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Highlights: Greece beat Italy 85-68 in FIBA Europe U18s +++ VIDEO: Basketball World Cup of Beer – Opening Ceremony and Schedule +++ Serbia and Croatia make statements at FIBA U18s +++ Coach James Weldon gives his thoughts on Dragan Bender +++ Sarunas Jasikevičius retires, joins Zalgiris in coaching role +++ Vintage Drazen Petrovic jersey up for auction +++ Ireland announce select squad for Luxembourg friendlies +++ We really need you to nominate beers +++ Mykhailiuk operating almost under cover +++ Nando de Colo has the best location for a basketball camp +++
Dec
2

On Hezonja, Todorovic plus a couple of Swedes: FC Barcelona’s future as bright as the present?

Barcelona’s future: Alex Abrines, Mario Hezonja, Marko Todorović

As though FC Barcelona’s red-hot play – they’re now at 14-4 overall after an 0-2 start in Spain – weren’t enough to keep European basketball devotees watching, here are two more reasons for you: Mario Hezonja and Marko Todorović.

At just 17 years old and despite missing the entire 2011-12 regular season, Hezonja finally got a taste of the action in Barça’s 78-48 laugher over Beşiktaş in Turkey last Friday night. His Euroleague debut stat line read five points, two rebounds and one steal in a few ticks under 12 minutes of play.

Hezonja again did not play in Spain this weekend, unlisted on the roster for Barca’s 81-64 win over Cajasol in Liga Endesa play; the 12th-man spot was filled by 20-year-old Todorović of Montenegro. In the Beşiktaş game, Todorović’s 12 minutes of court time was the most he’s gotten all season and the national teamer was good for four points, four rebounds and two blocks.

Potentially the nucleus of a shiny new Barca frontcourt? Continue Reading…

Aug
1

Montenegro 73, Serbia 71: A star is born as Ivanovic hits buzzer-beater three

How do you quiet one of those notoriously airplane-loud crowds in Belgrade? Eighteen-year-old Nikola Ivanovic, showing poise beyond his years, had the answer to that riddle on Saturday in Team Montenegro’s Eurobasket 2013 qualifying round game against Serbia. To cap the stunning upset victory, Ivanovic calmly launched a near-halfcourt three, struck gold and instantly utterly silenced a stunned Serbian house.

Continue Reading…

Jan
1

Now available: European Prospects 2011 Yearbook

For those into NBA Draft-mongering or the youth basketball scene in general and/or longtime BallinEurope readers, Christophe and his excellently informative website European Prospects need no introduction. As a founding father of this website and a writer for various print publications, Christophe is now a well-known authority in youth ‘ball circles.

Christophe tipped off 2012 by releasing EuropeanProspects.com – 2011: The Year in Review, an ebook in the Amazon Kindle format. This 80-plus (or 269K, if you prefer) virtual tome promises to cover “all the main stories from the past 12 months. You will get scouting reports on all the main European Basketball prospects that have competed in 2011, including reports from the FIBA U19 World Championship, the FIBA U16 and U18 European Championships, the Adidas Eurocamp, the Nike Junior Invitational Tournament and the Nike Hoop Summit.”

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Aug
0

FIBA U16s: Soluade, Team England continue amazing run into semis

BallinEurope received a brief email from an enthusiast of Morayoninuoluwa “Mo” Soluade, currently starring for Team England in the B Division of the FIBA U16 European Championship.

“Check out Mo Soluade with a triple double tonight against the Netherlands,” the missive implored. “He is someone to watch with real potential.” Unfortunately, since video of the game is sadly lacking on the interwebs at present – c’mon, FIBA folks, learn to love your YouTube account – we’ll have to make due with a box score, which incidentally also indicates that Soluade added four steals to his line of 11-10-11.

The Netherlands game was a bit of a novelty for other reasons in addition to being Team England’s fifth consecutive win in this tournament; official national team website England Basketball notes that “Incredibly, England never took a free-throw in a game where the Dutch were called for just five fouls, but 52 percent floor shooting and a rebounding margin of 43-36 proved the difference.”

Continue Reading…

Aug
0

Prospect Dovydas Redikas signs with Lietuvos Rytas over Žalgiris Kaunas: Here’s why

A number of players from Team Lithuania’s 2010 European Championship U18 squad have been moving on the market lately, but few have caused disquiet among Žalgiris fans as Lietuvos Rytas’ recent acquisition of SG Dovydas Redikas out of Marciulionis Academy.

Tournament MVP Jonas Valanciunas is already officially with Lietuvos Rytas, and his all-tournament teammate Deividas Pukis is heading to the ‘States to follow the path of Linas Kleiza. PG Vytenis Cizauskas has gotten with Kaunas, and yesterday Edgaras Ulanovas joined the Greens as well. But it was Redikas’ move which captured the imagination and created some indignation among Žalgiris fans.

While Ulanovas heading to Žalgiris wasn’t that big of a deal, Redikas move to join Kaunas’ arch-enemy Lietuvos Rytas was met with few drops of soreness by fans in Kaunas. Rather than sign with Žalgiris, as was expected – Redikas had worn the green and white in the 2009-10 Euroleague youth team tournament – Redikas decided to stay in Vilnius, the city in which he played at Marciulionis Academy. He will be loaned to Perlas Vilnius, Lietuvos Rytas’ farm team for a first season.

Allow BallinEurope can to douse the fires of green rage a bit here, if BiE could. A source close to the matter informed us last night of the reason for passing on Redikas – and it has little to do with the youth’s incipient talent: “It’s simple. His camp asked for a €80,000 buyout,” a sum which seemed way too high for Žalgiris to pay for an 18-year-old.

Continue Reading…

Aug
1

Hope for the future: Young Lithuanians crush Russia, 90-61, take U18 European title

Congratulations go out this morning to the Lithuania under-18 team, which capped an undefeated romp through the 2010 FIBA U18 European Championship with a 90-61 crushing of Russia in Vilnius. A crowd of 13,000 – the all-time record for a youth game in Europe – contributed their efforts as 13th man.

While not much is expected out of Team Lithuania at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, the youth development – and especially that of the talented 1992-born group – rolls on.

Jonas Valanciunas was named tournament MVP and was joined on the all-tourney squad by his teammate, shooting guard Deividas Pukis.

BallinEurope’s suggestion for 2011, when basketball-insane Lithuania hosts Eurobasket 2011: Just take this team, add Linas Kleiza and go!

Official FIBA writeup follows the break.

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Apr
1

Jordan Brand Classic scoop: Roster changes, player briefs, how to watch online

Just in case international youth basketball fans weren’t sated by the recent Albert Schweitzer and Nike Hoop Summit youth tournaments, perhaps the upcoming Jordan Brand Classic in New York today will go a bit further in sating the craving. Three games will be played between some of the world’s finest U18 players.

Game two of the tripleheader puts 16 non-U.S. players in the limelight, as “Black” and “White” teams have been drawn at random from the stock of internationals. Originally, a full 10 of these 16 were representing The Continent, with Lithuania, Serbia and France each claiming two spots.

Thanks to our old friend Eyjafjallajoekull, however, some changes have been made. Vasilije Micic and Nikola Jankovic of Serbia cannot make the trip; also out is Nigeria’s Christopher Obekpa. In for the internationals will be Italian point guard Matteo Ibro and two guard Albert Homs of Spain; replacing Obekpa will be Anthony Bennett of Canada. The roster switch-up now gives Spain and Italy two players each in the game.

The book on the Europeans in the Jordan Classic looks something like the following.

Continue Reading…

Jul
0

Wishing 45 coaches a happy Graduation Day

When the FIBA U20 European Championship Men tips off today, the young cagers won’t be the only ones on the court looking to impress potential future employers in Europe: Some 45 coaches who have participated in the two-year FIBA Europe Coaching Certificate Program will be capping their degrees with their work in the tournament.

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