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Albert Schweitzer Tournament 2006 flashback

April 2nd, 2010 · 1 Comment

2006 was the second Albert Schweitzer Tournament for me as an observer and the first one where I really wrote about it. It was at the beginning of this website so I wanted to check back what happened to some of the players I have seen play 4 years ago. As I was there only on the Finals day, it was a bit short to really evaluate all the players, so I don’t go back in detail. But I wanted to pick out one player in particular to see what has happened to him.

During that Finals day, I picked an All-Star 5 back then which was composed of Nicolas Batum, Milan Macvan, Alexis Ajinca, Ante Delas and Darius Gvezdauskas. When you take a look at those names today, 2 of these players are playing in the NBA (Batum and Ajinca), one is playing on a serious level already in Europe despite being a year younger (Macvan) while the two others impressed me back then but could never really break out so far. Ante Delas is currently at Trogir in the A1 Croatian League where he averages 9.2ppg for a 12-8 record but I wanted to take a closer look at Darius Gvezdauskas as he particularly impressed me back then in the only game I saw.

After the 2006 edition of the Albert-Schweitzer Tournament, Gvezdauskas played a mediocre U18 European Championship where he averaged 4.6ppg. He continued with a season at KKM Kaunas and participated to the U19 World Championships with Lithuania in 2007. He finished with 9.4ppg and 45.7% from behind the arc and it looked like he was ready for the next step. He moved to Aisciai Atletas Kaunas but he could never really impress anyone in the two seasons he spent there. The Serbian World Championship marked also the end of his National Team career (he did not get selected for the U20 National team in 2008) and a move to Marijampole in March 2009 opened him some scoring possibilities but in a weaker team. This season now he plays for Nevezis Kedainiai, a team that finished last in the Baltic League with a 2-16 record and stands at the 11th place in a Lithuanian League that seems to have one of the weakest levels over the last years.

In Nevezis, he is now putting up nice numbers with 13.9ppg (38.7% from behind the arc but also only 39.6% from 2pt range) but only 1.5apg in the Baltic League. But even if these numbers look nice, you can not say that Gvezdauskas is raising some eyebrows in Lithuania. He has more or less a free shooting ticket in his team and sees lots of minutes on the court and only when he nails his attempts, then he scores a lot. Right  now, the player that I saw four years ago being the boss on the court and making the big plays is a scoring combo guard who neither has the control of the game nor is he making his team a winning one. He has though a quick release and he can score the ball in catch-and shoot situations but also create his own shot out of the drive or in the step back. But the stronger teams like Zalgiris or Lietuvos Rytas know how to deal with such type of players and easily close him down. As he has not really progressed in other parts of his game, he is not considered as more than an average player by some local observers.

The few games I saw this season of him confirmed this opinion and showed why Gvezdauskas is not getting a lot of interest by stronger teams. Not only that he is monopolizing the ball on offense, he is not present in defense also where his lack of athleticism and slow lateral speed put him in a lot of trouble.

It is good to see sometimes that players that you liked when being young – and yes, I liked what I saw of Darius Gvezdauskas back in 2006 at the Albert Schweitzer – not always develop as you may imagine. Some do, some don’t. So it was a good thing for me to do this little flashback as the tournament is just around the corner and be aware that the players on the court in Mannheim are only 17-18 years old. They have all the future in their own hands, it’s up to them to make the best out of it.

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Stevan // Apr 5, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Ivan Koljevic… Cannot believe he did not made it too.

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