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“The other Luka” adapting well at WC

He has the same first name as the newest Dallas Mavericks great, and he dreams just as big.

#4 Luka Tejic“We’re actually going tonight to watch his game,” Luka Tejic said of Luka Doncic. “Yeah, sometimes people joke with me about having the same first name, but if I can be anywhere close to as successful as he is in life, that would be great.”

Tejic is a 6-foot-5-inch freshman forward from Serbia. Since his arrival at Weatherford College in August – his first time in the United States – life has been one big adjustment, he said, but one that he is enjoying very much.

“My English wasn’t that good. It was a little scary at first, but my friend Aleksa (Vujadinovic, a 6-4 freshman forward from Montenegro) helped me,” Tejic said. “He was in Phoenix at a Christian school, and I met him at the airport. We had the same flight here.

“But I’d heard this was a great place to build myself, and I’m finding out that is true.”

Along with the language, a big adjustment was the food, he said.

“I miss my food at home, but I do love the food here. I especially love chicken Alfredo,” he said.

Tejic has a cousin who plays professionally and was once in the European Leagues. His father also played at a high level of club ball, and his two younger brothers play.

But he wasn’t originally drawn to basketball. In fact, he was quite a good soccer player at a younger age, before he tried hoops for the first time.

“I was good, but soccer was actually kind of boring for me,” Tejic said. “Then, after I tried basketball with my brother I’ve been doing it ever since.”

That was around the age of 12. He’s 20 now.

“Sometimes I watch soccer on TV, and I used to play once in a while, but not anymore. Basketball is my focus,” he said. “I hope basketball overtakes soccer someday on the world level.”

Though he’s undecided in his major, he does like computers and information technology.

“He’s smart, all As and Bs,” Coyotes head coach Mark Osina said. “I know it’s hard for the foreign kids to adapt, but he’s doing quite well. The whole campus is used to foreign kids and welcoming them, so that helps.

“As for basketball, he’s getting used to our style of play. He’s just a good kid with a great attitude, on and off the court. He’s going to represent Weatherford College well.”

And he’s a fan of the greatest Maverick of all time, Dirk Nowitzki.

“I grew up watching him. I take a lot of pride in what Dirk and now Luka are doing to promote foreign players in the U.S.,” Tejic said.

When he’s not playing or studying, Tejic loves to watch movies and his favorite TV show. However, he said the latter is bittersweet.

“I love Game of Thrones,” he said. “I can’t wait for this next season, but I also hate to see it end. I guess I’ll need to console myself on the basketball court.”