Dario Saric has joined Jonas Valanciunas and Ricky Rubio as a multiple winner of the FIBA Europe Young Men’s Player of the Year Award.
FIBA Europe announced on Wednesday that for a second year running, Dario Saric has been voted by fans and a panel of experts as the 2014 FIBA Europe Young Men’s Player of the Year.
Prior to Saric winning in 2013, Valanciunas had taken out the previous two awards, whilst Rubio reigned supreme from 2007 to 2009.
It was another headline-writing year for Saric, one in which the forward truly established himself in senior men’s basketball as he led Cibona Zagreb to glory in the Adriatic League with an MVP performance in the Final Four.
A third campaign in the Croatian senior men’s team followed, averaging 11.7 points and 6.7 rebounds on his team’s run to the Round of 16 at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
2014 also marked two major milestones for the 20-year-old: a move away from his native Croatia to continue his professional career in Istanbul, playing for Anadolu Efes, and a 12th overall pick in the NBA Draft, selected by the Orlando Magic, before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
“I congratulate Dario Saric, winner of the FIBA Europe Young Men’s Player of the Year Award,” FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel said.
“Dario joins elite company by winning this award in back-to-back years. In 2014, with his impressive performance for Croatia at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and his strong play for Cibona Zagreb and Anadolu Efes, Dario showed that he is on his way to being one of our sports’ biggest stars in Europe and throughout the world.”
“Dario Saric has been at the forefront of the men’s game in Europe already for some time now, so it is easy to forget that he is still only 20 years old,” commented FIBA Regional Director Europe Kamil Novak.
“I have been watching his development for some time and I am sure I have only witnessed the beginnings of what is set to be a remarkable career.”
Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo finished a close second in the voting whilst Cedi Osman of Turkey rounded out the top three.
Wednesday’s announcement came on the back of Spain’s Angela Salvadores winning FIBA Europe’s Young Women’s Player of the Year on Monday. The FIBA Europe Women’s Player of the Year will be announced next Monday, followed by the Men’s Player of the Year on Wednesday.
FIBA EUROPE YOUNG MEN’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2014 – FINAL VOTING
|PLAYER||FAN VOTING||EXPERT VOTING||ACCUMULATED RANKING*|
*The accumulated ranking reflects a combination of the fan and expert voting.
Credit: FIBA Europe.