Nikola Jokić, the Serbian superstar center who had just been named finals MVP, was nowhere to be found. The broadcast caught some of his teammates passing around his MVP trophy with confused looks, searching for him in the crowd. He made it into the picture but on its outskirts, holding his adorable daughter instead of the MVP trophy. He just had one of the most dominating playoff performances ever, but had no interest in being the center of attention.

The Denver Nuggets posing for a picture after capturing the 2022-2023 NBA Championship.

Jokić is the Leonardo Da Vinci of the NBA. His passes are unlike any other player, past or present. Jokić throws full-court passes. He threads the ball through openings so narrow that if he’s a fraction of a second off, it’s an ugly turnover. Not only does he see plays before they happen, but he also delivers the ball right on target. Without looking, half the time. If you check out this video, like me, you’ll end up watching the whole hour.

Jokić grew up in Sombor, Serbia. He stands 6’11” tall, and has two older brothers who live with him in Denver. One is 6’8” and the other is 6’6”. As kids, they grew up in a two-room apartment shared with their parents and grandmother.

1 The Jokić family keeps to themselves despite Nikola being a two-time NBA MVP. During the off-season, he returns to his small hometown, spending the summer racing horses and enjoying the quiet.

I cannot tell you much about Nikola Jokić’s genealogy, but, I can’t help but imagine what they were like. He is an NBA superstar who has no interest in fame, deflects praise, and is nowhere to be found, giving his teammates the limelight. He’s inspired me ever since I first watched him play in 2019 (I wrote an article about him when I was 18) to pursue my passions (this blog!), have fun, and be grateful for everything and everybody around me all the time.

Congratulations to the Denver Nuggets: NBA Champions! 

Jack Palmer has done genealogy research since he was ten years old and loves writing about it for family, friends, and anybody else who might enjoy research stories and advice. He graduated from Duke University in May 2023, majoring in History and Psychology, and is the author of Helen & Frank: A Biography, a biography about his great-grandparents.

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