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Nowitzki puts basketball on hold for family

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Nowitzki puts basketball on hold for family
Photo: DPA
10:12 CEST+02:00
Germany's basketball superstar Dirk Nowitzki may not be making headlines in the current NBA playoffs, but back home on a visit he announced that his first child will be a girl – and she'll be playing tennis not hoops.

The Dallas Mavericks forward, who just finished up a less than stellar season, announced at a sponsoring event in Frankfurt that he and his wife, Jessica Olsson, are expecting a girl in about four weeks.

The couple don't have a name picked out for the baby, but have already thought about the sport their child should pursue, indicating basketball isn't suitable for a girl.

“Tennis is for women an attractive sport, Nowitzki, who is more than two meters tall, said.

This is the first time in 13 years that Nowitzki and the Mavericks didn't make it into the playoffs. But there's good along with the bad – he now has extra time to devote to the newborn.

For the moment Nowitzki is letting his basketball collect dust, much to the dismay of the German national team, who will not have the NBA star on its team in September for the European Championsips in Slovenia.

Nowitzki, who turns 35 on Wednesday, has acknowledged that he needs more time as he gets older to recover. But he hopes he can play until his late 30s – assuming his joints cooperate.

But for now Nowitzki wants to enjoy his time at home. His father will be 70 on Tuesday and on June 23rd in his hometown of Würzburg he and an all star team go against Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer and friends at a football benefit game.

“You can't really call what I play football,” he said, adding that his feet are too big to be good with the ball, but he says he does a decent job as a goalie.

The star-studded event will benefit disadvantaged children and youth.

DPA/The Local/mw

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