The Slovenia Times

Luka Dončić going to NBA draft after conquering Europe


While he will probably not be picked first, he will definitely become the highest picked Slovenian ever, beating Boštjan Nachbar, who was selected 15th in 2005.

At the age of 19, Dončić has won almost everything that could be won in Europe and is now taking up the new challenge of playing in the world's best basketball league and joining Slovenian veteran Goran Dragić in the NBA.

He first won the European Basketball Championship in 2017 with the Slovenian national team, then went on to win the EuroLeague, Europe's top club basketball competition, and the Spanish championship with Real Madrid as one of the key players in the team.

In the process, Dončić was named among the top five of the EuroBasket, declared the Rising Star of the EuroLeague for the second time and the most valuable player of the same competition, becoming the youngest recipient of this accolade.

As European basketball is practically no challenge for him any more, he has decided to declare for the NBA draft, which is to be held early on Friday in New York, where he is expected to be among top picks.

Dončić will definitely become the highest picked Slovenian ever, the distinction currently held by Boštjan Nachbar, who was selected 15th in 2005. It is unlikely however that he gets picked first and joins Andrea Bargnani as the currently only European number one NBA draft pick.

Born in Ljubljana in 1999 to mother Mirjam Poterbin and father Saša Dončić, the former Slovenian national team member, Luka has been playing basketball virtually since he learned how to walk, winning a contract with Real Madrid at the age of 13.

He became a member of the first team of the Spanish perennial champions in the 2015/16 season, and played his first match in the EuroLeague in October 2015. In the 2016/17 season, he was declared player of the week in EuroLeague four times.

In the 2017/18 season, Dončić ended the EuroLeague with averages of 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and a statistical index of 21.7, the highest in the competition, earning the EuroLeague MVP honours.


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