Jusuf Nurkic: biography
Jusuf Nurkic is an American professional basketball player from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The sportsman is currently playing for the "Portland Trail Blazers" in NBA. The Chicago Bulls team chose him in the 2014 draft. Also, Nurkic represents Bosnia and Herzegovina in international competitions.
Childhood and youth
Jusuf Nurkic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 23, 1994.
Jusuf's father is a policeman in Tuzla, Bosnia an Herzegovina. According to the basketball player's words in an interview, his dad, Hariz Nurkic, is a massive man whose height is 7ft 2in (2,15m) and weight is 353lb (160kg). Hariz himself was interested in sport and wanted to play basketball in youth but couldn't find sneakers of 56 size. That's why he left the basketball fantasies.
When Nurkic was 14, the sport agent from Bosnia Enes Trnovčević took him to Slovenia and allowed him to try out playing. Due to it, the boy became interested in basketball.
His first professional contract Nurkic signed in 2009. According to him, earlier he had never left his home, family, and parents for such a long time. But then he had to live in another country, learn a foreign language and get to know a new culture.
Being a teenager, he played in the youth categories for the Slovenian team Zlatorog Laško.
In February 2012, he played for the Union Olimpija in the international youth competition Nike which took place in Belgrade.
At the beginning of the career, Nurkic recorded 18,8 points and 11 rebounds per 5 games. Later, after playing in Belgrade, he left Zlatorog Laško. He announced his decision to play for the Slovenian team Cedevita.
In October 2012 the player signed a four-year contract with the Cedevita club. In his debut season, Nurkic's coacher was Aleksandar Petrović. In the Euroleague, the sportsman averaged 1,8 points per game. In January 2013, Nurkic was transferred for some time to Zadar. In the next season, he trained with the coacher Jasmin Repeša and purposefully improved his results. So, in the regional Adriatic League, he averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. In 2014, the player was nominated for the FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year Award.
On June 26, 2014, Chicago Bulls chose Nurkic in the NBA draft. One month later, the team sold the player.
After the trade, on July 31, 2014, Jusuf signed the contract with the Nuggets team. On October 29, 2014, he played his first NBA game and managed to record 6 points and 7 rebounds. It was the match against the Detroit Pistons, Jusuf's team defeated it with the score 89-79. On January 1, 2015, Nurkic made his first career double-double: 10 points and 10 rebounds. However, the team lost this match.
The next game happened to be successful for the player: 2 days later, Nurkic made the second double-double: he recorded 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks and helped the Nuggets defeat the Memphis Grizzlies with the score 114-85. In February Jusuf made two more double-doubles.
The team's government hoped Nurkic to participate in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge as a replacement for Steven Adams, the player of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Nevertheless, Nurkic denied for some personal reasons.
In the final season game against the Golden State Warriors, he recorded 17 points. Later the player injured a knee and had to undergo surgery. The treatment went successful, and Jusuf could come back to games. On October 11, 2015, Nuggets signed a one-year extension with the player. On January 12, he made his debut in the 2015-2016 season but injured left patellar tendon.
Two months later, the sportsman recovered and took part in the win against the Minnesota Timberwolves recording 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 blocks. On March 12, Jusuf set a personal record of 17 scores in the win against the Washington Wizards.
At the end of March he improved the results: on March 25, in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers Nurkic recorded 18 points. On March 27, he got 19 points in the match against the Los Angeles Clippers
April also brought the sportsman suсcess: he made 21 points in the win over the San Antonio Spurs
Half a year later, Nurkic set a new career record: he recorded 23 points in the match against the New Orleans Pelicans. His results helped the team win the Pelicans over. 5 days later, in the game with the Toronto Raptors the basketball player made 18 rebounds.
Nikola Jokić, a team's player, became a starting center, and Nurkić was demoted to the bench. The sportsman didn't agree with the measure and tried to change the situation by voicing his displeasure. However, the team's government granted Nurkić wish only ten days before the 2017 trade deadline
On February 13, 2017, the Nuggets sold Nurkic to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Mason Plumlee. The first Jusuf's match for the new club was on February 15. Although he recorded 13 points and 7 rebounds, the opposers Utah Jazz defeated the Portland Trail Blazers. The next game was successful: Nurkic made 12 points and 12 rebounds what helped the team win.
On March 9, 2017, in the match against the Philadelphia 76ers, the player made 28 points and 20 rebounds. As a result, he became the first NBA basketball player to record not less than 28 points, 20 rebounds and 8 assists since Charles Barkley did it in November 1986
On March 28, 2017, Nurkic set a new career record of 33 points and 16 rebounds. Three days later, he got a non-displaced fracture in his right leg and was ruled out for the rest of the regular season.
Subsequently, Nurkic missed 9 games and got back to the playing on 22 April 2017. In the match against the Golden State Warriors, he recorded 2 points and 11 rebounds
On November 24, 2017, in the match against the Brooklyn Nets, the sportsman led the team to the victory having made 29 points and 15 rebounds. On January 18, 2018, Jusuf made 19 points and 17 rebounds in a 100–86 win over the Indiana Pacers.
On April 9, 2018, he made 20 points and 19 rebounds in the loss to the Nuggets.
On July 6, 2018, Jusuf signed a contract with the Trail Blazers again. His current salary is evaluated at $11,111,111. On October 28, 2018, the player made 22 points and 18 rebounds in the match against the Washington Wizards. On November 20, Jusuf Nurkic recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds and made his best fifth straight double-double
On December 27, he recorded 27 points and 12 rebounds in a 110–109 overtime win over the Warriors.
On January 1, 2019, he got 24 points and 23 rebounds in the match against the Sacramento Kings and became the only player to post such a stat line in NBA history. On January 11, Jusuf Nurkic made 11 points and 11 rebounds in the win over the Charlotte Hornets. As a result, he became the third player in NBA history to record such a stat line in fewer than 30 minutes.
On January 16, the player recorded his first career triple-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the match against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On March 25, 2019, highlights of every sport media reported: Nurkic got a compound fracture of his left tibia and fibula in the second overtime of the Trail Blazers, 148–144 win over the Brooklyn Nets. According to the latest news, the sportsman underwent a serious surgery, and now his health is stable. However, there is no information about his return. Before the injury, the player had recorded 32 points and 16 rebounds.
National team career
Being a representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Jusuf Nurkic got a title of the MVP of the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship Division B held in 2012. His average results were 19,4 points and 13,3 rebounds per game. He also recorded 21,4 points and 12,0 rebounds per game and was named the MVP of the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship Division B, held in 2014.
The sportsman played a minor role in the senior team of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the FIBA EuroBasket 2013 qualification.
Nurkic represented the national basketball team of Bosnia and Herzegovina during Eurobasket 2017 qualification. His average results were 19,2 points, 13,5 rebounds and 1,0 blocks per game.
Today Jusuf is not married. However, he has a girlfriend – Emina Duric. The woman is also from Bosnia.
Nowadays the shirts and jerseys with printed Nurkic's name are trendy. American teenagers and football fans wear clothes with pleasure; the prices vary from $20 to $150.
Interestingly, anonymous Internet users created the rap song dedicated to Nurkic. A little fragment from the song:
He came from Bosnia
From Wild Wild East
He’s got the game
We call him Bosnian beast
He can assist, he can score
In the box, he’s amazing
Nurk is on fire
Nurk is trailblazing
At present it's not known for sure how much is Nurkic's net worth.
In his career, Nurkic showed perfect stats and was nominated for several titles such as:
- The Champion of Croatia 2013/2014
- The Winner of the Croatian Cup 2013/2014
- The FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year 2014
- The MVP of the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship Division B 2012, 2014