Lauri Markkanen has made great waves in the National Basketball Association (NBA) since he was picked in the 2017 draft by the Minnesota Vikings but was traded to the Chicago Bulls that same day. He has shown his skills and strength while playing as a forward and has taken his game to the international sphere.
The height he has attained as a basketballer does not come as a surprise because foundations were laid for him as a sportsman, his parents were both stars in the game of basketball and his brothers are doing well in soccer and basketball respectively.
His Early Life
The NBA champ was born as Lauri Elias Markkannen on May 22, 1997, to Pekka and Rikka Markkannen. He was raised in Finland but later moved with his family to Jyvaskyla. Lauri was born into a family who adorned the world of sports. The head of the home, Pekka, was an active basketball player during his days at the University of Kansas, however, he never played the game professionally. His mom was a part of the Finland national basketball team.
So far, we gathered that Lauri has siblings who are doing amazingly well in sports. His older brother, Eero is skilled in soccer, he played soccer for the Aik soccer team and currently plays for Randers FC. His other brother, Mikka did absolutely well in the game of basketball, he played the game professionally before he sustained an injury that ended his career.
For his educational pursuit, he attended Helsinki Academy. He then moved from Finland to the United States of American and attended the University of Arizona, graduating in 2007.
Lauri’s immigration to the United States of America was for the good of his career. He got committed to Arizona and was superb in the court. He forwent his three years collegiate eligibility and decided to apply for the 2017 NBA draft.
With his intentions known, he was later picked in the first round of the NBA draft by the Minnesota Vikings. That same day, the Vikings traded him to the Chicago Bulls and on July 5, 2017, he sealed his deal with the Bulls.
With the Bulls, he started on high spirit as a forward, scoring 17 points in the first week and set an NBA record for the most 3-pointers ever attained in the first week of an NBA season. During a game against the Indiana Pacers, he scored a career-high 32 points, 7 rebounds leading to a 119-107 win.
The following year, Lauri Markkanen started with an impressive record and in under 46 minutes, he scored a career-high 33 points which led to a win against the New York Knicks. In a tough battle against the Milwaukee Bucks, he totalled 17 points and cumulatively gathered 721 points in his first professional career year. At this level, he was named the second finish player who had attained such heights and he also earned the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
With a successful career in the NBA, Lauri Markkanen qualified to play basketball internationally. He played his first international game with the Finnish U-18 national team during the 2015 Fiba Europe Under-18 Championship and averaged 18.2 points per game. His contributions to the team led them to play for the 2016 FIBA Europe Under-20 championship tournament. He was named to the All-Tournament Team after he averaged 24.9 points in each game.
Is He Married or Dating Anyone?
As far as we know, Lauri Makkanen is not married but has been in a jolly relationship with his longtime girlfriend, Verna Aho. Verna runs a blog that mostly talks about animals, human rights and vegan food.
The two welcomed their baby boy in the month of January 2017. From the look of things, they are happy with their relationship just the way it is.
Other Interesting Facts
Finland has produced a lot of athletes but when it comes to the world of playing basketball professionally, they have produced a few capable hands. We gathered that Lauri is the third player who hails from Finland to play in the NBA.
Only a few athletes are as tall as Lauri Markkanen, he has a gigantic athletic body build and stands tall at 7 feet with a balanced weight of 104 kg.
With the Chicago Bulls, the basketballer earns $3,821,640. He is estimated to be worth $2 million.
Within the short period, Lauri inked his rookie contract with the Chicago Bulls, he purchased a brand new car for his mom. This is common for most basketball players as most of them tend to buy their mothers gift in order to appreciate them for all they have done.