He may call Dallas home these days, but Luka Dončić didn’t forget his Slovenian roots during the holiday season.
Despite his busy schedule, the NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team Player has never forgotten his Slovenian roots – and he’s always held a special spot in his heart for children in need.
Dončić recently devised a surprise for nearly 200 children at the Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Center Ljubljana, arranging the delivery of hundreds of toys and goodies to commemorate the holidays. From cuddly stuffed animals for infants and wooden train sets for toddlers, to dollhouses, LEGO® sets, helicopters, toy trucks and more, the gifts brought smiles to children who unfortunately are spending the holidays in a hospital bed and missing out on festivities with friends and family. Young teens received high-tech headphones, and all children received a gift voucher so they can buy themselves something special once they leave the hospital.
In addition, every patient was given a signed photo and note from Luka and a Jordan hoodie or t-shirt. To top it off, Luka recorded a well-wishes video that everyone got to watch in their hospital room.
“These children are going through so much. I just hope this gives them a little bit of happiness during these difficult times,” said Dončić. “I hope they feel better soon, so they can get back to doing what they love. I’m thinking of them and I wish the children and their families a happy New Year in 2022.”
Marko Pokorn, MD, Ph.D., medical director of the Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Center Ljubljana, said the delivery is so meaningful, especially this time of the year.
“Some of the most seriously ill children from around Slovenia are treated here at the Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Center Ljubljana,” said Dr. Pokorn.“While we do everything we can to create a comfortable and enjoyable environment, we are always extremely grateful for donations and community support. To have Luka, a national hero of Slovenia, find the time to think of these kids is just amazing! We are incredibly thankful for all he has done to bring a smile to these kids this holiday season.”
A world leader in specialized pediatric medicine, the Children’s Hospital of the University Medical Center Ljubljana has around 130 children hospitalized every day with more than 200 daily clinical visits.
“It’s really hard to spend a long time at the clinic, especially during the holidays,” said 12-year-old patient Hana. “Since the pandemic, we don’t get to have as many visitors or daily activities to pass the time. So when we’re surprised with gifts from a global star like Luka, it’s a good day! I am really thankful for all he did for us.”