By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Coming off a brilliant performance in the 2023 FIBA U18 European Championship Division B, Roberts Blums signed with VEF Riga.
Blums, 17, penned a two-year contract with an option for an additional season, the team announced Friday. He joined his father and chairman of council, Janis Blums. The former player assumed the front-office duties at the Latvian club shortly after wrapping up his playing days.
The promising swingman tallied 20.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.3 assists per game for Latvia in the U18 tournament held in Portugal from 21 to 30 July. Leading Latvia to the gold medals and an undefeated seven-game streak, he was named MVP of the tournament. Competing in the 2021 U16 FIBA European Challengers marks previous international experience.
At the club level, Blums spent the 2022-23 season with the junior team of LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. He produced 6.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 0.8 assists per game in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Patras. In France’s LNB Espoirs, he averaged 4.9 points per game.
Switching to the Basketball Champions League outfit, he was placed on the roster alongside Brendan Adams, Dairis Bertans, Roberts Berzins, Rodrigo Bumeisters, Raivo Butirins, Elijah Clarance, Maris Gulbis, Aaron Jones, Alexander Madsen, Isaiah Pineiro, Peteris Pinnis, Alberts Putans, and Marcis Vitols.
The team coached by 38-year-old Janis Gailitis will face Lenovo Tenerife and Darussafaka Lassa in Group C of the Champions League’s Regular Season. Happy Casa Brindisi or Cholet will complete the group through the Qualification Round final in Turkey on Sunday.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL