The season of the Youth Championships is over and several young players used these games to promote themselves. We give an overview of the most interesting moves that happened so far this summer.
On of the most surprising stories is the move of Enes Kanter to the United States. The 16 year old Center that played both U18 and U16 Championships will play on the high school level next season (Winchendon HS). The goal of the Turkish Basketball federation is to “transform” Kanter into a SF and have him operational on the Senior level for the World Championship 2010. I have some serious doubts about this move as Kanter did not show anything that would make him a possible wing in the future. Additionally, brining him to a High School in the United States is probably not the right decision to go into this direction. He would most likely dominate physically and use his force inside. The Turkish federation looks like not knowing exactly what they do as they give away one of their most talented players to the United States instead of forming him themselves in Istanbul.
Nikos Pappas, the guard that led the Greek U18 team to Gold in the European Championship signed a five-year deal with Bilbao in Spain. He will not play there however the first season and will be loaned to Real Madrid Reserve team in LEB Bronze. For me, this is another strange move as apparently no Greek team signed him. Bilbao on the other hand may have put one hand on one of the future top guards in Europe.
Another surprising move is the decision of Donatas Motiejunas to leave Zalgiris and sign most likely with Aisciai, one of the weakest teams in the LKL. Being linked to BC Kaunas, the second team of Zalgiris, at first, the latest rumors send him to the Atletas-Aisciai. The look for minutes is understandable but why he leaves the Zalgiris building instead and playing in BC Kaunas is quite a strange decision to me.
Fortitudo Bologna is trying out some youngsters these days by bringing over to Italy Filip Sepa from Serbia and Hristo Zahariev from Bulgaria. Nothing has been signed so far however. Another team that was active by bringing in new talent was Real Madrid who signed Dusan Bogdanovic, a 2m06 tall Forward born in 1993. Talking about 1993 born kids (UPDATE: Bogdanovic’s home team Vukovar denied the transfer of the player). Union Olimpija added Djordje Micic to their Senior team roster. The 2m00 tall forward played with the Bosnia-Herzegovina National team during the U16 European Championship. In France, the most interesting transfer may be the signings of Christophe Leonard by Cholet and Alexis Tanghe in Dijon. Finally, Robin Benzing will go back to his former team TV Langen after the NCAA did not accept him to play for Michigan.