Luka Samanic was born in Zagreb, Croatia. His father, Marko, had a 19-year career in professional basketball, including a stint with Krka of the EuroLeague. Luka's early interests included soccer, handball and tennis. He did not begin playing basketball until he was 11 years old. Samanic started his basketball career with a local club at the youth level. He was named MVP of the Croatian cadet championship in 2016 and attended the Adidas EuroCamp soon thereafter. At the age of 16, Samanic signed a two-year amateur contract with Spanish club FC Barcelona, initially playing with its junior team. He earned the Rising Star award at the 2016-17 Adidas Next Generation Tournament. The following season, he took on a larger role with Barcelona's junior team and earned All-Tournament honors at the 2017-18 Adidas Next Generation Tournament. Later that year, he began his professional career with Barcelona's senior reserve team. Learn more about Samanic by following him on Twitter (@SamanicLuka) and on Instagram (@lukasamanic9). After taking up basketball at the age of 11 and playing with various international junior teams, Samanic started his pro career in 2017-18 with Barcelona's reserve team. Samanic only logged four minutes in his debut, but he started gaining notice by scoring 10 points over 20 minutes in his second game -- the first of several double-digit efforts. He finished the year with averages of 5.1 points and 2.0 rebounds across 12.7 minutes. Samanic played one more season with Petrol Olimpija in 2018-19 before declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft. Even with a deep pool of international talent, he was selected in the first round with the 19th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs.