POINT 3's Social Media Specialist, Sam Meyerkopf, is in Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup. Here is Sam's third blog post from the World Cup as it moves into its final games!
by Sam Meyerkopf
The World Cup isn’t only a stage for teams to emerge, it’s a place where young players can get the exposure they might not always receive during the club season. As the tournament moves into the final rounds, below are four players who have proved that they belong with some of the world’s best, and five years from now at the next World Cup, they might be the best.
Dario Saric, Croatia - The 12th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft isn’t exactly a secret, but Saric came out and showed the world that even at 20 years old he was one of the better players in the whole World Cup. On an inconsistent Croatia team, Saric was one of the stabilizing forces as he finished second on the team in points per game (11.7), second in rebounds (6.7), and third in assists (2.3). Croatia bowed out in the round of 16 to a tough French squad, but expect Saric and his 6'10" frame to eventually make waves Stateside as well.
Facundo Campazzo, Argentina – Real Madrid’s new point guard is a 23-year-old Argentinian who had a coming out party in Spain. While Argentina bowed out to Brazil in the round of 16, Campazzo was one of the few young players getting minutes for Argentina, with its golden generation still loosely intact. He has a flashy playing style and in Spain was always on the hunt to find a teammate an open shot. He averaged 9.2 points per game and is currently tied for sixth overall in the entire tournament in assists at 4.3 per game.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Ukraine – The newly turned 17 year old was the youngest player at the World Cup and got quite the tune-up before he heads off to the University of Kansas to play this season. Mykhailiuk only received spotty minutes from Coach Mike Fratello, but he showed flashes of pure brilliance and elite athleticism. A teenager going toe to toe with the world’s best isn’t ever easy, but Sviatoslov has no confidence issues in his game. So keep an eye on him with the Jayhawks this year!
Rudy Gobert, France – The 22-year-old French and Utah Jazz center has really started to find his form at the World Cup. Gobert has a monstrous wingspan and has used that advantage to be extra active around the rim. He’s routinely a candidate to have a best dunk or block of the game. Wherever he jumps from, Gobert can usually make it to the rim. With France facing Spain in the quarterfinals he will face some of the toughest competition yet!