Goran Dragic scrolled through his iPhone smiling ear to ear. "Let me show you a picture," Dragic said. "It's crazy." The photo featured Dragic, then a youthful 21-year-old point guard prospect, and nine of his Union Olimpija teammates, hoisting the 2008 Slovenian League championship trophy. At the center of the photo was Sasa Doncic, a 34-year-old veteran forward gripping the stem of the cup as his teammates celebrated around him, confetti flying through the air. In the foreground of the photo stood Sasa's nine-year-old son in a green Olimpija jersey, gold medal around his neck, beaming with joy. Surrounded by his local heroes in Ljubljana, Slovenia, a small nation of only 2 million, the young ball boy was captured in a moment of bliss. His name: Luka Doncic. Over the next four years Doncic would agree to a five-year deal with European basketball power Real Madrid. Under the tutelage of Spanish greats like Sergio Llull, Sergio Rodriguez and Real Madrid head coach Pablo Laso, a 17-year-old Doncic would win Euroleague and ACB Rising Star awards the following season, playing a sizeable role for arguably the 31st best basketball team in the world. Nine years after that joyous 2008 moment, Doncic now stands 6-8, 228 pounds. He's one day removed from donning a 2017 Eurobasket gold medal, and arguably the most accomplished 18-year-old European prospect of all time. He's also a legitimate candidate to go No. 1 in the 2018 NBA draft, which no European perimeter player has ever done.
|IN THIS STORY:|
There's never been an NBA draft prospect like Luka Doncic
ESPN | Sep 18