Who is Aleksej Pokusevski? NBA’s fanny pack mystery rookie

Aleksej Pokusevski, “Poku” for short, has the internet buzzing — but not so much about the NBA rookie’s on-court skills. Despite recording 19 points, four rebounds and two blocks across 32 minutes in the Thunder’s loss to the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, Poku’s fanny pack stole the spotlight.

In a post-game presser, the 19-year-old was asked about the contents inside his fanny pack after a reporter noted that fans were curious about his belongings. Poku rocked the beige-colored Nike bag while making his way into the arena.

“I’m so sorry, I gotta keep it a secret,” Pokusevski replied, smirking. The secrecy has sparked a playful mystery among some Oklahoma City fans, who “need to know” what the Serbian star is carrying around his waist. Until he decides to share, or accidentally spills what’s in his bag, there are a few things to know about Poku.

First things first, when he’s not sporting fashionable accessories off the court, Poku is straight up balling. Since moving into OKC’s starting lineup in mid-March, the 7-foot forward (who weighs under 200 pounds) has scored in double-digits on nine occasions — including a career-high 25 points in a loss to the Hornets on Wednesday night.

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In February, Poku impressed in the NBA G-League as part of the Thunder’s affiliate team, Oklahoma City Blue. In his short playing career in the U.S., Pokusevski has showcased quickness, versatility at the rim and impeccable ability to read the floor.

Aleksej Pokusevski playing for the Thunder on April 2, 2021
Aleksej Pokusevski playing for the Thunder on April 2, 2021
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He was selected with the 17th overall pick in the NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves in November, which made him — still 18 years old at the time — the youngest player selected in the 2020 draft. Just 48 hours later, Poku’s draft rights were traded to the Thunder in a three-team trade.

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One year before he declared for the NBA Draft, in April 2020, Poku made his EuroLeague debut with Olympiacos in March 2019.

Additionally, Poku was a member of the Serbian national under-17 team that competed at the 2018 FIBA Under-17 World Cup in Argentina — and the Serbian national under-18 team that competed at the 2019 FIBA Under-18 European Championship in Greece.

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