21 June 2019 – Croatia has another basketball player in the NBA after the 2019 NBA Draft took place on Thursday.
The San Antonio Spurs selected 19-year-old forward Luka Šamanić with the No. 19 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
A native of Zagreb, Šamanić started his career with Croatian club Zagreb. In 2016, he moved to FC Barcelona in Spain, where he joined the reserve team in the Spanish second-tier league. Šamanić played last year with Union Olimpija where he averaged 48% FG and 33% from three.
Šamanić has represented Croatia multiple times in FIBA events, leading his team to a gold medal at the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship Division B in 2017, while earning most valuable player honours.
His father Marko was a professional basketball player who played around Europe, including in Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, and Belgium.
Zion Williamson, rated as one of the most exciting prospects to enter the NBA since LeBron James, was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the No. 1 overall pick. The Memphis Grizzlies picked up Ja Morant with the No. 2 pick, whilst the New York Knicks took RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick.