Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NBA ; Heat's Dragic Reunited with Family

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

NBA ; Heat's Dragic Reunited with Family

Article excerpt

From the outside, the adjustment has been to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside. That's where the external thoughts turn when Goran Dragic's shots haven't been dropping, as often has been the case this season for the Miami Heat. But from the inside, from the heart, it always was about more who wasn't there. It was about Maja, Viktoria and Mateo.

Only now is Team Dragic in place, the comforts of home again comforting to Goran Dragic.

"It's awesome, Dragic said with a warm smile after Monday's practice at AmericanAirlines Arena.

After a difficult pregnancy that forced his wife, Maja, to give birth in their native Slovenia instead of the planned delivery in Miami, only this weekend did Maja, 3-month-old Viktoria and 2-year- old Mateo arrive. It is the first time Dragic has seen his daughter since the day after her birth and the first time Mateo has been old enough to have a conversation in person with his father.

"It's awesome to see my kids, my wife, and now we're all together. And after three months, it's going to be much easier, he said.

The reunion has come in steps, fittingly, baby steps. His family arrived Sunday evening. That's when the jet lag took hold.

"When we got home, everybody was so tired they fell asleep and I was the only guy alone, he said. "Awake and alone, again. But it was awesome.

Prior to Sunday, he had spent a single day with his daughter. Now there is ample bonding time.

"Now she's completely different, he said. "Now I feel like I need to get to know her. But, we're going to have now a lot of time to get good times in.

And now Mateo is talking. A lot.

"Like all kids, they change. They develop quick, he said. "When I left, he was at that basic stage, only one word, and now he can talk and it's awesome.

At times this season, Ljubljana, Slovenia, where his family was left behind, felt even farther than the actual 5,200 miles from South Florida. …

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