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Rapids keeper holds hometown bond with Nikola Jokic

Rapids goalkeeper Marko Ilic went to the same high school as the Nuggets MVP and is proudly now representing the same city professionally.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — When the Colorado Rapids acquired Marko Ilic on loan from Kortrijk at the beginning of the season, they were bringing him closer to a few dreams: making his mark in the MLS behind one of the best keepers in William Yarbrough, and meeting his hometown idol down the street.

"I'm a big fan of basketball, big fan of NBA, and a huge fan of [Nuggets center Nikola] Jokic, so when I knew that I was going to come to Denver, I was really excited," Ilic said.

Ilic, a Serbian native, shares an even stronger bond with his favorite baller.

"We actually went to the same school together," he said. "I mean, I never actually met him, we were separate and he's three years older I think, so we didn't go at the same time, but we went to the same high school in Novi Sad."

And he wears that fact with pride.

"Everyone knows who Jokic is in Serbia, he's a really important ambassador of Serbia," Ilic said. "He represents Serbia in the best possible way and everyone looks up to him and everyone is a huge fan of Jokic in Serbia. Having the chance to be in the same city, having the chance to go to the games, watch him, represent Serbia, it's really a good experience."


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