Nikola Jokic is married to Natalija Macesic, a fellow native of Sombor, Serbia, and the couple has a daughter together. Macesic actually moved to the U.S. before Jokic joined the NBA and she played volleyball for Seminole State College in Oklahoma.
Here’s what you need to know about Nikola Jokic’s wife Natalija Macesic:
1. Nikola Jokic & Natalija Macesic Are From Sombor, Serbia & Spent the First Couple of Years of Their Relationship Long-Distance
Macesic and Jokic have known each other a long time and have known each other since at least 2012, according to a throwback photo of October 6, 2012, posted by Macesic. The couple is very private about their life together.
According to an interview in a local news outlet, the two met through mutual friends and Jokic said he immediately liked Macesic. He said he was too nervous to tell her and they became friends first, until about six months into their friendship when he shared his feelings.
Jokic revealed that Macesic left for the U.S. for college just two months after they started dating in 2013 and they decided to date long-distance. During that time, she posted some photos of the two together on Instagram and wrote that she was missing her boyfriend and counting down until the next time she would see him. She also posted photos of her TV as she watched her then-boyfriend’s games in Serbia.
In the summer of 2014, Jokic flew to the U.S. and traveled around with Macesic for some time as she posted photos of their visits to various sites in Los Angeles. In July 2015, she shared photos of Jokic in a Nuggets hat and wrote that she was “proud” of her partner.
2. Natalija Macesic Attended College in Oklahoma for 2 Years, Where She Played on the Volleyball Team, Before Transferring to the Metropolitan State University of Denver
Macesic attended Seminole State College in Oklahoma, where she studied psychology and played on the school’s volleyball team. She spent two years at the school, from 2013 to 2015 when she was one of the college’s 16 athletes recognized by NJCAA for academic success.
In 2015, she transferred to the Metropolitan State University of Denver to be closer to Jokic when he joined the Nuggets and completed her psychology degree there in 2018. At the time, she said, “Once I get my Master’s I’ll be all done,” the Gazette reported.
3. Natalija Macesic Moved In With Nikola Jokic & His 2 Brothers When They Moved to Denver for His Career
When Jokic moved to Denver to join the Nuggets, his two older brothers went with him and moved into an apartment together, along with Macesic. “He’s an intelligent guy and I’m confident he wouldn’t get off track here,” Nemanja Jokic told Sports Illustrated. “But this is such an important time and I want him to have the kind of support I didn’t. I always tell him, ‘You’re living my dream. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t make the mistakes we made.’”
Jokic told Slam in an interview that he liked Denver because the “nature, mountains, rivers and trees” reminded him of his hometown in Serbia. Despite that, he said everything was different, from the people to the food and he was feeling homesick at first. “I’m homesick,” he told Bleacher Report back in 2017. “I want to go home right now. I mean, I am the third kid, and I am a little closer with my parents than [my brothers] are.”
Despite that, the three brothers and Macesic said they did their best to create a home in Denver and not get homesick over the differences. Jokic said he’ll sometimes grill cevapi, a Serbian sausage, but that Macesic cooked the most out of them. Jokic also shared that they often play cards and get really competitive, and even mentioned that he’d tried to get Macesic to cheat.
“You have to watch the cards,” Jokic said of their Uno games in an interview with Bleacher Report. “You have to watch everybody at the table, because everybody is cheating. You don’t know who is the worst.” Macesic chimed in to tell Jokic, “I don’t cheat.”
“I want her to cheat,” Jokic replied, explaining that it was the only way to beat his two brothers who are “cheating all the time.” Macesic then shared, “They don’t know how to lose.”
Macesic appears to be really close to Jokic’s brothers and she posted several photos and videos of the group having fun together in their apartment.
4. Natalija Macesic & Nikola Jokic Married in October 2020 in Their Hometown of Sombor, Serbia
Jokic and Macesic got engaged in January 2020, as per Macesic’s post on Instagram. She shared a photo of a ring on her hand as she grinned at the camera with Jokic smiling beside her. The couple tied the knot in October 2020 in their hometown of Sombor, Serbia.
Since then, Macesic has shared some photos of their special day on Instagram, including one where she called her wedding day her favorite party ever. A video of the couple dancing on their wedding night as Jokic sang also circulated on social media, to the delight of Nuggets fans. Since then, Jokic has played his games with his wedding ring tied to his shoes.
Their home city is clearly still very important to the couple and they often travel back there in the offseason. In fact, Jokic shared in 2017, “After my career is over, I’m gonna go back there. It’s super slow — not too much going on — but you have everything. You have a canal, nature; you can get peace of mind outside the city. I just like to be someplace where I know how to drive a car without navigation. How I say, no place like home? Something like that,” he told Bleacher Report.
5. Natalija Macesic & Nikola Jokic Welcomed Their First Child Together, a Daughter, in September 2021
In September 2021, the Joker shared that he and his wife were expecting their first child. “(The offseason) was short,” he told the Burlington Record. “Probably the highlight is we have a baby coming. That’s probably the highlight of my season, (of) my life. Other than that, it was really short. The second good thing is my horses won 15-to-20 races this year. They’re doing a good job.”
He said everyone he’d talked to about their news told him that their own children were “the best thing that ever happened to them.” Their daughter was born in September 2021, and the happy parents named her Ognjena Jokic. Macesic hasn’t posted many photos of her daughter on social media, though she shared an adorable family snap with the three of them and Jokic’s 2021-2022 MVP trophy.
In March 2022, Jokic said his family gives him an extra spark of energy in his life and described Macesic as “the MVP of our family” in a press conference. He added, “She’s doing so much for us and for the baby. I’m really happy that I have her, and that makes me so happy just to see her face when baby sees Natalija. It’s amazing. I love it.”