Former Galatasaray baller Jamont Gordon talks about the road to recovery +++ FIBA Europe Under 20 final highlights and top plays +++ VIDEO: Ettore Messina’s coaching philosophy +++ The 24 must-see regular season games in 2014/15 Euroleague +++ Until it matters, it won’t matter +++ Watch all 40 of Angela Salvadores points against USA +++ LeBron, another sign that David Blatt just keeps on winning +++ Better know a Euro – Alessandro Gentile +++ Better know a Euro – Ioannis Papapetrou +++ Better know a Euro – Nemanja Dangubic +++

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…


USA 92, World 80 at Nike Hoop Summit; Rivers, Biyombo star

OK, Ponitka was pretty good, too

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much for European hoops fans to cheer about at the 2011 Nike Hoop Summit (BallinEurope can’t believe he got up at 4am for the near-drubbing), though the world has now been formally introduced to Anthony “Son of Doc” Rivers and Bismack Biyombo.

Team USA won 92-80, though this score belies the fact that the outcome was never truly in doubt. After jumping out to an early lead, the Stars and Stripes held a double-digit lead for most of the game; a 7-0 World Team run reduced the deficit to eight points at just about midway through the third quarter, but this was a last gasp.

Rivers scored 20 and two of the four future Kentucky Wildcats – Anthony Davis and Michael Gilchrist – each added 16.

Sickest of the sick vis-à-vis this Team USA was the chemistry displayed by the squad in general but particularly by the Kentucky-bound foursome. Don’t believe BiE? Here’s a tiny sample, i.e. a sick Marquis Teague-to-Davis alley oop.

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Poland can’t stop Team USA scoring machine in FIBA U17 Worlds; Bradley Beal takes tourney MVP

Bradley Beal, tournament MVP

Congratulations from BallinEurope go out today to that other national team who won a world championship yesterday, namely Team USA at the first-ever FIBA U17 World Championship.

The Americans were once again a scoring machine against Poland in the championship game, simply mercilessly outgunning their opponents in the 111-80 win. Every player on the USA roster scored and the team’s big three again put up double figures: James McAdoo, tournament MVP Bradley Beal and Michael Gilchrist combined for nearly half the team’s points, scoring 55 altogether on 21-of-33 shooting from the trio.

Beal and McAdoo were named to the all-tournament team along with Team Poland’s 1-2 punch of Przemyslaw Marcin Karnowski and Matuesz Ponitka. Joining them was Kevin Pangos, whose Team Canada took out Lithuania in the third-place game.

Official FIBA writeups follow.

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Catching up with FIBA U17 Worlds, U20 European Championship

After getting caught up in a week’s worth of hitting the refresh button for news ‘n’ rumors about big-money men on both sides of the Atlantic jumping teams, BallinEurope today takes a brief look at a pair of FIBA youth basketball championships going on in Europe: the FIBA U17 World Championship and the FIBA U20 European Championship.

At the FIBA U17 World Championship tournament in Germany, Team USA and Team Poland have dominated the competition, each putting together a streak of seven consecutive wins and so fittingly will meet in today’s championship game.

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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.

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Groups drawn for FIBA U17 World Men’s Championship

FIBA today announced the groupings for the organization’s U17 World Championship for Men competition scheduled for Germany in July. European teams competing in the 12-team tournament include Lithuania, Serbia, Poland, Spain and the hosts.

Official press release follows the break.

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Best of the (basketball) net: Salinger, supplements, Shirley and Sixers girls edition

Mickael: Baller, blogger, gravity-defier

Mickael: Baller, blogger, gravity-defier

Quite the busy week in basketball land this week, eh? Even if you did follow the slew of happenings over this seven days – the opening weeks of Euroleague and Eurocup Final 16 play, the naming of NBA All-Star teams, FC Barcelona’s streak ending in the ACB, the Greg Oden and Paul Shirley scandals, as well as the usual highlight-reel play from LeBron James and Kobe Bryant – surely some stuff from the bloated blogosphere and cram-packed interweb escaped even the most thorough web surfer’s notice.

A few stories and videos for your week-ending amusement follow.

• The best player blog to follow out there right now is probably Pete Mickael’s. Not only does Mickael manage to regularly post two to four entries per month, his entries are well-written, insightful and thoughtful; Mickael may comment on the state of Euroleague attendance, the Gilbert Arenas flap, living in Europe, or just plain playing ball in the ACB and Euroleague. This week’s post features his take on the Valencia-FC Barcelona game: Barça’s first loss in 26 games.

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