I’ve lost touch with some of my high school basketball teammates, but I’m pretty sure that none of them are up to what Aleksander Radjenovic has been doing the last few years. Radjenovic was a standout hoopster at Burnaby South secondary school in Vancouver, B.C., after moving there from the former Yugoslavia as a teenager. He spoke at the time to the local newspapers about his dreams of earning a scholarship and playing in college.
(Radjenovic in better days. He’s front and center, if you couldn’t tell)
Well, that didn’t materialize so, logically, he decided it would be a great idea to get into the crime industry. First, it was gun trafficking. Now, he’s moved on to becoming a full-fledged hitman and police say that his arrest likely has saved the lives of three men Radjenovic was planning to kill. Dude, when your coach told you that you needed to become more of an assassin, that was a figure of speech.
The VANCOUVER SUN has the details of the alleged plot:
Insp. Trent Rolfe, of the B.C. Integrated Gang Task Force, said investigators moved quickly after a witness approached them alleging that three men known to police — Sandip Duhre, Andre Remekie and Dustin Meehan — had been marked for death.
“It came in very late April and we moved heaven and earth to try to get in front of it,” Rolfe said.
Asked if the task force likely prevented three murders, Rolfe said: “Oh, absolutely. We know for a fact that all these guys were being targeted and it was just a matter of weeks, if not days.”
While that’s not good, the three guys being targeted weren’t exactly stand-up citizens. All three have had various issues with the law, mostly involving drugs. Gang and drug-related violence in Vancouver has skyrocketed this decade.
Back in 2002, Radjenovic was getting significant coverage in the local media for his basketball prowess. But here’s one interesting tidbit that puts things in perspective a little more:
His coach was quoted in the same article saying that when Radjenovic began playing basketball in Grade 9, he was so frantic that he would foul out in a couple of minutes.
Radjenovic clearly has been affected by the violence he saw growing up in his home country:
“Yes, I’ve seen things,” he said. “All the things you see on TV about war, I have seen.”
He said he wasn’t afraid.
“You get used to it, because it’s there every day. And I was a kid then and I didn’t know much about fear,” he told the Province.
“I have picked up a gun. I have shot a gun. I have sat in tanks — Serbian tanks, United Nations tanks, tanks captured from the other side. It just happens over there.”
That’s a tough situation to grow up in…but it doesn’t excuse becoming a hired gun.
Rajenovic is already awaiting trial on several gun charges. So, the odds aren’t very good that he’ll get to attend his 10-year reunion.