By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Maccabi Tel Aviv point forward Deni Avdija was officially named the 2019-2020 Israeli Winner League MVP. Per the league, the 19-year-old Avdija became the youngest MVP in the history of the championship.
Avdija, also the 2020 “Israeli Player of the Year” and a member of the league’s Best Five, succeeds Crvena Zvezda guard Corey Walden who won 2019 MVP as a player of Hapoel Holon.
At 19 years of age, Avdija emerged as a key player and often as a protagonist for Maccabi in 2019-2020. He finished the regular season with 13.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 27.1 minutes over 28 games while averaging 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 31.0 minutes of four playoff games.
Avdija, a projected lottery pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, put on a leadership performance for his team in the do-or-die Game 3 of the quarterfinals vs. Hapoel Tel Aviv, notching a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds to steer an injury-plagued Maccabi to the Final Four. “Before I go to the U.S., I have a job to finish here in Israel,” he had told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, prior to the resumption of the Winner League season.
In his last game before heading to the NBA, Avdija’s Maccabi won the third consecutive Israeli League championship by beating Maccabi Rishon in the Final.