POINT 3's VP of Marketing, Mikko Simon, and Social Media Specialist, Sam Meyerkopf, are both on their way to Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which kicks off on Saturday, August 30th. Here is the first of a few blog posts over the next two weeks that will have a focus on the World Cup!
August 29, 2014 - By Sam Meyerkopf
You know the players on Team USA, the Gasol Brothers, Nicolas Batum, and other NBA players that will be fighting for a Gold Medal at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, but there are some great players from around the world that don't ply their trade in the US going to Spain. Here's a look at some of the best players you probably haven't heard of that are going to be playing in the World Cup.
Zoran Dragic, SG, Slovenia
The younger brother of the Phoenix Suns Goran Dragic is a little bit taller but not quite the scorer his brother is. Zoran has turned himself into one of the most aggressive and hardest working guards in Europe. He's a blur going up and down the court and lives to get out on the fast break. Looks for Dragic to have some of the highlight reel plays of the tournament.
Ante Tomic, C, Croatia
Tomic is a former Utah Jazz draft pick but has never made it across the Atlantic. In Europe he's become the best offensive big man on the continent. Tomic can score from the high or low post, is a great passer for a big man, and has incredible touch around the basket. Having played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, Tomic has excelled at the highest level of European hoops but has yet to have a breakout performance with the Croatian National Team.
Milos Teodosic, PG, Serbia
The super talented point guard has had an ups and downs the past couple of pro seasons with his team (CSKA Moscow) losing with him as their lead man in the Euroleague Final Four in three straight seasons. But Teodosic has played some of his best ball in a Serbia jersey and is one of the most dynamic offensive players headed to Spain. He's a great long range shooter, a really creative passer, and has a big, physical body that allows him to post-up. On an injury riddled Serbian squad Teodosic will have the ball in his hands a lot and look for one of the best players not in the NBA to work his magic.
He can be clutch and once upon a time buried Spain in the 2010 FIBA World Cup.
Marcelinho Huertas, PG, Brazil
Huertas has been an international fixture for years and has played well against Team USA in the past so you may remember him. One of the most creative players in the world, Marcelinho plays basketball like it's art form with his dissection of the pick and roll and innovative passing repertoire. He's the table setter for Brazil and if they have any chance of pulling their talent together this tournament, he'll be the one to connect all the pieces.
Joffrey Lauvergne, PF/C, France
The young big man is not quite up to the caliber of the players on this list quite yet, but he's getting there. Lauvergne had a breakout season with Partizan in Serbia after being drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft. Lauvergne brings an extreme amount of effort and toughness with him to the floor. He springs for offensive rebounds and charges on the fast break with incredible energy for a post player. This tournament could be a chance for those on the world stage to start noticing Joff.
Hope you enjoy the FIBA Basketball World Cup!