There has hardly ever been a case in NBA history of a European guy coming into the league so young and establishing himself in just a little over 2 years as an MVP candidate, a franchise leader and a top 10 active player. In his short time in the league, Luka drew comparisons to the great Larry Bird . But where is Luka Doncic from?
Where is Luka Doncic from? Luka was born on February 28th 1999 in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. His father, Sasa Doncic , is a former successful Slovenian basketball player and his mother Mirjam Poterbin is a former fashion model and a dancer who currently owns a very successful beauty salon in Ljubljana.
To the surprise of many, Luka won the rookie of the year award in a relatively straightforward manner and after leading the Mavs to the playoffs this year, along with putting himself in the MVP conversation at times, he is currently regarded as the biggest young star in the league. Having in mind his resume in Euroleague and international tournaments, it is still a mystery why three teams passed on him in the draft and why so many scouts doubted him. In Europe, he was a winner at every level and he showed nothing but dedication and maturity throughout. In order to fully comprehend how Luka managed to achieve everything he did at such a young age, we’re going to take a look at his family and roots.
Where is Luka Doncic from?
Luka was born on February 28th 1999 in Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. His father, Sasa Doncic , is a former successful Slovenian basketball player and his mother Mirjam Poterbin is a former fashion model and a dancer who currently owns a very successful beauty salon in Ljubljana. His grandparents come from Kosovo, which was still a region of Serbia at the time of major political conflicts which resulted in a series of wars of independence in the former country of Yugoslavia. In those terrible circumstances, they had to flee to Slovenia in search of a job, and their son Sasa was consequently born there and went on to establish himself as one of the better Slovenian players. After Luka was born, his parents waited only 7 months before getting him his first basketball and for his first birthday, they added a rim to his room. As a kid, he was testing multiple sports and was finding himself in soccer for a quick spell until his body started outgrowing the sport. He then found himself as the youngest member of his school’s basketball team, but held his own with kids much stronger and faster. When Sasa signed for Union Olimpija, one of the best Slovenian teams, he got Luka a place in the youth squad. Even though he was just 8 years old, his coach took only 16 minutes to see his talent and promote him to the older age group. From then on, he was winning multiple youth tournaments and MVP awards and before long, his father recommended him to Real Madrid, possibly the greatest European club. They didn’t have to look twice to realise their luck.
Luka could have represented Serbia as well, but no Serbian scout or agent ever recognized the kind of potential he had as a kid. In 2016, he revealed picking Slovenia as his national team. As the most dynamic duo in Eurobasket 2017 tournament, Luka and Goran Dragic led Slovenia to the gold medal, a truly historical achievement for Slovenia. In the final, Slovenia beat Serbia 93-85 and Luka found himself as the second youngest player ever to be picked in the ideal starting 5 of the tournament. He averaged 14.3 points, 8 rebounds and almost 4 assists.
Who is Luka Doncic’s dad?
Luka’s father, Sasa Doncic, is a basketball couch and a former player. He played the best part of his career in Slovenia as a forward, but had spells in France and Serbia. He won the Slovenian League in 2006/07 with Helios, and repeated the following year with Olimpija. He also has three Slovenian cups to his name and he played at the highest level in Europe, the Euroleague.
The divorce between Luka’s mother Mirjam and Sasa is the main reason why many think he and Sasa are not very close, but the two actually have a decent relationship and Sasa was always a firm believer in Luka’s talents. In 2015, He commented that his son has the potential to be one of the best NBA players and that it bothers him to hear about Luka being compared to Ricky Rubio. Having in mind that Rubio has always been well respected in the league, that is saying something.
Who is Luka Doncic’s mom and what is her age?
Luka’s mother, Mirjam Poterbin, is a famous former Slovenian fashion model and an entrepreneur. Mirjam was, like her mother, preparing for the career as a hairdresser. She first caught the lights as a contender for Miss Slovenia 1993, where she finished high and got a reward trip to Spain. Later, she opened her own beauty salon in Ljubljana in which she worked alongside her mother. After Luka got drafted to Dallas, she moved with him and opened a chain of beauty stores. The two are really close and she is often seen alongside him on important occasions.
Mirjam and Sasa split up in 2008, with Mirjam getting the custody. She later stated that she was taking care of Luka on her own and that she helps him pick the right people around him. She is very happy where she is and applauds the American public for not judging her close relationship with Luka in the same way as the Slovenian public does.
Did Luka Doncic play for Real Madrid?
Doncic made his debut for Real Madrid in 2015 as the third youngest player in Spanish league’s history, age 16. He quickly grew in confidence and gained more and more minutes. By the end of that year he played in Euroleague, becoming the 11th youngest player to do so.
With Real Madrid, he dominated the Spanish league in 2015/16 and broke yet another record, becoming the youngest player to win the ACB league, age 17. He finished the season playing 31 games, averaging 14 minutes. He was mostly used as a sub, scoring 5 pts of the bench on average. Next season saw him break into the starting five, as he impressed in all the preseason games and gave his coach an easy choice. During the year, he won multiple player of the week award in Euroleague, ACB and the Spanish cup. His play style was very versatile and he was giving the team just about a little bit of everything, mostly coming strong in clutch time with games on the line. The crowning moment of that 2017 season for Luka was winning the “Rising Star” award, being given to the Eurolegue’s best player under the age of 22. Yet again, he was the youngest ever to achieve this, and he did it unanimously.
2017/18 season was the one in which he made all the basketball world take notice. In the month of October, he averaged 24 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists and won player of the month. Then he scored his career high 33 in December, and he finished the year off by breaking another record and becoming the youngest player of the month in ACB league. Magazine “Gazeta delo Sport” had him as the second best player in Europe for the whole of 2017, behind only his countryman Dragic. One game that year was particularly impressive, as he grabbed a triple double (17 10 10) without missing a single shot.
Real Madrid won the Euroleague, and his season stats were 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. He was the MVP of the competition and in the ideal starting 5, collecting all possible awards. After the season was finished, it was time to take the only step left for him and enter the NBA draft. He wrote an open letter to Real Madrid and thanked them for giving him the chance to play for the best team in Europe.
Why does Luka Doncic wear number 77?
Number 77 has proven to be the destined one for Luka Doncic as it accidently fell to him on two occasions. It originates from his time in young selections of Slovenian National teams. He was wearing 7 as his way to honor his favourite player growing up, Vassilis Spanoulis.
Unfortunately for him, once he burst into the senior team, number 7 was already taken by his teammate Klemon Prepelic. Having in mind that he was a very important presence in the team and a veteran, Luka didn’t argue for it. Instead, he simply added one more 7 to it.
When he was drafted and traded to Dallas, this time it was Dwight Powell wearing the number 7. Luka again had no choice but to ride with 77, which has by now probably grown to him.
Does Luka Doncic speak Spanish?
Luka is fluent in 3 languages, Slovenian, Spanish and English, with some sources saying he is decent in Serbian as well.
Slovenia promotes second-language learning early on in school, so Luka started learning English very young. He has a solid grip of it, but is still trying to improve and can sometimes be seen searching for the right word in many of his interviews. On the other hand, Spanish is, no doubt, Luka’s best second language as he had six years of use as a teen which gave him fluency. So far in the NBA, he has shown no signs of forgetting it and uses it frequently when talking to teammates JJ Barea and now Kristaps Porzingis.