During this year’s edition of the FIBA Europe Division B U18 European Championship in Sarajevo, the Swedish team marked the tournament with its playing style and underlined the continuous improving of the Swedish basketball in general. With a 4th place at the Under-20 and a 5th at the Under-16 Euro in Division B, Sverige is currently earning the first results of an improving national focus on Basketball in the youth categories. Today, we take a closer look at the leader of the Swedish 1991 generation, the Small Forward and tournament MVP Christopher Czerapowicz.
Czerapowicz improved every year since he joined the Swedish Youth National Teams back in 2007 with the U16. I had the opportunity to discover him during the 2008 edition of the Albert-Schweitzer Tournament where he was a scoring threat coming of the bench, but less regarded than other prospects like Andreas Person or Alexander Lindqvist. Since then, Czerapowicz has gained another year of experience and put himself in the leader position of the 1991 generation.
Christopher is a 1m97 tall forward, who has his future on the SF position, even if he needed to help sometimes on the PF when Sweden played small. He prefers however to be on the wing, where he can use his main offensive skills: the shot and create on the drive. His three point shot comes of a quick release where he lacks however a bit of height when firing. This may hurt him a little when guarded by taller players, but as he can shoot pretty quick, it is only a minor problem right now. You could see Sweden run a lot of set plays for Czerapowicz to come from screens and go for catch-and-shoot three pointers. In these plays, he does not jump really high to take the shot though.
On the other hand, the forward can create a lot from his dribble. His ball handling is decent for his size and you can see him attack the basket with both hands. Spin moves or behind the back dribbles in the penetration are not a problem for him and he can easily stop his drives in order to go for the jump shot. He also likes to drive from the top and go for some kind of floater from about 2-3 meters. Out of the drives, he is able to dish the ball to the big men, even if he mainly attacks the basket to go for his own scoring. When playing the 4 position, Czerapowicz was mostly present on the high post to beat his opponents of the dribble. He has not really a low post game to speak of.
Czerapowicz back in 2008 during the U18 European Championship
A very interesting part in Czerapowicz’ game is his constant improvements over the last years that are not limited to scoring only. He is very present in the offensive rebound where he can use his speed and very quick jumping. He goes after his own shot when he feels that there is a possibility to get the ball and he has a pretty good timing for tip-ins. Czerapowicz is described as a tough guy and a good defender too.
The MVP title that he earned in Sarajevo this summer gave him also a participation right to the Champion U18 All-Star Camp and Game that has been held in Poland during the Eurobasket 2009. He finished the game with 5pts and 4rebs. This season, Christopher Czerapowicz will finish his High School at the Swedish Basketball school of Sanda. After that year, he will move to the United States as he has signed a commitment with Davidson College. You can see Czerapowicz with #8 on both videos.