Jusuf Nurki? tried to buy COVID-19 vaccines for Bosnia and Herzegovina

PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 25: Jusuf Nurkic #27 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts in the second quarter while injured against the Boston Celtics during their game at Moda Center on February 25, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

As vaccines for the COVID-19 virus become more accessible to us, there remain those who still have to wait. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne documented the various experiences for several figures in and around the NBA during the pandemic. One of the more remarkable stories concerns TrailBlazers big-man Jusuf Nurki?.

With several COVID-19 vaccines gone unused, Nurki? attempted to buy some off to aid those from his native Bosnia and Herzegovina. The virus took a stronghold over the country, with over 200,000 confirmed cases and 9,600 deaths. With limited access to the vaccine, the NBA veteran sought an opportunity to assist.

“I tried to buy it for the whole country. I figured out the money, the plan and everything. But we still can’t do it. Even if we find vaccines, I guess United States laws say that until the American people are vaccinated, you can’t sell it. So, I don’t know what else to do. I really tried.

All these countries are suffering and you have the United States, obviously the No. 1 in the world, has the vaccines and people don’t want to get vaccinated.”

Jusuf Nurki?, via

Nurki?, like multiple other NBA players, lost family members to COVID-19. His grandmother passed after a near three-week bout with the virus. At the time, he was with his team, preparing to play in the NBA bubble. As the coronavirus made its rounds across the world, it took its toll on everyone. Nurki? advocates for a further widening of the vaccine to allow more people to reclaim their lives, among other things.

The COVID-19 virus’ grasp of the American population has waned in the past months. However, it does still rear its head, even among NBA players. Suns guard Chris Paul contracted the virus in late June, forcing him to miss games one and two of the west final. Team USA players Bradley Beal and Jerami Grant have recently entered health and safety protocols for potential contact tracing.

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