By Eurohoops Team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahead of the new season, 7DAYS EuroCup presents the most promising upstarts set to display their talents in the 2019-20 edition of the club competition. The Top 10 Rising Stars feature players up to 22 on July 1st and 2019 Rising Star Trophy winner Martynas Echodas in first place.
Per EuroCup: The 7DAYS EuroCup could be a launching pad for several of the top prospects in European basketball this season. The competition has always been a proving ground for the next generation of stars and every season one of those top prospects is chosen as the EuroCup Rising Star by the head coaches of the competition. The only criteria to be eligible for the trophy is to be under the age of 22 on July 1 of the previous summer. Many players fit that description this season. Below is a list of 10 top candidates to take home the trophy, led by the 2019 Rising Star Trophy winner, Martynas Echodas of Rytas Vilnius.
10. Petar Vujacic, Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana (January 2000)
The stepbrother of Slovenian basketball great Sasha Vujacic, Petar is on the verge of making a name for himself with his shooting skills. He has dominated youth competitions; last season Vujacic averaged 20.0 points on 44.7% three-point shooting and 1.8 steals in the ABA Junior League. He also played for Union Olimpija and Sencur’s first teams, albeit in a reserve role. Cedevita has locked up Vujacic on a long-term deal and sees him as a building block for the future. While he has many improvements to make to his all-around game, Vujacic’s elite shooting makes him a player capable of filling a role for Cedevita immediately.
9. Jean-Marc Pansa, Nanterre 92 (August 1997)
As a member of the Nanterre rotation the past two seasons, Pansa hopes to take on a more meaningful role in his age 22 season. The center contributed 3.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in less than 10 minutes per game over 26 French league appearances last season. He was among the best offensive rebounders and shot-blockers in the league on a per-minute basis. He relies on his athletic presence to make an impact at both ends of the floor. Since he has played primarily a reserve to date, he must learn to limit his fouls to remain on the court longer and if he can do that. Pansa could be in store for a breakout campaign.
8. Noam Dovrat, Maccabi Rishon Lezion (July 2002)
The youngest player on this list, Dovrat slowly played his way into the edge of Rishon’s rotation at the end of last season and Coach Guy Goodes will give the prodigy as much as he can handle this season as he looks to groom the guard into a future star. Over the summer he shined as the MVP of the U18 European Championship, Division B, with an all-around game that featured 16.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Ultimately, the biggest obstacle for Dovrat in challenging for the Rising Star Trophy may be playing time since the team may not be willing to unleash him just yet, but he is certainly a player worth keeping an eye on.
7. Atoumane Diagne, Limoges CSP (December 1998)
The 2.15-meter center is the tallest player on the list. Signed on loan from FC Barcelona, Diagne reunites with his former youth coach, Alfred Julbe, who is now the head man in Limoges and has a role in mind for the big man. His greatest strengths are his physical traits; Diagne is not only tall, but he has a great wingspan and is quite mobile. The native of Senegal averaged 6.9 points and 6.4 rebounds for Barcelona’s B team last season. Diagne will split time at center with Jerry Boutsiele, however, he offers a much different look at both ends of the floor and if he plays to his potential will have a major impact on Limoges’s season.