Mavericks star Luka Dončić to pay for funerals of 8 children after mass shooting in Belgrade
Luka Dončić is stepping up after a mass shooting killed eight children and a security guard at a Serbian elementary school Wednesday.
The Dallas Mavericks star has committed to pay for the victims' funeral services and grief counseling for classmates and staff at Vladislav Ribnikar primary school, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
While Dončić is a native of nearby Slovenia, he reportedly has deep family ties to Belgrade, the Serbian capital where the shooting took place. His father, Sasha, is a Serbian native and his grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin all still live in the region.
Dončić's statement, via ESPN:
"I am heartbroken by the tragic school shooting in Serbia and the loss of lives, including those of innocent school children," Doncic said in a statement. "My thoughts are with the families and the entire community affected by this tragedy.
"Through my foundation, I am exploring both immediate and long-term ways to support the students, faculty, and families affected by the shooting at the Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School. I am committed and I will continue to share updates and ways to support as details become available."
Belgrade, I support and stand with you all during this difficult time. Through @LD77Foundation I am exploring both immediate and long-term ways to support the students, faculty, and families affected by the shooting at the Vladislav Ribnikar Elementary School.
— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) May 4, 2023
The 24-year-old Dončić has been active philanthropically in the local community since joining the Mavericks in 2018.
Dončić, who signed a five-year, $207 million contract extension last year, reportedly plans to be part of any long-term assistance needed from the shooting and will welcome any other Balkan players who want to help. The list of Serbian NBA players includes Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets, Bogdan Bogdanović of the Atlanta Hawks and Boban Marjanović of the Houston Rockets.