Athletes place great value on getting adequate amounts of rest and undisturbed sleep. They also place great value on not getting caught in a North Korean missile strike.
Those two values collided for Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic on Wednesday morning.
Doncic, a native Slovenian, is in Okinawa, Japan, for the 2023 FIBA World Cup along with the rest of the Slovenian national basketball team. But, the Slovenian team, as well as the other international teams and residents in Okinawa, had their sleep interrupted at 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday by sirens warning of North Korean missile activity.
When asked about the alert, Doncic admitted it rattled him.
“Oh yeah, the alarm was crazy,” Doncic told the assembled media. “I mean, I just saw ‘Missiles, it’s coming. Missile, it’s coming.’ So I was a little scared.”
Just a little?
FIBA released a statement about the 13-minute-long alert. As it turns out, the alert was in response to a North Korean satellite launch.
“Due to the launch of a satellite by North Korea, the Japanese Government sent two alarms via the ‘J-Alert system’ on all cell phones in Okinawa early this morning,” FIBA’s statement read. “The first was sent at 3:54 am and the second at 4:07 am, clearing the alarm.”
Doncic and the Slovenian team begin their quest for a FIBA championship on August 26. Thankfully for them, the tournament will be over before North Korea’s next expected missile launch in October.