On the 28th of February 1999, in the city of Ljubljana, Slovenian Luka Doncic professional basketball player who plays for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Slovenian national team.
Luka was born in Ljubljana as the son of former basketball player SašaDoncic, Doncic shone as a youth player for Union Olimpija, before signing with Real Madrid at age 13 in 2012. After debuting in the senior side at age 16, the youngest in club history, he led Madrid to the 2018 Euro League title, winning the Euro League MVP and Euro League Final Four MVP awards at age 19. He was also named the ACB Most Valuable Player and won back-to-back Euro League Rising Star and ACB Best Young Player awards. In 2018, Doncic declared for the NBA draft and joined the Dallas Mavericks in the United States.
Doncic was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, to SašaDoncic and MirjamPoterbin. His father is a basketball coach and former player with experience in the Slovenian League and EuroLeague. His father is of Serbian descent, with his family originating from the village of Bica, near Klina, SR Serbia (nowadays in Kosovo), before they moved to SR Slovenia in search of work. Doncic's mother, Mirjam, is Slovenian. She is a former dancer, hurdler, and model who owns a beauty salon in Ljubljana. His parents filed for divorce in 2008, with custody and legal guardianship being granted to his mother.
According to his family, Doncic first touched a basketball when he was seven months old, and by age one, he was frequently playing with a miniature hoop that his parents put in his room. He played a variety of sports in his childhood, including football, which he later quit after growing too tall. At age seven, he began playing organized basketball at primary school in Ljubljana. His opponents at the time were up to ten years old, as Doncic reflected: "I was always training and playing with older kids who had much more experience than me. Many of them were bigger and faster than me too, so I had to beat them with my brain. He admired Greek professional basketball player VassilisSpanoulis from his early teenage years, stating he was "enchanted" by him. He wore the number 7 at Real Madrid in honor of Spanoulis.
When Doncic was eight, his father started playing for Slovenian club Union Olimpija, and Olimpija Basketball School coach GregaBrezovec invited Luka to practice with players of his age. Doncic was initially expected to practice with players his age, but only 16 minutes into his first training session, the coaching staff moved him up to the 11-year-old group. Starting in the next session, he primarily practiced with Olimpija's under-14 team, but due to league rules, he only played for the club's under-12 selection team, coming off the bench against opponents three or four years older than him. Despite his exclusion from under-14 games at the time, Doncic often asked to attend practice, even when his coach asked him to stay home.
Real Madrid (2015–2018)
Early years (2015–16)
On April 30, 2015, Doncic made his professional debut for Real Madrid in the Liga ACB against Unicaja, making his only three-point attempt in less than 2 minutes of playing time. At 16 years, 2 months, and 2 days of age, he became the youngest player to ever play for Real Madrid in the ACB and the third-youngest debutant in league history, behind only Ricky Rubio and ÁngelRebolo. He played 5 games in the 2014–15 ACB season, averaging 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 4.8 minutes per game.
In the 2015–16 seasons, Doncic became a regular member of Real Madrid's senior team. He played against the Boston Celtics in an NBA preseason game on October 8, 2015, collecting 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block. On October 16, at age 16, he debuted in the EuroLeague, scoring 2 points in a loss to Khimki. Doncic became the 21st player ever to debut in the EuroLeague before turning 17. On October 18, he recorded 10 points and 4 rebounds in a 94–61 win over Gipuzkoa. On November 29, Doncic posted a season-high 15 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists against Bilbao. With the performance, he set a new ACB record for most points and highest Performance Index Rating (PIR) in a game for players under age 17. He scored 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds on January 7, 2016, against CSKA Moscow in the EuroLeague. After a Real Madrid time-out in the second quarter of the game, Doncic made three consecutive three-pointers, recording 9 points in a 2-minute span. Through 39 games in the 2015–16 ACB season, he averaged 4.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. In 12 EuroLeague games, he recorded 3.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2 assists per game.
National team career
Junior national team
Doncic (front) during EuroBasket 2017
Doncic was set to play at the Division B tournament of the 2014 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship but was forced to withdraw from the tournament with a knee injury. In December 2014, he took part in a friendly tournament in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, averaging 35.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 81 percent on two-pointers and 57 percent on three-pointers.
Senior national team
On September 22, 2016, Doncic announced that he would represent the senior men's Slovenian national team for the rest of his career. He had previously been linked with a number of other national teams, including Serbia and Spain. His national team roommate became Goran Dragic, who he met at age 7 and has been cited as his mentor and friend.
Doncic is incredible with the ball for a big guy. He's unbelievable in pick and roll play. His court vision is already unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I saw from a 19/20-year-old. He's a good shooter when he has time and I think he's going to be great for [the Dallas Mavericks] for a long, long time... I could shoot a little bit but I never had the court vision... the savviness that he brings to the game... He's going to pick defenses apart and it's going to be fun to watch."
Doncic has frequently been described as a "position-less guard" with attributes of a point guard, shooting guard, and small forward. Standing 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) and weighing 218 pounds (98.9 kg), he has been praised for his exceptional size and strength for the guard position. Dallas Mavericks executive Donnie Nelson lauded his "point forward ability, and sports website The Ringer labeled him a "legitimate point guard with the size of small-ball power forward.
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