Here’s what you should know about Nikola Vucevic: He was born in Switzerland and raised mostly in Belgium, where his father played professional basketball as a member of the Yugoslav national team. His family moved to Montenegro when he was a teenager. He speaks three languages.
Vucevic, a 7-foot center for the Orlando Magic, came to America in 2007 and played his senior year of basketball at Stoneridge Prep in California before he went on to play at the University of Southern California.
He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, where he played one season before he was shipped to Orlando.
At 24 years old, Vucevic is well traveled. So is his palette. In-n-Out is his favorite fast food joint. Even authentic Philly cheesecakes haven’t made the top of his life. His mother’s crepes though – nothing quite compares to that.
“[Traveling] really helped me develop,” Vucevic said. “You know how people are scared to try different foods? Living in different areas has really helpd me to learn to like different stuff. I like pretty much everything. There arent’ a lot of things I don’t like to eat.”
Well, except vegetables. But more on that later.
Vucevic is also a rising star in the NBA, averaging more than 18 points and 11 rebounds per game and is tied with Anthony Davis, Pau Gasol, John Wall and Chris Paul for the most double-double games in the league this season (13). That’s more than Tim Duncan and more than Kevin Love.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers called Vucevic called him “an All-Star and a terrific player. He’s the best player in the league that nobody knows about,” Rivers said.
And that’s quite a compliment coming from one of the league’s most respected head coaches.
Nik, shared a meal with us for this edition of DISHED, a series where athletes are sharing exactly what’s on their plate.
PROTEIN: Grilled chicken. I eat a lot of chicken. It’s easy and it’s good for you and it’s easy to digest, which is big for me. Whn you eat too much you feel sleepy and slow. Grilled chicken is something a lot of players commonly eat but especially for me. I eat it all the time.
GREENS: Asparagus. The first time I ever ate it was when I came to the states. I won’t say I enjoy the taste but I know it’s good for me. It doesn’t really have a taste. I hate broccoli. I can’t eat it. There’s also that other vegetable that looks like broccoli but it’s white. Cauliflower. I hate that too. I just can’t eat it. Asparagus is something that I know I can eat and I know I need vegetables so most of the time I’ll go with that.
CARBS: Mashed potatoes. I’ll usually either do mashed potatoes or rice as a side.
Nik’s Favorite Home-cooked Meal
My mom makes these crepes (back home in Montenegro). When I go back home that’s the first thing my mom makes for me. My mom makes them sweet. Her recipe for them is just to make them very good.
Nik’s Favorite Cheat Meal
My favorite fast food is In-n-Out. I like Panda Express or McDonalds.
Nik’s Go-To Post Game Meal
If I’m on the road we just try to grab something as quick as we can. It’ll usually be some kind of pasta or vegetables. After a game you can really eat whatever you want. But no bread, no sauces, no sweets. None of that. I try to do that as much as I can but definitely not before games. I have a rule on sweets. I’ll only eat them once a week.
Nik’s Favorite Desserts
There’s a place in downtown Orlando called Kress. I get the white chocolate bread pudding. It’s probably the best dessert I’ve ever had.
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