One more announcement from the FIBA folks today and this one’s surely no surprise: For an unprecedented third straight year, the honor of FIBA Europe Young Men’s Player of the Year goes to Spanish wunderkind Ricky Rubio.
Rubio’s win makes Spain two-for-two on FIBA Europe accolades this year and, with Pau Gasol expected to bookend his 2008 Men’s Player of the Year with one for 2009 by dint of his country’s win at Eurobasket 2009 and his club’s win in the 2009 NBA Championship, one can’t help but wonder if Spain (and Ana Montañana) pulls off the sweep. We’ll find out on Friday…
(FIBA Europe) – On Wednesday FIBA Europe announced that Ricky Rubio of Spain has been chosen their Young Men’s Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.
Rubio, a 1.90 meter guard, played his second major competition with Spain’s senior national team in 2009, helping them to capture their first EuroBasket gold medal in Poland in September.
Rubio averaged 5.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and a team-leading 3.9 assists per contest in the tournament.
In June, Rubio was selected with the fifth overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA Draft, but elected to stay in Spain, signing a deal with FC Barcelona.
“It’s difficult to come up with new ways of praising Ricky Rubio,” said FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos. “He has the talent and the work ethic to be not just good, but great and I look forward to following his career.”
“When I think of Ricky I can’t help but remember the final game of the 2006 U16 European Championship Men,” added Secretary General Nar Zanolin. “51 points, 24 rebounds, 12 assists and seven steals. That night he introduced himself to the basketball world and he continues to live up to our lofty expectations.”
Rubio beat out Serbia’s Milan Macvan for the honor. Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic finished third.