After having presented the reasons for the recent upswing of Swedish Basketball in the first part of our article, I will focus today on those prospects that represent the future of Swedish Basketball. The players mentioned are only those being born in 1991 or younger though.
Carl Engström – 2m13 – Center – 1991 – Ystad
Engström is still a pretty raw player as he started to play basketball only in 2008 after having been a Handball Junior National Team player for Sweden. He played with the Swedish U18 Basketball National Team in 2009 where he averaged 4.1ppg 6.0rpg and 0.6bpg in 21 minutes per game. He features an excellent physical skill set due to his Handball past, but he needs to learn the game from scratch as he never played Basketball on a serious level before. The Swedish federation is of course investing a lot to develop this high potential as you can see in the Video below where Engström works in Training sessions with Per Källman. It looks like the seven-footer is being recruited by several D1 Colleges from the United States which may be a very interesting option for him.
Andreas Person – 1m87 – Guard – 1991 – Uppsala
Andreas Person impressed a lot of people back in 2008 at the Albert-Schweitzer Tournament as a one year younger guard. Now, the 1m87 tall slasher has developed into a regular contributor in the first Swedish League and saw already some interest from European clubs over the last months. He averages right now 12.2ppg (53.4% 2FG – 33.1% 3FG – 76.3% FT), 3.2rpg 2.8apg and 2.3topg for his team of Uppsala which are impressive stats for such a young player in a professional environment. Person lives a lot from his driving qualities where he goes sometimes for difficult moves. He displays nice speed which he can vary and change in order to create opportunities for himself mainly. His three-point shot is still hesitating in situations but he improved the accuracy over the last years. He needs to work on his Play-making skills though as he lacks the necessary size and physical presence to play the 2 guard on the highest level.
Christopher Czerapowicz – 1m97 – Guard – 1991 – Sanda (committed to Davidson College)
Czerapowicz is currently playing in the 2nd Swedish division with the Sanda Basketball Gymnasium Team. He was the leader of the Swedish U18 National Team that moved up to Division A last summer. The 1m97 tall guard is very versatile, he can even help during stretches on the 3 or 4 position. His handles are good and he can create a lot out of the drive. His shot release is pretty quick despite not having the highest release point. On his drives, he has a good feeling to finish with floaters from mid-range distance. With his move to play College Basketball next season, he will certainly add the necessary physical strength for the next level. Being a tremendous fighter and team leader will help him to improve over the next years.
Alexander Lindqvist – 2m04 – Forward – 1991 – Solna
The 2m04 tall small forward from Solna is making an interesting impact already in the Swedish first division this season. Lindqvist is a highly versatile player who despite his size can play guard positions too, mainly on the offensive end. His shot looks interesting and he can make the three-point shot with good percentages. Physically, he is still far from being a strong player, he is currently listed at 87kg but he has some interesting athletic abilities and with a wingspan of 2m08, he can create some important mismatches in the low post.
Pierre Hampton – 2m00 – Forward – 1991 – ecoÖrebro
The Swedish-American forward is currently one of the surprises of the Swedish first League with an average of 6.5ppg and 4.2rpg in 23 minutes of action. He is one of the most efficient players of the League already and despite his young age plays under control. He has a decent ball handling, can shoot the ball both in catch-and-shoot situations and out of the dribble. He developed an interesting post-up game where he can use his above average athletic abilities. He goes strong for the rebound and is not afraid to play physical. Out of these situations, you can see him even bringing up the ball and get the offense going.
Viktor Gaddefors – 2m00 – Forward – 1992 – Uppsala
Viktor Gaddefors, who was elected MVP of the recent Baltic Sea Cup in Tallinn is the leader of the 1992 generation in Sweden. His role with Uppsala in the highest Swedish league is increasing a lot this season and even if he averages 3.5ppg only, he showed some very nice single games over the last weeks. Gaddefors can easily take the jump shot out of the dribble and displays a good combination of size and speed. He can split the defense to create for his team mates and has also good lateral speed to stay in front of faster players in defense. He seems to understand the game pretty well and he will be the team leader of the Swedish U18 team this summer during the European Championship.
Jonathan Person – 1m89 – Guard – 1993 – Virtus Bologna
Jonathan Person amazed a lot of people with his talent last spring at the Nordic Championships and played also an interesting U16 European Championship of B Division during the summer 2009. The guard displays an extraordinary physical setup with great leaping abilities and speed. He can drive and score at will on youth level as he reads nicely what the defense gives him and he can change his speed effectively to create opportunities. He attacks the basket with either hand and can also finish from left and right. Person needs however to improve his long distance shot and especially his free-throw shooting accuracy. He drew the attention of several top European clubs this summer and the Italian Virtus Bologna brought him over.
Marcus Eriksson – 1m95 – Guard – 1993 – Uppsala
Marcus Eriksson is one of the most interesting shooters of his generation and has drawn the interest of FC Barcelona already. The shooting guard can heat up and hit the three point shots in impressive series. He has a particularly quick release in catch-and-shoot situations but he can also nail the long distance attempts out of the dribbling. Being born in December 93, he is still very young but has already an important role on the Swedish youth program. He finished once again best three-point shooter with Sweden at the recent Baltic Sea Cup where he scored 10 out 17 three pointers in the three games of the tournament.
William Magarity – 2m07 – Forward – 1993 – Norköpping
William Magarity is certainly the most highly regarded talent right now in Sweden. Displaying an excellent physical setup with 2m05 height and a 2m13 wingspan, Magarity remembers me a bit of a young Donatas Motiejunas. He played for Biella at the NIJT in London and he had offers from other Italian teams already (he visited Benetton Treviso this winter too) but he is right now still in Sweden. The son of a former US-born professional player is showcasing an excellent scoring potential both in the low post and in face-up basketball. He has an excellent shooting touch and can hit it in turn-around fashion but also out of the dribble. Defensively, he has a nice presence through his long arms and he displays an excellent shot blocking timing. All of his moves look very coordinated and elegant but he needs to get more physical and tougher over the next years. He has of course the time to develop as he has not even played any games on the professional level yet. With his team in the second Swedish division, he averaged 7.7ppg, 3.9rpg and 1.2bpg in about 17 minutes on the court.
Nicholas Spires – 2m08 – Forward – 1994 – Södertälje
Nicholas Spires was the youngest player of the talented Swedish U16 team of last summer and he had already major minutes. Spires grew three more centimeters since then and presents a nice 2m08 tall height right now. He has already some interesting post-up moves but in general he is pretty raw. He has a good presence on the offensive glass and executes with good speed.