Nikola Jović’s daughter stole the show as the basketball player celebrated his team’s big win on Monday.
Moments after the Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat to win the NBA Championship, the star center celebrated on the court with his daughter Ognjena, 21 months.
While he was awarded the Bill Russell Finals MVP Trophy, Jović, 28, was cheered on by his teammates and joined by his daughter, who adorably wore his Championship hat.
In one photo, Jović carries his daughter and plants a kiss on her cheek and she attempts to keep the much-too-big hat on her head.
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Jović shares his daughter Ognjena, which means “fiery” in Serbian, with his wife Natalija. The pair have been married since October 2020.
Though the couple only recently got married, Natalija has been by Nikola’s side since their teenage years. When Nikola joined the Nuggets in 2015, she moved to Denver with him — and has been supporting the two-time NBA MVP from the sidelines ever since.
Now, Natalija can frequently be seen at Nikola’s games with their daughter Ognjena. In March 2023, Natalija shared a photo on her Instagram of Ognjena holding Nikola’s game ball from his 100th triple-double — an accomplishment only five other players have ever achieved in NBA history, as the AP reported.
When Nikola shattered another NBA record that April (he became the first NBA player to average 25 points, ten rebounds and five assists through his first 50 career postseason games, per Sports Illustrated), Natalija and Ognjena were there to cheer him on — with Ognjena seen on Instagram stories sporting a jacket with Nikola’s name and number on the back.
For Nikola, having the support of his wife and daughter has been invaluable while he competes in the NBA.
“I think all of us who have a wife and kids should be happy with the persons we have beside us,” he told Serbia’s Arena TV that January. “When you have a normal life, it lifts you up and only helps you.”
But balancing NBA life and fatherhood hasn’t always been easy for Nikola. In a rare interview given with Arena TV at his home in Serbia, Nikola opened up about what it is like to be away from his daughter while traveling for the NBA.
“I play 100 games away, I’m not home for 100 days,” he said. “When I come home, Ognjena is different. Literally in five days, she changes you know.”