Serbian boy raised in NATO bombing tops basketball in the U.S.

1999 Kosovo conflict with 150,000 casualties. 4-year-old Nikola Jokic (28, Serbia) was among the bombing raids by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces on the small Serbian town of Sombor. Young Jokichi spent every night in a house without electricity. Yokichi said, “I was used to the darkness. I remember the sound of sirens and the scene at the shelter where people were crying.”

After the war,메이저사이트 the only thing Yokichi could do in a town that was in ruins was basketball. His father, Branislav, noticed that his talent was more than just a hobby and fully supported him. At 17, Jokic, who is already 210 cm tall, has already played in the Serbian professional basketball league. The Denver Nuggets of the U.S. Professional Basketball (NBA) take note of the potential of a child who grew up in Serbia, a basketball wasteland, and pick him with the 41st pick in the NBA draft. Jokic, who moved to the United States at the age of 20, slowly took root in the league. He was an ordinary player with occasional flashes in the 2015-2016 season when he was a rookie, but he grew rapidly enough to be selected for the All-NBA First Team (Best 5) in the 2018-2019 season, his fourth year. Even though he is tall, he handles the ball freely, has a smooth shot touch, and even has the vision to accurately find empty space.

However, Yokichi also lacked something. It was a fighting spirit. Jokichi, who hates to step forward, did not show any particular desire to compete. He was one of the few superstars to go scoreless in a game. Yokichi always said, “I don’t have a clear goal. He just wants to live as each day goes by,” he said. He did not show leadership to lead his colleagues. So, he was excellent enough to receive MVP twice in the regular league, but he suffered defeat every time in the short-term playoff.

Then, he reached the NBA Finals this season and got his first chance to win. Moreover, the opponent is the Miami Heat, who are inferior in terms of power. The first game was won lightly, but in the second game home game, it was unexpectedly beaten 108 to 111. 1 win 1 loss in the series. In this playoff, the Heat, led by Jimmy Butler (34), made a surprise by defeating strong teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in succession. The Nuggets had no law not to fall victim to it. Since then, Yokichi has changed. Jokic, who had no emotional ups and downs, did not hide his excitement by swinging his fists in regret after missing a shot in the third game. And unlike the previous games where I grabbed the ball and looked around, I rushed right into the rim.

Game 5 of the NBA Finals held on the 13th was the peak. The Nuggets, who had an advantage of 3 wins and 1 loss, could lift the first NBA championship trophy in 56 years of existence if they won that day. When the game did not go well that day, Jokichi called the players together during the operation time, which is rare, and gave a passionate speech. His misbehaving colleague was strongly reprimanded.

The Nuggets pulled the reins of the chase from the second half thanks to Yokichi, who was fiercely seeking victory. After overcoming the first half, they succeeded in reversing in the third quarter, and won 94-89 at the end of the back and forth. Also at the forefront was Jokic, who posted 28 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists. After confirming victory, Jokichi returned to the past like a lie. Unlike his colleagues who shed tears of emotion, he gave consolation to the hit players with an expressionless expression.

In Sombor, Serbia, the hometown of Jokichi, even though the game started at 4 am that day, street cheering was held. Cheers erupted as they watched Sombor’s child stand at the peak of American basketball. Jokichi looked at the scene and said. “Actually, I was always worried. I grew up in a neighborhood where there was nothing. But after being in America for so long, I thought they might have forgotten about me. But I’m glad it’s not. When I retire someday, I will go back to that beautiful place.”

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