The Croatian basketball player Luka Samanic has been clearly raising the bar high in Europe and in the whole wide world.
He is all after taking his country’s name above and ahead with his super impressive playing skills.
Samanic is a professional basketball player who played for the Westchester Knicks of the NBA G League for the curious minds.
He was drafted by San Antonio Spurs in the 2019 NBA draft and later assigned to play in the G League.
Before that, Luka played for Petrol Olimpika of the Slovenian league and ABA League. Samanic has also been rated as one of the top prospects for the 2019 NBA draft.
Besides that, he is a highly embellished player who won the MVP in 2017 and won the gold medal at the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship B.
Luka has all that it takes to fit into an NBA team. With his speed, agility, and body size, he wants to prove he is worthy of being a top basketball player.
At the same time, he is pretty much familiar with the fact that you have to prove it in every game when you live an athlete’s life.
Added with some improved work ethic and the right mindset, Luka aspires to rise and shine.
Let’s take a deep dive into his side of the story and explore Luka Samanic. But before that, having a glance at his facts is a must.
Table of Contents
Luka Samanic | Quick Facts
|Full Name||Luka Samanic|
|Birth Date||January 9, 2000|
|Birth Place||Zagreb, Croatia|
|Nick Name||The Croatian Kevin Durant‘|
|Ethnicity||Not revealed yet|
|Education||Not revealed yet|
|Father’s Name||Marko Samanic|
|Mother’s Name||Not known|
|Age||22 years old|
|Weight||227 lb (103 kg)|
|Standing reach||8′ 11”|
|NBA Draft||Year-2019 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19th overall|
|Hair Color||Blonde Hair|
|Eye Color||Brownish Eyes|
|Career Highlights and Awards||2017 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship B MVP|
|Net Worth||$8 million as of 2021|
|Salary||$2,824,320 base salary|
|Former Team||FC Barcelona B, Olimpija, San Antonio Spurs, Westchester Knicks|
|Currently Plays for||Westchester Knicks|
|Jersey number||#19 (San Antonio Spurs)|
|League||NBA G League|
|Active Since||2017- present|
|Merch||Rookie Card, Basketball Tee|
|Last Update||May, 2022|
Luka Samanic | Early Life, Family & Nationality
Staring with the basics, Luka was born on January 9, 2000, to his father Marko Samanic, and his mother’s name remains unknown. He was born in Zagreb, Croatia.
Likewise, he is Croatian by nationality, and as of now, there is no declaration regarding his ethnicity and religion on the internet.
Well, researching his early life, parents, childhood, and education, there were no such stories found. But we can feed you with some information.
Luka’s father, Marco, was also a professional basketball player for probably two decades.
He played in the Euroleague with Slovenian club Krka. He was a lefty, and it was from him that Luka got to learn the shooting skills from the very beginning.
Luka lived quite a nomadic life earlier due to his father’s career. He got a chance to explore different countries such as Belgium, Slovenia, and Germany.
He was just nine months old when he moved to Belgium. Unlike his father, Luka was not much of a basketball fan earlier.
He pretty much enjoyed and played football, aka soccer (to Americans), until he turned eleven.
Moreover, he attributes his soccer experience that helped him to build a base as a basketball player.
Not only that, Luka played a variety of sports like handball and tennis. He was also involved in breakdancing, but unfortunately, no footage has been found yet.
But yes, he did it for fun when he was nine or ten years old. He would dance his heart out on rap music especially.
If Luka had to shake his legs, he would do it on Drake and Meek Mill and Travis Scott’s tracks.
Luka Samanic | Youth Career
He started his basketball journey with the local club Zagreb at the youth levels.
Later, on 16 November, he grabbed 43 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 steals for Zagreb and conquered over Samobor with a record of 160-21.
On January 3, 2016, Luka clinched the most valuable player (MVP) honors for leading his team in a championship win against Virtus Roma in a youth tournament in Italy.
Similarly, the trend of bagging victories was on its way. Luka notched 32 points in a blowout 111–43 win over the Rudeš junior team on 16 January.
He dominated the Cedevita junior team, grabbing 26 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 blocks along with his team.
For the efforts which he showed on the court, he was named MVP of the Croatian cadet championship after his double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds in a blowout of the Cibona junior squad on May 29.
Later in June, Luka attended a three-day pre-National Basketball Association (NBA) draft camp, the Adidas EuroCamp, for international candidates in Treviso, Italy.
Leveling up Basketball career
In 2016, he leveled up his basketball career in the amateur leagues with FC Barcelona, signing a 2 -year contract.
Luka got much priority from some premiere Division I colleges in the U.S. (including Florida, Gonzaga, and Purdue), but he ultimately chose to stay in Europe.
The Croatian-player won the Slam Dunk Contest at a youth tournament in Tenerife on 22 December. Luka also played for the 2016–17 Adidas Next Generation Tournament and was the youngest of all to play at both events.
In the first game, he headed his team in a 79-56 win over the Olimpija junior team with 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Later in the final tournament in May, he took the Rising Star Trophy home, averaging 8.7 points, 6 rebounds, and 0.7 assists through 3 games.
Not to mention, Luka also conquered the Slam Dunk Contest, a three-day entertainment event at the 2017 EuroLeague Final Four.
He was also named L’Hospitalet tournament MVP and received All-Tournament Team honors.
Luka Samanic | Professional Career
In the 2017-2018 season, he joined FC Barcelona Basque B- the FC Barcelona reserve team in the LEB Oro, the Spanish League Basketball System.
And he led the team to win against Força Lleida, playing only four minutes.
Luka also participated in a ‘Basketball Without Borders Camp’ in Los Angeles, which also included many other international NBA prospects.
Luka joined Petrol Olimpija of the Slovenian League and ABA League after signing a multi-year professional contract on 31 May 2018.
He also had offers from the Croatian club Zadar, and eventually, things did not go along.
His initial debut was a fail against Petrol Olimpija of the Slovenian League and ABA League, scoring 2 points and 3 rebounds in 19 minutes.
Luka notched season-high marks of 22 points and 11 rebounds in an 85-73 win against Sencur, a Slovenian professional basketball club.
San Antonio Spurs
Luka announced his entry into the 2019 NBA draft on 20 April 2019. It was his dream since childhood.
He always worked hard on his body, on his shots, and everything which would help him translate to the NBA as a modern big guy.
Not to mention, Luka was the record-high 58 international prospects to announce entry that year.
Later, San Antonio Spurs selected him in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft on 20 June 2019.
Luka received his first assignment to the Austin Spurs, which is the San Antonio Spurs’ affiliate team in NBA G League.
He played a game against Utah Jazz on August 13, 2020, as a starter which, unfortunately, his team went through a loss. He recorded 16 points and 6 rebounds there.
Luka on his plans to fit into an NBA team
According to an interview with hoopshype.com, when asked about schemes that he thinks of to be able to fit into an NBA team, Luka said,
“I always think of myself as a defender who can guard anyone.”
He also can block shots, and on offense, he can spread the floor as he thinks himself of as a good shooter and passer.
He is someone who takes his move according to the game. To sum up, he said,
” I CAN ADJUST MY GAME FOR ANYONE.”
Luka also mentioned,
“I want to guard the best player on the squad; it’s my aim before the game.”
He thinks he can switch onto any player on the court as he is pretty fast with lateral movement. To boot on, his body frame adds a lot to his game.
Additionally, he takes a handful of advice from his friend Rodion Kurucs, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA.
They played together in Barcelona for two years and shared a great bond. He simply brings energy in him and on the court him.
People underrate him as he was not that high pick. But he has a great hunger to prove himself in every game.
National Team Career
He made his national team debut at the 2016 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship in Radom, Poland, representing Croatia.
However, Croatia accomplished the fourth spot, and Luka received the All-Star Five honors.
In 2017, he participated at the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship Division B in Tallinn, Estonia.
He took the gold medal to his country after scoring 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Luka also participated in the 2018 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship in Latvia.
He could only average 17 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game in the tournament, Croatia completed in the eleventh spot.
You can find the latest news, college stats, results, game logs, NBA G-League stats, and much more information about Luka Samanic on the Basketball Reference website.
Luka Samanic | Personal Life
Luka is one young handsome man. He totally nails it with his looks and power-packed personality.
No wonder any girl would probably fall for him and go down on their knees just in case (we know that’s a boy thing mostly)
Does Luka have a girlfriend?
Keeping the curiosities in mind, we did take a random search on the internet portal but sadly could not come up with any accurate information.
Maybe he is single as of now and strictly prudent towards his career.
And that’s okay enough, he is young, and there are days to come when he can match someone who is meant for him in real.
- Besides speaking the Croatian language, he can also speak Spanish and English fluently.
- He was just fifteen when he moved out to Barcelona, but he had to make a living out of football.
- However, slowly and gradually, he learned Spanish there and got adopted. He liked Spanish food too.
- Luka likes American culture. Although, he has visited America earlier few times.
- “Everything is fast here,” he says. Furthermore, he is in love with the food and people.
- And excited to visit new continents always. He admits to being a social guy.
- If Luka has to describe himself as a player and person in a sentence, he stated, ” I am very competitive.” He does not like losing.
- Luka is a huge fitness fanatic who works out hard in the gym for his physicality.
- He wants to become his best version, and he does not want to play under his skill set.
- Luka admires Toni Kulkoc quite a lot. To add on, his playing style is often compared with NBA players Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Durant.
Luka Samanic | Net Worth & Salary
It is no doubt that he is getting dominant in the G-League. As per sources, Luka stands fifth in the G-League in scoring and seventh in the league in rebounding.
The numbers are impressive, and clearly depict that he is in his own intention to do his business.
Talking about his net worth and salary, Luka has inked a 3-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs worth $8,473,320 which offers him an annual average salary of $2,824,440.
As per online sources,
NOT YET SURE, BUT LUKA SAMANICHAS AN ACCUMULATED NET WORTH OF $8 MILLION AS OF 2021.
Social Media Presence:
Luka is not that socialite when it comes to social media presence. By that we mean, he is only available on Twitter as @SamanicLuka with 8,602 followers.
We cannot catch him on Facebook and Instagram. Also, checking on his twitter account, most of the contents are related to basketball. It seems like he is quite attached to basketball.
Are Luka Samanic and Luka Doncic from the same country?
Yes, Samanic and Doncic, who share their first name, are netizens of Slovenia. Moreover, they hold the same aim to show the doubters that Europeans do succeed.
Moreover, when asked about Doncic’s performance, Samanic said, “I never had a doubt on his capacity or him showing up in NBA and being the to player.
After all, he was the MVP of the Euroleague. It’s always a good feeling to see someone rise high from Europe.
On the other hand, Luka Doncic also tweeted with a clap emoji for Samanic when he got selected for San Antonio Spurs.
Is Luka Samanic injured?
Luka Samanic missed most of the December 2021, games due to a foot injury. However, he returned to action to play the team’s first game in the 2022 season.
Is Luka Samanic good in defense or forward?
Luka Samanic is considered an extremely talented basketball forward player. But, he is considered average on defense since he gets beat by quick and explosive players.
Why did the Knicks wave Luka Samanic?
The professional team New Yorks Knicks waived Luka Samanic because he’d been sidelined with a plantar fasciitis injury at Westchester.
Plantar fasciitis is basically a condition that causes inflammation of the fascia which connects the heel and toes. This condition results in intense pain in the bottom of the heel and arch.