One of the most active Turkish Airlines Euroleague teams early in the offseason, Anadolu Efes, has won the race for versatile forward Dario Saric, one of the most coveted young players in the world, by signing him Tuesday to two-plus-one-year agreement to play in Istanbul.
Saric (2.07 meters, 20 years old) comes to Efes after two seasons with Cibona Zagreb if his native Croatia, where he was honored as the Adriatic League MVP this season. The do-it-all forward led Cibona to a surprising Adriatic League title by averaging 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals. He also took Cibona to the Croatian League finals, where in the playoffs he averaged 18.2 points, 10.2 boards, 3 assists and 1 block. A year before that, Saric won a Croatian-double after joining Cibona half-way through the season.
He started his professional career with KK Zagreb, from where he was loaned to local clubs Zrinjevac and Dubrava. But he made his Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut with KK Zagreb as a 17-year old, averaging 2 points and 4.5 rebounds over four games in 2011-12 season. Saric has had a remarkable youth career. He led Zagreb to the Nike International Junior Tournament crown in 2011 as the MVP of that tournament. Saric also won gold medals with Croatia at both the 2010 European U16 Championship and the 2012 European U18 Championship and was voted the unanimous MVP at both events.