By Dionysis Aravantinos / email@example.com
Perhaps the best 18-year old basketball player in the whole world, Luka Doncic has become Real Madrid’s leader this season, playing exceptionally well in Europe’s best competition, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and in Spain’s ACB. Also, this past summer, Slovenia with Goran Dragic and Luka Doncic leading the way managed to win the gold medal in the EuroBasket, marking the first in the country’s history.
His biggest fan and mother, Ms. Mirjam Poterbin talks about her son in an exclusive interview with Dionysis Aravantinos and Eurohoops. The mother of the 18-year-old EuroLeague star spoke to us about Luka’s early years, his love for basketball, his personality off the court, his habits and her favorites among her son’s greatest moments so far.
Going back to the early 2000s and Luka being a baby and later on a young kid, Ms. Poterbin talks about how he was full of energy: “Luka was a lovely child. When he was younger, he was an energetic kid. He wanted to do all kinds of sports, but it’s true that when he started playing basketball, he became a little bit calmer.”
She also explains how he fell in love with basketball: “I think that Luka was born with it. Ever since he started walking, when he was one year old, he was playing with a ball in his hands. He was doing all types of sports. He liked soccer a lot but was too tall to play. As I said, I think that Luka was born to play basketball.”
To the question, ‘When did you realize that Luka would have a bright career in basketball?’ Ms. Poterbin says she never thought that far ahead. “Honestly, I was never thinking about this because, as his mom, what was important to me was to see him happy and his dreams come true. I also think that Luka was never thinking about how far he could go either. He was just happy that he was playing basketball and that was the most important thing.”
Doncic has a unique personality off the court, his mother says: “If you know Luka really well, you know that he is a really good person. He is always willing to help other people, and whenever he has the chance to do it, he does. On the court, he is much more energetic than he is in his personal life.”
Dragic has said that Doncic (like all young men his age) was playing video games when they were together in the hotel room this past September. His mother confirms that Luka does enjoy playing video games: “He likes playing video games, especially soccer games (not so much basketball games) and he also loves playing cards with his friends as well as board games with family and friends.”
Moving on, she also talked about how she helped him with the decision to move to Madrid from Slovenia and that it was the toughest decision they ever had to make: “Of course it was difficult. It was the toughest decision I had to make in my life and Luka’s life. It was not easy, as he (Luka) left home at 13 years of age, alone, without family, without friends, to go to a city where he didn’t know anyone. Almost nobody was speaking English and so it was really tough on him. Sometimes I realize this and I say, ‘Oh my God, thank God he got past this period. It’s over.”
On Doncic’s personality, which helped him deal with going to school and playing basketball, she said: “Of course, he was going to basketball practice in Madrid and he was going to school. Like I said, it was really tough, but as it looks now, it was worth it. Luka has a strong personality and he got through all of these changes because of his personality. The most important thing, however, is that he is happy and he is having fun playing basketball.”
Ms. Poterbin talks about Doncic’s success and she tells us that her life did not change that much: “My life did not change so much. After Luka was living alone, in residence with other kids in Madrid, I moved to Madrid two years ago because he needed the support, the help, so I would say that my life changed a little bit because of this, but not too much. I’m here with my son and this is what’s most important to me. I can help him in any way, and that’s what matters.”