The Rising Stars: Big men rising

13/Mar/19 14:00 March 13, 2019

Aris Barkas

13/Mar/19 14:00

There will be a new winner of the EuroLeague Rising Star trophy this season and the top candidates are almost exclusively big men.

By Aris Barkas/

The list of past winners of the EuroLeague Rising Star Trophy is impressive and since the award was established back in the 2004-2005 season, those who have earned the award have lived up to the hype. Players like Luka Doncic, Rudy Fernandez, Danilo Gallinari, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Mirotic and Bogdan Bogdanovic have won it – to be exact Mirotic, Bogdanovic and Luka Doncic won it twice – and this season, of the 22 players who are eligible for the award, five stand out.

Of those five, three are centers with Goga Bitadze and Georgios Papagiannis the frontrunners. However, young talent in EuroLeague is not rare at all, even if this season, in particular, injuries were a factor in the race for the award.

The fans were deprived of the chance to see big performances by well-established prospects, like Buducnost VOLI Podgorica forward Aleksa Ilic who played just three games, and Zalgiris Kaunas center Laurynas Birutis. After all, those young players, even if they don’t win the award, have already made an important step in their basketball careers. They might be boys, but they are part of a grown man’s league.