Dallas County officials declare July 6, 2021, as Luka Dončić Day
Luka Dončić bounced to the beat of cheers and shouts as his Slovenian teammates hoisted him above their shoulders Sunday afternoon.
It was a storybook moment after Dončić helped his nation beat Lithuania, 98-85, to clinch a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
For the first time, Dončić and Slovenia — a country with a population of just 2.1 million people — are headed to the Olympics thanks to the Dallas Mavericks sensation.
“It’s amazing,” Dončić said. “I think every kid dreams about being in the Olympics. I did too. So, here we are. We fought really, really hard, and I think we deserve to be here.”
Back in North Texas, the celebration continued Tuesday morning at Dallas County Commissioners Court after a resolution passed to make July 6, 2021, Luka Dončić Day in Dallas County.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins read a resolution that recognized Dončić’s accomplishments both on and off the basketball court. He also praised the Slovenian’s ability to unite fans from across the world and thanked him for using sport to influence communities and provide outreach for underserved communities.
“Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Dallas County Commissioners Court does hereby congratulate and honor Luka Dončić as an ambassador to the game of basketball,” Judge Clay Jenkins said while reading the resolution. “We are thrilled and proud to have him serve as a representative to fine folks of Dallas County. Today we congratulate him on his accomplishments and look forward to more exciting years to come.”
The resolution later acknowledged his constant support for the Dallas County community through various charitable efforts, including the winter blast that impacted the region back in February.
“Dončić carries an important role in the community and we thank him for joining owner Mark Cuban and other team members in donating $1.25 million in February when the winter storm wiped out the county,” Judge Jenkins read. “Luka also joined the Mavs in donating $500,000 in funds to support childcare for healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. Luka also donated Jordan shoes to frontline healthcare workers back in March.”
Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall joined commissioners court via Zoom to praise the work of Dončić and thanked the county leaders for recognizing his tremendous accomplishments.
“On behalf of the Dallas Mavericks, thank you so much for recognizing him and what he’s doing,” Marshall told the court. “We appreciate him here in Dallas and we appreciate how he representing Dallas around the world.”
Slovenia will be placed in Group C for the Tokyo Games, one of the three four-team groups at the Olympics. Slovenia will play Argentina on July 26, Japan on July 29 and reigning World Cup champion Spain on Aug. 1. The top two teams in each group, plus two wild cards, will make the Olympic quarterfinals.
“It’s just one of the best feelings,
” Dončić said. “We worked hard for this.”
Some fans on social media questioned why the county didn’t wait a day to match the 7/7 date with Doncic’s No. 77 jersey; however, the decision was actually made with great intent and purpose. July 7 marks the somber fifth anniversary when five police officers were shot and killed by a Dallas gunman who used street protests conceal his ambush attack.
Back in Slovenia, Dončić awoke to an influx of messages Tuesday congratulating him on Luka Dončić Day.
“Thank you for this honor Dallas County and MFFLs,” the 22-year-old global sensation tweeted to fans.
Messages from all over the world poured in from fans, many congratulating him and wishing him good luck in Tokyo.
Marshall also took to social media to write a heartfelt message about what Dončić means to Dallas County and fans around the globe, especially children.
“One of the reasons I appreciate Luka is he truly loves our children,” Marshall wrote. “I saw him stop warming up to respond to a child’s request. Giving away shoes, writing big checks, providing childcare for first responders, starting a foundation, etc., are great. But to give of your time to embrace a little person and their dream is heartwarming to me. And he didn’t think twice about it. THIS is the spirit of our Dallas Mavericks team. They are caring human beings who give of their time, talent, and treasure. Yes, today is Luka Doncic Day and he would want us to appreciate our entire team. And I do.”