Although the Denver Nuggets are playing below .500 basketball, they are currently the owners of the eighth seed in the Western Conference. A large part of their success can be attributed to rising star center Nikola Jokic, and his impressive sophomore season.

As a kid, the Serbian native began playing basketball with his older brothers, who are 11 and 13 years older than him. Yet, growing up, basketball was not the only thing that interested Jokic.

In an interview with ESPN writer Zach Lowe, Jokic said, “horse racing is big in my hometown, so I just went one day, and it was like, ‘Wow, I really like this.’ I loved the beauty of the horses. I loved the adrenaline of a race. When you are riding a horse, and another one comes right by your ear over here, it’s amazing. You feel it. You feel the ground shaking, the hooves on the ground.”

Although the amateur jockey will have to wait to get on the racetrack, he will take the floor against the Atlanta Hawks this Wednesday, February 8, to continue the fight for a Nuggets playoff berth for the first time since the 2012 season.