Slovenia is a country in the European Union slightly larger than an Italian region, with a population of about 2 million inhabitants, but in its small territory it preserves natural, historical and cultural riches that can be the envy of many nations around the world.
The green of its parks, mountains and hills is the prevailing color that is interrupted every now and then by villages and cities that fully tell the story and beauty of this small national reality. The most famous places in Slovenia are certainly the famous Lake Bled and the small capital Ljubljana where the story of the sportsman we want to tell you about begins: Luka Dončić.
Luka is a professional basketball player born on February 28, 1999 and currently plays in the NBA with the Dallas Maravericks. His talent, his technique and his basketball intelligence have led him, already at his debut in the American league, to be considered a player who can easily be remembered as one of the strongest of all time and all this has even led him to have an exclusive contract with the Jordan brand with which he has created his own line of customized shoes.
Before delving into the knowledge of his line of basketball footwear, it is good to get to know this player to understand how he came to have all this success, both on and off the court.
From Slovenia to the top of the basketball world
Dončić started his career in a youth team in his hometown until, in 2015, he moved to Spain to play in the Real Madrid youth team as young Luka’s talent was already very evident.
He made his debut with the main team of Real Madrid, which was and still is one of the strongest and most important clubs in the European league, at just 16 years old, immediately establishing himself as one of the best young players and one of the best prospects in Europe.
In Spain he spent 3 years playing with the Madrid team, helping them win several titles such as the Euroleague in 2018, in which he was also named the Euroleague MVP; that is to say the strongest player of that year’s league, writing history as the youngest in history to win this important individual award.
Although he has never been the most athletic player on the court or the fastest, Luka has already begun to make an important name in the world of basketball at an international level since his years in Spain, demonstrating how hard work and perseverance have led him to have important successes both as a team and individually.
His outstanding performances in the European league have led him to attract the attention of many NBA teams so much so that, in the summer of 2018, he participated in the NBA draft ending up playing for the Dallas franchise.
In America, analysts and sports journalists were not 100% convinced of the abilities of the boy from Ljubljana because they believed that basketball played in Europe was very different from that of the United States and that Luka would not be able to withstand the pace of play and the physicality of the other players, but once again Dončić demonstrated, with his versatility and basketball intelligence, it is possible to make your way in such a high-level league even if you are not the most athletic and fastest sportsman in the world, so much so that he won the Best Freshman award in 2019.
After being crowned as the best freshman in the entire league, Luka’s name began to intrigue off the field as well.
The world of the NBA is not just about basketball. Sponsors, contracts with brands of all kinds and playing shoes are just some of the secondary realities that can revolve around the players who most entertain the public of fans thanks to their charisma and above all thanks to their talent. From Michael Jordan, who we talked about in another article, to players who are still active such as Lebron James or Kevin Durant, having contracts with major sports brands to create their own line of shoes lead these talents to inspire all basketball fans who want to imitate their sports idols even just by wearing their shoes.
It was precisely in 2019 that realities such as Puma, Under Armor and Jordan began to knock on Luka‘s door to sign the young Slovenian talent so as to have exclusivity on his figure, and it is precisely with the famous and renowned Jordan logo that Dončić decides to sign.
Luka is a phenomenal player, still very young. He’s showing qualities that a lot of players take years to develop. It will be incredible to continue to see his evolution in the NBA and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Jordan Brand family, where he completes a roster of many young talents who will best represent the brand for the next generation.Michael Jordan
It is with these words that Michael Jordan welcomes Luka to the Jordan world, offering him a 5-year contract that, at the beginning, did not include the creation of his own line of customized shoes but crowning him as the first European in history to be the face of the prestigious brand.
The debut of Luka’s Jordan shoes
In 2022 comes the news: Luka will launch his first line of basketball shoes with Jordan bearing his name, the “Luka 1”.
Fans of Luka and all of Dallas have been waiting for this news for a long time, and his debut has by no means lowered expectations.
Creating a shoe inspired by the Slovenian’s technical and precise game, the Luka 1 is the optimal choice for those who love to move like the Dallas Mavericks star, thanks to the excellent traction and lateral containment that allow, for those who prefer lateral movements above all, to move in total freedom and safety.
The shoe is made to have excellent traction, offer simplicity in movement in all directions and, thanks to the new Formula 23 foam designed by Jordan, the cushioning has been designed to be optimal in grip on the ground and responsiveness.
This foam offers reactive support to the foot and helps each player to create space on the court in total freedom, thanks also to the sole that helps to stabilize the foot in even the fastest movements and finally the rubber that wraps around the ankle helps to secure the foot from possible injuries.
With the success of the release of his first shoe and the continuous evolution of his game, Luka together with the Jordan team in the summer of 2023 put his second line, the “Luka 2″ on the market, designing a product capable of meeting the Slovenian’s game and improving his first shoes.
Formula 23 foam has still been used to optimize movement, while a Cushlon 3.0 foam riser has been added to better support the forefoot thrust to keep the foot at the right angle.
To offer optimal thrust, a rise has been added to the shoe on the inside made of a soft foam and in the side wall instead an IsoPlate structure has been inserted for greater balance and stability.
Non desistas non exieris
“Non desistas non exieris” is a Latin idiom that translated can mean “never give up, never surrender” and it is precisely the phrase that appears as a motto on the heel of every “Luka 2”.
The world of basketball is a combination of inspirations and great talents who, especially today, live on incredible popularity and media attention, so all great players have moral and behavioral duties to avoid tarnishing their professional figure and more. All this attention and importance that is given to them is used, in most cases, for good: charitable works, investing in healthcare, helping the most needy or inspiring the new generations.
Giving a player like Luka Dončić the opportunity to have his own line of shoes with Jordan allowed him to realize one of the dreams of any child who loves this sport madly and, more importantly, to inspire millions of people around the world thanks to a shoe. In addition to the technicality of the footwear and the technologies used, the real purpose of these shoes is to show all those who love to play basketball and would like to play it at a professional level, that with hard work and perseverance you can achieve your goals.
The message that Luka wants to convey with his shoes is that, when you wear them, you can perceive the entire career path of a simple boy from a small Slovenian town to get to be crowned as one of the strongest young basketball players ever.
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