Alpha Kaba racing toward EuroCup history

2023-02-07T12:05:50+00:00 2023-02-07T12:05:50+00:00.

Aris Barkas

07/Feb/23 12:05

Buducnost big man Alpha Kaba is on pace to break some impressive records that go back almost 20 years

By Aris Barkas/

Alpha Kaba is no stranger to European basketball. He was followed from a really early age by scouts, he was drafted by the NBA, and this season he is on pace to do something unique.

The 27-year-old big man, who plays for Buducnost VOLI Podgorica, is well-known for his rebounding abilities, and this season he has outdone not only himself but also the record books.

Kaba is enjoying a season to remember as the top rebounder in the EuroCup with 11.4 per game. Add in his 12.3 points per game as well as his other on-court feats and soon you arrive at an average PIR of 20.6, which is third-best in the competition.

Not since Gerrit Hammink back in the 2003-04 season has any EuroCup player averaged 11 or more rebounds for 12 or more games. And if he keeps going into the first playoff game with that average, he’ll break with ease the single-season record of 202 rebounds set by Vladimir Golubovic of TED Ankara Kelejliler in 2013-14.

Kaba has already 137 rebounds on his stats sheet, a huge improvement over his previous personal best in the competition when he had a total of 127 in 15 games with Nanterre 92 back in the 2020-21 season. His average at the time was 8.47 rebounds per game, so he improved on that by almost 3 rebounds per contest!

For the record, in the same season, Alan Williams averaged 12.5 rebounds per game for Lokomotiv Kuban, but he played in just eight games due to injury and missed the chance to do what Kaba is doing now.

Kaba has already practically secured his top spot in the rebounding category for the season. Alen Omic and Ismael Kamagate are behind him right now, but with 9.4 and 9.3 rebounds per game, respectively, they will need to improve drastically to catch him.

The fact that those two players are behind him is almost symbolic. Omic is the all-time rebounding leader in the EuroCup. The Slovenian center has 859 rebounds and counting after surpassing Montenegrin icon Bojan Dubljevic of Valencia earlier this season. Dublevic is still second with 764.

Kaba will have the chance to chase him if he remains in the EuroCup for a couple more years. He currently has a total of 387 rebounds, but at the end of the season, if he continues with the same pace, he will probably be part of the career top 10. Melvin Ejim currently sits in 10th place with 451 career rebounds in the competition.

As for Kamagate, the similarities are more than obvious. Kaba can be a role model for the 22-year-old French center. Like Kaba, Kamagate was scouted from an early age, was also drafted and Kaba’s career path can be an example for the Paris Basketball center.

There’s no doubt that Kaba is having a season to remember and with him playing like that, Buducnost which has an 8-5 record entering Round 14, can aim a bit higher.