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16 // VARSITY May 15, 2014 BY MIKE LUCAS // UWBADGERS.COM LUCAS AT LARGE W hen Warren Herring and Duje Dukan first met, they discovered they had some talking points. Both were scholarship athletes; Herring in football, Dukan in basketball. Both were from Illinois; Herring from Fairview Heights (just outside of St. Louis), Dukan from Deerfield (just outside of Chicago). Both liked school. Still do. Both will graduate this week- end; Herring in Consumer Affairs, Dukan in International Studies. Both will return for a fifth year in their respective sports after redshirting; Herring as a freshman, Dukan as a junior. Both will pursue a master's degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. In addition to all of this, Herring and Dukan will become room- mates for the first time. Herring, who roomed with tailback James White last year, will move in with Dukan and two of his basketball teammates: Josh Gasser, a fifth-year senior; and Aaron Moesch, a walk- on sophomore. Beyond sharing the grad school experience ― "It's definitely going to make it easier for both of us hav- ing someone there going through the same process," Dukan said ― they can each derive satisfaction from knowing they balanced aca- demics and athletics and got their degrees in four years. "Being able to walk off with that piece of paper that says you've graduated from the University of Wisconsin is a big thing and speaks volumes in the job world," Her- ring said. "To have completed that successfully is a big honor and it's an honor to have come through the academic structure here." Bringing his own context to com- mencement exercises, Dukan said, "It's a culmination of a wonderful experience; all the people I've met, all the experiences I've had, and obviously all the things that I've learned whether on the basketball court or in the classroom. It's some- thing I'll never forget." Both have always made time to study. Both have been interesting studies. • • • • "When you come in as a fresh- man, you're pretty much an amateur, you don't know what to expect," said Dukan, who had no idea about choosing a major. "It's so common for kids to change their minds. I think that's what kind of happened to me. I wanted to take a business aspect." But after doing more research into the area of study that he wanted to pursue, he learned that it would entail a required semester abroad. And that was out of the question since basketball is a two- semester sport. "So I had to gear my approach to something more fitting towards me," Dukan said. International studies made sense because of his background. Dukan was born in Split, Croatia. He was 10 months old when the family moved to the United States. His dad, Evica Dukan, played 15 years in Europe before becoming Director of Interna- tional Scouting for the Chicago Bulls. "Growing up, I had two languages that I was pretty much learning at the same time," said Duje Dukan, a former ball boy with the Bulls. "I had parents speaking Croatian at home and when I went to pre- school and interacted with friends, they would be speaking English. "It was kind of tough to distin- guish between them because I was hearing them all the time. Once I got to a certain age, I was able to put them together and tell the differ- ence. My mom (Gordana) took on the academic approach in our family and the morals and habits have stuck with me to this day." From the start, his game plan was to earn his UW degree in four years. "Honestly, I didn't see myself redshirting," said Dukan, who had no choice after a bout with mono before his junior year. "I still felt like I could graduate in four and I didn't want to prolong the process." Along the way, he came to un- derstand the importance of time management. "You have to be able to stay on task and not fall behind," he said. "With the tutoring services we have ― and being able to stay determined in my approach ― it was something that helped me." The Badgers received consider- able national attention with their Fi- nal Four run. It was all very flatter- ing to the players and the program. Especially a New York Times story chronicling the number of hours that are spent in study hall sessions while on the road, even during the NCAA tournament. "Coming in here that's what the guys expected," said Dukan, citing head coach Bo Ryan's high academic Mastering their craft, mastering more degrees Continued on Page 18