Yesterday the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 114-100 and robbed them of their 11-game win streak. The game posed a tough competition from the beginning with Doncic on one end and NBA great LeBron James on the other. Doncic is a Slovenian basketball player who is only in his second year of playing for the NBA and is already a favorite to win the NBA MVP award this season. James on the other hand is a vet with four NBA MVP Awards and three NBA Finals MVP Awards. After the game Doncic spoke on what it was like to play against the King.
“Growing up I used to watch him a lot so it was something special that game (the first time the Mavericks played against the Lakers). I admire him today too. He was my idol when I was growing up and he still is now so, it’s not different,” Doncic said.
Playing against James wasn’t the only highlight for Doncic though. Ahead of yesterday’s game the 20-year-old star met Kris Zudich, a 22-month-old Slovenian boy with a rare genetic disease that he helped raise more than $2 million for, according to Dallas News. Doncic re-posted the video of the two meeting on his twitter account with the caption, “made my day!”
22-Month-Old Kris Zudich
Zudich is a 22-month-old Slovenian boy with a rare genetic disease called 1 spinal muscular atrophy. Zudich is currently receiving treatment at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center that could possibly save his life thanks to Slovenian citizens and celebrities, including Doncic. According to Doncic’s mom Mirjam Poterbin, Zudich’s immune system wasn’t strong enough for him to stay for the entire game but he made an appearance because Doncic wanted to meet him.
“Luka wanted to meet him. Luka is so sensitive for kids,” Poterbin said.
When Zudich was diagnosed with his condition, doctors informed his parents Mateo and Anna, that he would need Zolgensma gene therapy, which as of 2018 cost $2.125 million. The family started a crowdfunding campaign in order to raise the money and received an overflowing amount of donations from the Slovenian national volleyball team and Slovenian celebrities. The family raised $5 million in total which covered the drug expenses as well as the family’s living expenses in Los Angeles. Zudich just received gene therapy last week and his progress is currently being monitored.
“It’s [Doncic’s charity efforts] more important for me than the basketball, honestly,” Poterbin said. “Because he shows every time that he’s really a good person. This is important to me.”
After Doncic was given the opportunity to meet Zudich he played an incredible game against the Lakers and tallied just shy of triple double with 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. He closed out the month of November averaging 32.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 10.4 assists a game which made him the third player in NBA history to average a 30-point triple-double for a calendar month (min. 5 games), according to ESPN Stats. Overall, he is currently averaging 30.8 points, 9.9 boards and 9.6 assists, per game.
Dallas will play against the New Orleans Pelicans tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. PST
Source: New feed