Best basketball players from Nordic countries

Lauri Markkanen Chicago Bulls
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

When we mention Nordic countries basketball is not the first sport that comes to our mind. These countries are primarily known for hockey, football, and then there comes other types of sports. 

However, these 4 players which we will talk about in this article proved to be one of the best from Nordic countries. Even though basketball is still developing and not all players compete at the highest level such as the NBA, still they managed to establish themselves in various leagues.

Torgeir Bryn

While talking about Scandinavian basketball players we should not omit Norwegian Torgeir Bryn, who was the only player from his native country who played in the NBA. Standing at 6.9ft Bryn played as a center.

It should be noted that he had a very brief career in the NBA. He only played 10 minutes for the Los Angeles Clippers in three matches where he only scored 4 points. However, still, it was very unusual for a player from Norwegia to take part in the NBA matches. And Bryn managed to do that. 

Because of that, he gained huge respect and love from Norwegian citizens. Because of him, young children wanted to become basketball players and saw him as a role model. It is a very surprising fact that his reputation and influence even reached betting in Norway, which at that time was in its infancy in the whole world. Bryn was a subject of various betting options and at the present moment, some of the promotions regarding basketball carry his name. Even now he is very respected among people and Bryn is the most capped player in the history of Norway with 111 matches. An incredible number, indeed.

Jeffery Taylor 

Jeffery Taylor who has been playing in Real Madrid is a Swedish professional basketball player of American descent. Born on May 23, 1989, in Norrköping, Sweden, Taylor plays as a small forward and shooting guard. He was selected in the second round as a 31st pick in the 2012 draft by the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets).

Jeffery Taylor is the second of six children of Jeff Taylor, who played for a short time in the NBA, and then continued his career in Sweden, where he lived until death in 2020. During three years, when Jeffery Taylor played for the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA he did not really impress, having 6.1 points on average in 132 games. However, when he transferred to Real Madrid, Taylor found his team, and while his stats are not spectacular the work he does on the field for the team is huge. 

In Real Madrid, he won Euroleague once in 2018, as well as the domestic cup twice and national league. 

He is also a part of the Sweden national basketball team, where he was a pivotal figure at the 2013 EuroBasket, averaging 21.2 points per game.

Jonas Jerebko

Jonas Jerebko is a Swedish professional basketball player playing for the Russian Khimki.

Born on 2 March 1987 in a family of basketball players (father Chris Jerebko played for Syracuse Orange and Boros, mother Elaine Jerebko also played at a high level). He plays in the positions of power and small forward. He was chosen as the 39th pick in the 2009 NBA draft. Before joining the NBA, he played for the Swedish clubs’ Boras Basket and Plannja Basket and the Italian Biella. Following the results of the debut season in the NBA, Jerebko was included in the second NBA rookie team. He averaged 6.2 points in 635 games in the NBA.

Since turning 18 he has been playing for the Swedish national team. Like Taylor, he also took part in the EuroBasket 2013.

Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen is currently the most popular player from Scandinavia. Markkanen born on May 22, 1997, in Vantaa, Finland is a professional basketball player who plays for the Chicago Bulls in the National Basketball Association. His primary playing position is a power forward, but he is also capable of playing in the center. He was selected in the 2017 NBA draft in the first round under the 7th overall draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Minnesota exchanged Markkanen’s rights with Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine for Jimmy Butler and rights to Justin Patton in Chicago. On July 5, 2017, Lauri Markkanen signed a contract with the team. Markkanen is currently a pivotal figure in Chicago. In 170 games he has averaged 16.1 points which is a perfect score for a player who is playing 30 minutes per game.

As for the international career, Markkanen played for the Finnish national team at the UEFA European Under-18 Championship in 2015 in Greece and at the European Under-20 Championship in 2015 in Helsinki.

For the senior team, he took part in the EuroBasket 2017, wherein in the round of 16 his team lost to Italy.

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