The nominees are in over at FIBA Europe and, with the exception of one (or two, thanks to Rubiomania) categories, voting could be pretty tight in the FIBA Europe Player of the Year 2009.
Yes, Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio are on the list in a threat to become repeat winners in the Male POY and Male Youth POY categories – one wonders how many consecutive awards Gasol will rack up playing with the NBA’s favorite to take the next, what, two or three titles – but the latter may see some threats from a strong field and the women’s categories should be a democratic fight to the finish indeed.
The FIBA Europe press release, nominees in each category, and official BallinEurope.com endorsements follow the break. Click on the links at the beginning of each category to vote over at FIBAEurope.com.
(FIBA Europe) – FIBA Europe has announced the nominees for its annual Player of the Year awards for 2009.
Awards will be given in four different categories: Men, Young Men, Women and Young Women.
Winners in each category will be selected by a public and an expert panel vote.
Players born in 1989 or after are eligible for the young men and young women award.
The winners will be selected based on their performances in 2009 on club and national team level, and up to and including the EuroBasket 2009 and EuroBasket Women 2009 and the FIBA Europe Youth European Championships 2009.
Voting will cease in January 2010.
The winners will be announced through fibaeurope.com in early February and they will be presented with a special trophy at dates and venues to be announced.
Pau Gasol of Spain won men’s award for 2008. Ricky Rubio, also of Spain won the young men’s award while Maria Stepanova of Russia and Gintare Petronyte of Lithuania were named women’s and young women’s player of the year.
• Nominees, Men’s Player of the Year: Ioannis Bourousis, Lior Eliyahu, Rudy Fernandez, Pau Gasol, Marcin Gortat, Ersan Ilyasova, Erazem Lorbek, Juan Carlos Navarro, Dirk Nowitski, Tony Parker, Nikola Pekovic, Igor Rakocevic, Vassilis Spanoulis, Miklos Teodosic, Hedo Turkoglu, Novica Velickovic.
BiE endorsement: Pau Gasol, of course. I mean, the dude has lofted the Eurobasket 2009 trophy, the Eurobasket MVP trophy, and the NBA Championship trophy in the past six months and could well have gotten the nod for NBA playoffs MVP last season as well.
• Nominees, Women’s Player of the Year: Shay Doron, Celine Dumerc, Sandrine Gruda, Anete Jekabsone-Zogota, Yelena Leuchanka, Laura Macchi, Evanthia Maltsi, Ana Montanana, Maria Stepanova, Anna Vajda, Amaya Valdemoro, Anastasiya Veremeenko, Jana Veselá, Ann Wauters, Zuzana Zirkova.
BiE endorsement: As much as i’d like to back my homegirl Anna Vajda, the BallinEurope vote will go to the dominant inside presence of Maria Stepanova just barely over the exciting Evanthia Maltsi.
• Nominees, Men’s Youth Player of the Year: Robin Benzing, Bojan Bogdanovic, Antoine Diot, Edwin Jackson, Enes Kanter, Kosta Koufos, Milan Macvan, Dejan Musli, Konstantinos Papanikolaou, Toni Prostran, Xavier Rabaseda, Ricky Rubio, Sead Sehovic, Jonas Valanciunas, Jan Vesely.
BiE endorsement: Though Rubio’s probably going to win this one going away – and not to say the wizard doesn’t deserve it necessarily, but we’ll take the dark horse Enes Kanter, who proved to be one of the revelations of 2009 with his dominance in the FIBA U18s this season. This lad should be a force in international basketball for some time to come.
• Nominees, Women’s Youth Player of the Year: Elina Babkina, Katerina Elhotova, Dürdane Gümüsay, Louice Halvarsson, Olesia Malashenko, Jelena Milovanovic, Sabine Niedola, Gintare Petronyte, Sonja Petrovic, Melanie Plust, Alba Torrens, Marta Xargay.
BiE endorsement: It’s gotta be the fearless one, Alba Torrens, who came of age on the international stage this year and could one day be known for her exploits with Team Spain like a certain Gasol is today…