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A Harness Homecoming For Jokić

Published: June 17, 2021 5:35 pm ET

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Not long after his Denver Nuggets were issued a second-round exit from the 2021 NBA Playoffs by the Phoenix Suns, league MVP Nikola Jokić returned to his homeland of Serbia and immersed himself element of his first sporting love — harness racing.

"I always loved basketball, but when I was little — even when I was 13 and 14 — I was going to horse race," Jokić said in a 2016 entry in The Players' Tribune. "I didn’t even practice basketball that much. I went to the stables, just to be the stable boy. That was my life. I raced. Not professionally, but amateur. I even placed fourth one time. It was a nice hobby."

It was all about horses for Jokić then, and — despite having developed into one of the world's elite basketball players — his love for harness racing hasn't been extinguished.

According to Serbian public broadcast service RTS, Jokic made the racetrack his first stop upon returning to his hometown of Sombor jogging a trotter. He wasn't up for giving statements to the media, but he did allow them to film the jogging session.

"I just enjoy being around them and seeing their different characteristics," Jokić, who owns a trotter called Dream Catcher, said previously in an interview with The Athletic. "You get to see when they work out that they are basically like us. They are athletes, sprinters. They are magnificent creatures."

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