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Jusuf Nurkic Was Discovered After An Agent Read His Father, A 7ft, 400-Pound Police Officer, Had Beaten 14 People


When we talk about discovering NBA talent, it often involves going to gyms to spot prospects. Still, we've seen players starting playing basketball very late, contrary to most NBA assets, getting discovered in the most curious circumstances. 

Joel Embiid couldn't get things right when he first started playing the game, missing easy layups when most players are dunking the ball. Giannis Antetokounmpo didn't intend to play basketball and was persuaded by a coach to try the beautiful. Now, Jusuf Nurkic must have one of the most curious backgrounds in NBA history. 

The Bosnian player didn't know anything about basketball when he was discovered. We would have never heard of the Portland Trail Blazers' big man if it wasn't for his father's heroics. 

Back in 2017, SB Nation revealed how Jusuf's father, a 7 footer, 400-pound cop beat 14 people in one fight, drawing a lot of attention.

The story goes that they found Jusuf Nurkic's dad first. Hariz Nurkic is a police officer in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, according to the Nuggets broadcast, stands at 7 feet tall and over 400 pounds, which is what's known in the biz as a Very Big Cop. 

Jusuf Nurkic's dad is a policeman in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. One day a Bosnian sports agent Enes Trnovcevic was reading a newspaper where he read: "Bosnian policeman, Hariz Nurkic has beaten 14 people in a fight." He knew what to do instantly! Next day he went to Tuzla and met with Nurkic's father. The only thing he asked him was: "Do you have a son?" Jusuf Nurkic was at that time a 14 years old boy and never trained basketball. Enes Trnovcevic took him to Slovenia and gave him an opportunity he accepted and used.

Jusuf has confirmed at least the gist of the story, and I'm inclined to believe the part about beating up 14 guys because if I say I don't believe it, I might get beat up, too.

Imagine seeing your life completely changed simply because your father took down 14 people by himself. That's just crazy. 

Jusuf made the most out of that situation, learning the basics of basketball, getting better every year, and making it to the NBA a couple of years later. Although he hasn't been able to compete for a championship, he's one of the best players on his team. 

He will try to help the Trail Blazers get to the promised land next campaign, which looks extremely hard. It's incredible to see how a bizarre story about his father beating a lot of people in a fight affected Nurkic's life this much.