two3 years, five ACB teams, debut at 16 at Real Madrid and the pressure of having grown under the shadow of Luka Doncic. The maturity with which dino radoncic faces basketball is not the result of chance but of a fierce fight against what is sometimes our worst enemy: our own mind. His career is proof of the constant effort that has accompanied him since leaving his native Serbia when he was only 14 years old. In this motivational talk for the urban clothing brand GRRR, Dino opens up to tell us about the fears and demons of a basketball player; so many times superheroes who forget that the one who does not fall is not stronger, but the one who gets up in the face of more adversity.
Dealing with the pressure of playing for Real Madrid as a teenager, he says, is not something one is prepared for at such a young age: “When you are a child you are not prepared for that. When you are 16 you only think about achieving those goals : I want to be there, I want to practice with the seniors… Over the years you see that it is easier to arrive but it is more difficult to stay“. He assures that staying at Real Madrid for many years is really complicated and recommends that the youngsters of the team not focus on distractions: “That they do not look so much at social networks or the newspapers thinking about their future and simply focus on their work“.
Over the years you see that it is easier to arrive but it is more difficult to stay
Comparisons are also sometimes hateful. Share generation and team with one of the greatest players that Europe has given, undoubtedly made him feel on many occasions that his progress was never enough: “Luka Doncic was my best friend and a player of my age who was doing incredible things. Luka is special. He was always special. The problem was that when He was scoring 15-20 points and I was scoring 4, so even though I was 17 I was very disappointed.” At that time the comparison affected him a lot, although with the passage of time and the advice of some colleagues, he learned that each person has their own path: “Gustavo Ayón told me not to watch what Luka was doing. ‘Even if he doesn’t stay to shoot after a training session, you do have to.’ I understood that I have to do more work-work-work-work to be at the level“. He learned that “Each player has his own career, his own path and you don’t have to look at what others do. Focus on your work and your goals.”
The problem was that when Doncic scored 15-20 points I scored four, so even though I was 17 I was very disappointed.
At his young age, 23 years old, this is already his sixth season as a professional and he plays for his fifth ACB team. “It’s very difficult for a young player to make a name for himself in the ACB, to make the fans, referees and coaches respect you.” His time with the best and also the worst teams in Spain has led him to understand in depth the ups and downs of European basketball. The jump to professional basketball put pressure on the Serbian: “when he was U-18 he used to be very good, but When I got to professional basketball, sometimes I used to worry if I was alone under the basket, would I be able to score?
Two years ago, he admits, he went through a huge pothole on a mental level: “I had some psychological difficulties. I even wanted to stop playing because I didn’t feel well. I was really down. I had some personal problems, then I had a back injury that stopped me for three weeks and when I came back the coach told me that he didn’t love me anymore. That was very hard for me. That’s when I thought I didn’t want to do this anymore. I do not like it. I don’t want to go to training. Every training session was like a KO for me. I hated it”.
I had some personal problems, then I had a back injury that stopped me for three weeks and when I came back the coach told me that he didn’t love me anymore. that was very hard
Undoubtedly a tough moment in the player’s career, which, however, is always very present since, he says: “I regained my confidence and my motivation, I think that’s what made me really strong now”. His family, in his case, was his main motivation, and that is “When you’re away from your family you need to make it worthwhile.” His unconditional love for basketball has always been intact, instead, he says that: “Being a basketball player is not easy but doing what you love makes it easier“. Many players say: “that you lose love as the years go by, so every year you have to remind yourself that you must first love this game to be successful in it; That’s something I always have in my head.”