STA, March 16, 2018 – Luka Dončić is making giant steps towards becoming a European basketball legend, with the EuroLeague paying tribute to the teenage phenom by making a 30-minute documentary about him. Dončić, who is among the top prospects at this year's NBA draft, has also earned praise from Slovenia's best player Goran Dragić in an interview for Dnevnik.
The 19-year-old has joined the likes of Sergio Llull, Dimitris Diamantidis, Vassilis Spanoulis, Nando De Colo and coaching legend Željko Obradović, about whom the EuroLeague made documentaries in the previous seasons.
Dončić has already reached a number of milestones in his young career and the documentary is seen as an acknowledgement to his maturity and quality of play.
The short documentaries made by the European top-tier professional basketball club league are available on YouTube and the official website of the league, and have more than a million views.
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Entitled The Future is Now, the film about Dončić features his former coaches, teammates, friends and family speak about his development from a boy in love with basketball to a superstar carrying the European powerhouse Real Madrid.
"I practically don't remember him without a ball in his hands. Even when it rained outside, he was on the court taking shots on the basket. I knew it right away that he would become a basketball player," his grandfather David said in the film.
His mother Mirjam Poterbin remembered how she had to take him to practices more than once a day. "He asked me to call the coach because he wanted to train with other groups too," she said, while grandmother Milena added that he was a "pleasant and compassionate boy."
Pablo Sanudo, the manager of Real Madrid junior teams, spoke about Luka's beginnings in Spain. "When Luka arrived in Madrid, we invited him to a tournament in Vitoria and it became clear to everybody very quickly what a talent he was."
Sanudo and his colleagues see in Dončić a mixture of playing styles displayed by Croatian legends Dražen Petrović and Toni Kukoč and the versatile Serbian small forward Dejan Bodiroga.
Dončić said in the film that he had picked number 7 on his jersey because of his role model, the legendary Greek point guard Vassilis Spanoulis. "I admire him because he takes over in the decisive moments."
Spanoulis said of Dončić that "he is something special for his age. You see such a player every ten years. The sky is the limit for him. Being a leader is in his genes. You born as a leader, you cannot learn that."
The film concludes with a comment from the winningest European coach Željko Obradović. "He loves basketball and he can become an excellent player with help from his teammates. Everybody knows his talent, but he has to be aware that without hard work he will not become what he wants to be."
Former national team captain Goran Dragić, who plays for the Miami Heat of the NBA, meanwhile said in an interview for the newspaper Dnevnik that his teammate from the golden EuroBasket team will be fine in the NBA.
Asked what Dončić could look forward to if selected first at the June NBA draft, Dragić said that "he will quickly become the face of the franchise that selects him".
"If he gets picked first, he will certainly be given a lot of minutes, which is a good thing. They will be pushing him into the spotlight. The media and fans will swarm him. But Luka is already accustomed to that."