A largely new crop of young players comes each season to the Euroleague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament. Going into the first qualifying event in Valencia, starting on Friday, December 28, here are some players to watch.
Valencia Basket – Guillem Ferrando
Valencia returning to the ANGT for the first time since 2010 means that Guillem Ferrando will be making his ANGT debut. The 2002-born point guard has already experienced some success. He helped Spain take the silver medal at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2018, averaging 3.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.9 steals. Ferrando is a very smart player who can read both the offense and defense and is a leader on the court. He can score from the outside and play one on one while also being very good at starting the fastbreak. Ferrando also likes to play in the crunch time of games.
FC Barcelona Lassa – Tom Digbeu
Tom Digbeu will be playing his third ANGT after he played sparingly at the 2017 ANGT Finals in Istanbul and then picked up 7.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.8 steals at last season's ANGT L'Hospitalet. The 1.92-meter guard,the son of former Barcelona forward and French international Alain Digbeu, will be called upon to be more of a leader this time around. Digbeu's main strength is his athleticism, which has helped him earn four appearances for Barcelona's second team in the Spanish second division. Digbeu, who has yet to play internationally, still lacks consistency in his performances. He is taking steps in his development and is starting to understand the game better, his maturity giving him a different way to approach to the game.
USK Future Stars Prague – David Bohm
Even though Prague did not play in the ANGT last season, David Bohm will be playing his second ANGT after getting in for a couple of minutes with no stats in a game at the ANGT Coin in 2017. But the 2.02-meter forward will come back now as Prague's leader. Bohm averaged 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B for the Czeck Republic, and then led the team in scoring at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, Division B with 15.9 points to go with 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Bohm can alternate among all four guard and forward spots but is still working on his rebounding, ballhandling, pick-and-roll and off-ball defense. He is a complete and versatile offensive player with good size and athleticism. He can play one-on-one and is a great three-point shooter. Bohm still must work on his consistency and stability finishing inside against contact.
Porsche Ludwigsburg – Ariel Hukporti
Ariel Hukporti will be making his ANGT debut for Ludwigsburg, which did not play in the competition last season. The 2.11 meter center is one of the prizes of Germany's 2002-born generation. He averaged 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2018. Hukporti has great physical tools and size as an exceptional athlete who is very mobile for his size. He is a good finisher around the basket who can score consistently over his right shoulder but can also face up and knock down mid-range jumpers. He is also a good offensive rebounder and shot blocker. He hasn't learned to consistently hit the three-ball yet, and he also needs to be more explosive off the dribble.
Divina Seguros Joventut Badalona – Zsombor Maronka
Zsombor Maronka will be playing his second ANGT after averaging 5 minutes over 4 games at last season's ANGT L'Hospitalet, which Joventut won. The 1.98-meter shooting guard, who arrived at Joventut from Hungary three years ago as a 14-year-old, will still be a year younger than the competition as a 2002-born player. Maronka has yet to play internationally. He has a very efficient three-point shot and is smart on the court, with good ability to read the game. He can use his dribble to generate advantages one-on-one in the open court and can also score using screens with his excellent catch-and-shoot skills. Maronka also does a good job rebounding at both ends. He is still working on his passing game.
LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne – Matthew Strazel
Matthew Strazel will be making his second appearance in the competition after averaging 11.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists at last season's ANGT L'Hospitalet -. despite being two years younger than the other players. The 1.82-meter point guard will play an even bigger role this season, especially since he is a leader on ASVEL's U21 team, collecting 16.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals as a 16-year-old. The 2002-born Strazel, who has yet to play internationally, is a very good shooter who can hit deep three-pointers and is quick. He's a competitor who wants to win. Strazel can be a good defender but needs to be more consistent. He also needs to take better care of the ball since he's the point guard and the leader of the team.
Movistar Estudiantes Madrid – Hector Alderete
Hector Alderete will be playing his second ANGT even though Estudiantes did not play in the competition last season. The 2.05 meter forward averaged 4.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 0.8 steals at the ANGT Coin in 2017 as a 14-year-old. The 2002-born Alderete will still be a year younger than the rest of the competition in Valencia. Alderete has already excelled on the international level, playing for Spain at the FIBA U16 European Championship in 2017 and 2018. After averaging 2.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 2017, Alderete took over the team last summer in making the all-tournament team as Spain narrowly lost to Croatia in the title game. Alderete averaged 14.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 0.9 steals. He has a great presence on the court and has good anticipation. He is a solid rebounder and has great offensive skills. Alderete can play from the low post to the pick-and-roll, and is also a good shooter.
Virtus Bologna – Gora Camara
Camara will be making his second appearance at the ANGT after averaging 6.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 0.5 blocks at last season's ANGT L'Hospitalet. The 17-year-old big man arrived in Bologna from Senegal in September 2017 and has not yet played internationally. The 2.14-meter center has great potential in terms of technical and athletic skills, but little experience on the court as he has only played 40 games until now. In addition to a strong body, Camara has a natural instinct for the game which makes him a good rebounder and a good passer. He still must improve his fundamentals to become a first-level player. But he is already improving quickly.