July 26, 2019
The latest in a string of young basketball players who have left Slovenia for Real Madrid is a talented fourteen-year-old called Jan Vide, born in 2005 and a member of Helios Suns from Domžale.
This is the second year in the row that a young member of Helios left for the Spanish giant. Last year it was Urban Klavžar (2004) who left his Helios orange jersey for the white Royal one.
In the last season Vide played two tournaments with Real Madrid’s junior team, which led to the decision to invite the young basketball player to join the other three young Slovenes already playing for the club. Besides Klavžar, these are Dan Duščak (2002) and Žiga Samar (2001). Real Madrid is also a home to a couple of professional Slovenian basketball players, Klemen Prepelič and Anthony Randolph, both members of the Slovenian national team who won the 2017 European Basketball Championship.
Some observers have already pointed to similarities between Jan Vide and Luka Dončić, who received the NBA Rookie of the Year award this June. Luka joined Real Madrid’s under-16 team at the age of 13 and became a regular player in Real Madrid’s senior team during the 2015-2016 season, before joining the NBA and Dallas Mavericks in 2018.
Sports commentators emphasize that emerging new names in junior leagues are good news for the future of the Slovenian national team, which will defend its 2017 title at the next European Championship in 2021.