Jusuf Nurkic is a professional basketball player of Bosnian descent, currently playing as a center for the NBA Portland Trail Blazers. He also plays for the Bosnian national team. In 2014 he was nominated for the “FIBA Europe young player of the year” award. His position as a central player for the Trail Blazers has also earned him the nickname “Beast” or “best Bosnian player”.
Nurkic was born on 23 August 1994 in Tuzla, the third-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His size, even as a growing child, has always been something that made him stand out in a crowd. At the age of fourteen, he was chosen by the Bosnian agent Ene Trnovcevic and offered him to play for Zlatorog Laško (a Slovenian youth basketball club).
Until that time Jusuf Nurkic had never played basketball and could hardly shoot a ball, but he was interested in the game and just as eager to learn, so he was assigned a personal coach who taught him the basics of the game. He learned so quickly and played the game very well. Shortly after, he was loaned to the Union Olimpija and played with them at the Nike International Junior Tournament.
At the tournament, he showed more performance than expected and attracted the attention of the scouts, especially the international community. After the tournament, Jusuf did not return to Zlatorog Laško and accused his coach of not giving him enough playing time. He left the team in October 2012 and would sign a four-year contract with the Croatian club Cedevita.
In his first season on the team, he had not been given enough playing time. During the Euroleague, he played only six games with an average of 1.8 points per game. At the beginning of 2013, he was loaned to another Croatian basketball club Zadar, where he spent the rest of the season. His breakthrough came under coach Jasmin Repeša, he played in the regional Adriatic League, where he averaged 5.6 rebounds and 11.6 points per game.
The following year (2014) he was nominated for the “FIBA Europe young player of the year” award.
In 2014, Jusuf Nurkic was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the sixteenth overall. He never played a single game for the Bulls, however, as they exchanged him for the Denver Nuggets on the night of the draft. In July of the same month, he signed his contract with the Denver Nuggets as Rookie Scale. His first appearance in the NBA was in a game against the Detroit Pistons that ended in an 89-79 win. In that game, Nurkic scored five points and seven rebounds.
He remained with the team until February 2017, when he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers against Mason Plumlee, cash payment, and a selection for the second round in 2018. In March 2017 he scored a career-high of twenty-eight points and twenty rebounds in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He also scored eight assists and six blocks to become the first NBA star after Charles Barkley (1986) to achieve this in a single game.
In July 2018 he renewed his contract with the franchise and has remained with the team to this day. Jusuf also plays internationally for the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2012 he was appointed MVP of the FIBA European Under-18 Championship and in 2014 MVP of the Under-20 Championship.
Jusuf Nurkic’s Family, Dad
Jusuf is the son of a Bosnian-Herzegovinian police officer, Hariz Nurkic.
Hariz has a dizzying and intimidating height that there is hardly anyone in the city who does not know him. A Bosnian newspaper once reported that Hariz Nurkic beat up 14 people in a brawl, which could well be true given his large stature and his position as a law enforcement officer.
According to the Bosnian sports agent who discovered Jusuf Nurkic, he became interested in the younger Nurkic after meeting his father and concluded that his son would also be very tall and suitable for playing basketball, and he was not wrong. Hariz was photographed several times at his son’s game. Jusuf has a brother named Kenan Nurkic.
The center of the Portland Trail Blazers is currently dating a lady named Emina Duric. Emina is also from Tuzla, the same city and hometown as her boyfriend. It’s not sure how long the duo has been together, but the stunning lady is very protective of her boyfriend.
Once she made him wear a T.Shirt with her photo and the inscription: “If you can read this, you are too close, he has a girlfriend”. Nurkic, of course, was hit back in social media because he wore the T.Shirt, which interestingly enough did not work out to the NBA star, who is obviously in love.
His Height, Weight And Body Stats
The Bosnian beast, as it is popularly called and addressed, has such an overwhelming and intimidating size that one cannot help but notice it. With a height of 2.11 m (7ft 0 in), it is obviously one of the largest in the NBA.
He has a bodyweight of 127 kg (280 pounds) and a wingspan of 2.18 m (7ft 0 in). For someone of his stature, he has this great agility with his powerful frame, great hands, and excellent agility, all of which poses a great threat to any team opponent he meets, even with his bounce and fast feet, it’s quite a quality that a player of his size must possess.