Here we go for a very specific and personal review of the Year 2010 with the events that have marked me the most in a positive or negative way. The aim of this post is not to point out all the major events that have happened over the last 12 months but specifically picking out those stories that were in my opinion the most interesting.
The non-qualification of Enes Kanter
The Turkish Center was considered the most dominating player in Europe for the next years after his stellar performances in the different Youth Championships over the last years. But 2010 marked a serious stop in his progress as he began the 2009/2010 season by travelling through the United States in order to find the right High School and finally got declared ineligible this fall to play in the NCAA. Instead of being a major factor in the Euroleague, Kanter is sitting on the bench and watching some youngsters playing Basketball instead of fighting versus grown-up men. I hope that he finds his way back to the court soon, no matter where. But seeing such a talent wasting his time in the hazardous process of getting a College eligibility instead of battling in the paint versus Jonas Valanciunas is kind of heartbreaking.
The confirmation of Jonas Valanciunas
Talking about 1992 born inside players, Jonas Valanciunas shows already how good he can be. With the addition of the legendary Sarunas Jasikevicius, he has now the perfect PG to play the Pick and Roll during the miraculous qualification for the Top16. (wow, I just heard that Jasikevicius left) Valanciunas led the Lithuanian U18 National Team to a dominating Gold Medal this summer and is set (as we predicted) to become already a good factor on the Lithuanian Senior National team to play the Eurobasket 2011.
The first ever U17 World Championship
It was a new event in the calendar but it was highly interesting despite the limited level of some of the participants. It featured a super-skilled United States team that won the Gold Medal in the sauna of Hamburg and a Polish U17 National Team that gave them a great fight after having survived against Lithuania in one of the better games I have seen this year. The Baltic team that came to Germany without their top player but managed to show that heart and fight are huge values in Basketball. Finally, Canada and their high-flying youngster Andrew Wiggins raised some eyebrows as well and they finally earned a deserved Bronze Medal.
Ricky Rubio winning the Euroleague
In general, we don’t speak a lot about drafted players here at EuropeanProspects but it has to be mentioned that Ricky Rubio won the Euroleague in 2010 by playing a major factor on the best team in Europe. Rubio has made the transition from being a factor at a medium-size program to the top level in Europe without any major problems and he is an uncontested starter in the ACB for the major favorite in any competition in Europe. All this at only 20 years of age is extremely impressive, even if his World Championship was a bit disappointing this summer. But the expectations are always very high when he enters the court despite his still young age.
The Golden “Silver-Generation” from Poland
After decades of defeats and relegations, Poland has won again a Medal in Men’s Youth Basketball. The fantastic generation of the 1993 born players earned the Silver Medal at the U17 World Championship this summer. A rare combination of talented youngsters with good size, athletic abilities, deadly shooters, role players and a stunning coach brought them to play fantastic basketball this summer in Hamburg and be my personal Highlight of the year. The Polish press got excited and even had several journalists making the trip to Germany to follow a few youngsters only underlines their newly gained Star-status in the Red-and-White Basketball scene. And there is more to come with a U18 European Championship organized in… Poland next summer.
Most read Articles
Here is a quick list of the most-read articles of the Year 2010. Surprisingly enough, one of them has been published more than 18 months ago. The list does not include the pages discussing the Generation Rankings or NCAA Recruitments.
- Is Sweden becoming the new Eldorado for talent scouts?
- JBBL/NBBL Top4: Player Review
- Albert-Schweitzer Tournament 2010 participants
- 2009 U16 European Championship report
- Albert Schweitzer Tournament 2010: Team USA
There was one article that did not make the Top5 but that I want to mention because it generated a large discussion was this one: Which future for Spanish Basketball?
To all the readers, I wish you a very good 2011 and a lot of interesting basketball games to scout.