Empire circa 1829. If you do some research you will find that ethnic Macedonians were documented as entering Ellis Island, NY circa 1900, and even newspapers from the time identifying Macedonians as a distinct ethnicity. Republic of Macedonia does not monopolize the name “Macedonia”. The bordering regions in northern Greece are free to use the name “Macedonia” with no objection from the Republic of Macedonia. Likewise, cities in the USA and certain Baptist Churches use the name “Macedonia” with no objection from the Republic of Macedonia. There is an international principle of self-identification which means that I (and my country) am free to choose my own identity. So really I don’t care if you want to call yourself Greek, Macedonian, or Chinese. Likewise, I don’t care if you call me FYROM, Skopje, or Mars. All modern countries and identities are modern constructs, including Greece. There is quite a big gap between ancient Greece and modern Greece for you to say that Greece is not a modern construct. There is a period of Roman rule, Byzantine rule, “dark ages” with nomadic tribes and population changes, and Ottoman rule. In short, I identify as Macedonian (as a national identity), and you are free to identify as Macedonian (as a regional identity) too if you wish. You don’t have the right, however, to say that I can’t call myself Macedonian. Please open your mind and educate yourself.

          • Frank Apostolakides

            I mentioned Alexander the Great in my first post which relates directly to the article above. You answered See Treaty of Bucharest 1913 which has nothing to do with what I mentioned. It’s funny that you are telling me to open my mind and educate myself. Your so called facts are utter nonsense. Your logic is nonexistent. I have made fools of much smarter people than you. I have neither the time nor enthusiasm to disprove a delusional liar.

            This is an article about a basketball player and his countrymen which support him which I think is wonderful.

            Mr Koloski who in addition to being the president of Pero Antic’s fan club is also president of the United Macedonian Diaspora (a US lobby group set up to promote the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s propaganda) he therefore mentions Alexander the Great as somehow being related with this 20 year old country. I provided evidence to the contrary. 374 Scholars from distinguished Universities from all around the planet which support my point. What have you offered but a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I have nothing more to say.

            http://macedonia-evidence.org/

          • gpop87

            Alexander the Great is from Macedonia, I know you will agree. Pero Antic is from Macedonia, I know you will agree too. Your point is that ancient Macedonia, and modern Macedonia are not equal. I think that is fair to say, but only if you will also say that ancient Greece and modern Greece are not the same. Greece and Macedonia have a very old and overlapping history, and I don’t think its is right for either country to say “we own the history of Alex the Great, and you can’t say he is yours”. That is exactly what Greece is saying though. Macedonia does not care if Alex is a national hero to Greeks, because he is also a national hero to Macedonians. Honestly, what does it matter with modern Macedonia and Greece? The big problem is that Greece is stuck in history, and will not allow Macedonia to progress into NATO & EU under its absolute right to pick its own identity, and Greece has dishonored their promise to not block Macedonia on the name issue. I reviewed your website, and noticed very many scholars of Greek descent, don’t you think that is misleading and biased? The fact is that scholars disagree on Alex, and most of this is because we are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. We are looking at history of the past through the eyes of the present. Countries simply didn’t exist back then, and it is a stretch for any country to claim a historical figure from 2000 years ago as their own, especially when that country didn’t exist.

  • Dalton Keene

    This was simply to just show support for Pero. And what he can do for Macedonia.

    • guest

      Dalton, you did not know the emotion you will stir up.
      I am sure you also do not know that young Greek army conscripts that know English are assigned internet duty and whenever the word Macedonia pops up they are ready to quickly ‘educate’ the world and stand up for mother Greece.
      The United Nation declaration on the right to self determination has no meaning for them.
      I Don’t know if Frank is one of them but the he uses the same ‘talking points’ that you will find in every discussion forum posted by a Greek..

      • Frank Apostolakides

        Ridiculous

        • guest

          Frank,
          Let me tell you in a language that you will understand. If you have a tapsi/tepsia of baklava and you cut that in 3 pieces. You take one, and I take one and Dalton gets one, we each have baklava in our hands. I did not steal yours and you did not steal mine. In 1913 Macedonia was divided into three. One of those three pieces of Macedonia in 1944 became one of the constituent Republics of Yugoslavia and is now an independent country and calls itself the Republic of Macedonia. Another piece is under Greece. It was the territory of Northern Greece until 1988 when the break up of Yugoslavia was imminent, Greece chose to rename it the province of Makedonia. So Frangisko, I don’t see where the name was “stolen” and, what is ridiculous now is that Greece is trying to dictate to a sovereign and independent country what name to use. Fortunately the world is not blind and 138 countries including, the US, China, Russia, India, Canada etc recognize the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name.

          • Frank Apostolakides

            Keep stuffing your face with baklava. As for the rest of your incoherent delusional mumbo jumbo I know not how to respond.

          • guest

            Read it again or Θέλεις να τα γράψω στα ελληνικά για να το καταλάβετε?

            what part is incoherent to you τούβλο, I can explain it in more detail