By leading all Turkish Airlines EuroLeague players in scoring with 18.2 points per game, Vasilije Micic of Anadolu Efes Istanbul has won the Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy for the 2021-22 season.
This is the latest in a long list of accolades for the 28-year-old guard who was the 2020-21 EuroLeague MVP and the 2021 Final Four MVP as he led Efes to the title.
The Ford Trophy is awarded annually to the EuroLeague player with the highest scoring average over a minimum number of games. It is the EuroLeague’s only end-of-season award that is based solely on statistics. Micic’s scoring average was more than 1.5 points higher than the runner-up, Nikola Mirotic of FC Barcelona (16.5 ppg.). Behind them came Mike James of AS Monaco (16.2) and Scottie Wilbekin of Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv (15.4)..
Micic showcased his scoring skills all season long. He went for 32 points on 7-for-11 three-point shooting in Round 2 against CSKA Moscow and followed that with a 24-point game in a road loss at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. All told, Micic scored 20 or more points in 15 games this season. Before he missed Efes’s last three regular-season games due to injury, Micic had scored at least 20 points in seven consecutive games, peaking with 29 in a come-from-behind home victory in Round 31 against Real Madrid. Micic returned to action in the playoffs and was that phase’s best scorer with 18.5 points on average, scoring at least 16 in each of his team’s four games against AX Armani Exchange Milan to lead Efes back to the Final Four. Micic became just the second player to lead the regular season (18.1 ppg.) and playoffs (18.5 ppg.) in scoring since the round-robin format began in 2016-17. Alexey Shved did that with Khimki Moscow Region in the 2017-18 campaign.
Born in Serbia, Micic started his career with Mega Belgrade and also played for FC Bayern Munich of Germany, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade of Serbia, Tofas Bursa of Turkey and Zalgiris Kaunas of Lithuania before joining Efes in 2018. He is the second player to win both the Ford Trophy and the EuroLeague MVP award. Nando De Colo was the first, having captured both trophies in the same 2015-16 campaign.
Micic is the 13th winner of the Ford Trophy since it was first awarded in 2005 and the second to win it for Efes. Igor Rakocevic, the only player to win the trophy three times, received it with Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz in 2007 and 2009 and with Efes in 2011. Keith Langford, who won with Olimpia Milan in 2014 and UNICS Kazan in 2017, and Shved with Khimki in 2018 and 2021, have also won the trophy twice. The other Ford Trophy winners are James with Milan in 2019, De Colo (2016); Taylor Rochestie of Nizhny Novgorod (2015); Bobby Brown (2013) and Bo McCalebb (2012), both of Montepaschi Siena; Linas Kleiza of Olympiacos Piraeus (2010); Marc Salyers of Chorale Roanne (2008); Drew Nicholas of Benetton Treviso (2006); and Charles Smith of Scavolini Pesaro (2005), the award’s original winner.
The trophy is named in memory of the late Alphonso Ford, who died of leukemia in September 2004 after a brilliant career in which he was the competition’s leading scorer twice, in 2000-01 and 2001-02, both seasons with Olympiacos. He subsequently led Siena in scoring as it reached the 2003 Final Four. Ford owns the EuroLeague’s all-time best scoring average with 22.2 points in 54 career games. Shved is fourth (16.8 ppg.) on that list, trailing Panagiotis Liadelis (19.3 ppg.) and Arvydas Macijauskas (17.4 ppg.).
The Ford Trophy is the first in a series of EuroLeague end-of-season honors. Other awards to be announced soon include the EuroLeague Best Defender, the EuroLeague Rising Star and the All-EuroLeague honorees. The EuroLeague MVP award and, for the first time this season, the Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year Trophy will be announced at the Final Four in Belgrade, Serbia. The EuroLeague Club Executive of the Year is a post-season award.