Luka Doncic Plans to Help Slovenia Achieve First Olympic Bid

by June 08, 2021
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Luka Doncic

Not even a Game 7 loss can keep Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic off the court.

After a heartbreaking loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Doncic told the Dallas Morning News that he plans to head directly back to his home country of Slovenia to help them qualify for their first Olympic basketball bid.

“This is my main goal: qualifying Slovenia for the Olympics,” Doncic told the Morning News. “I’m going to be heading back to Slovenia and starting practicing, so no vacation.”

Doncic will be joined in Slovenia by Mavs head coach, Rick Carlisle, as well as Mavericks general manager, Donnie Nelson, and director of player health and performance, Casey Smith.

The trio will keep an eye on Doncic’s workouts in order to help him recover from a grueling NBA season, in which Doncic played 2,262 total minutes—good for 15th in the league, per Basketball Reference.

Doncic last played for Slovenia’s national men’s basketball team at FIBA EuroBasket 2017, where he and Miami Heat point guard Goran Dragic led their team to their first tournament title.

In order to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, the Slovenia national team must win the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas, Lithuania.

The event runs from June 29–July 4.

Doncic and the 16th-ranked Slovenia team will face No. 13 Poland and No. 33 Angola in the group stage. The other teams in the competition are No. 8 Lithuania, No. 20 Venezuela, and No. 30 Republic of Korea.

This may seem like a daunting task and schedule for the 22-year-old but, as he said, there’s no vacation for the great ones. 

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