BC Khimki Moscow Region (Russia-PBL)Career:
Espoon Honka (Finland-Korisliiga, 2004-08); Virtus Bologna (Italy-Lega, 2008-12); BC Khimki Moscow Region (RUS-PBL, 2012-13)
Even though Petteri Koponen only finished his first Euroleague season in the spring of 2013, his stock has been on a steady rise ever since he was drafted to the NBA (30th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft). After leading Virtus Bologna to four consecutive play-off appearances in the Italian Serie A, Koponen had to face a new challenge in the EuroBasket Qualification Round in 2012 when the Finnish national veteran team point guard Teemu Rannikko was side-lined with an injury. Koponen took his game to another level, averaging 19.9 points, 4.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals-a-game for the "Wolf Pack", earning the nickname "General" by his teammates. Even though Koponen started his first Euroleague season slowly, he eventually fought his way into Khimki's rotation and snatched the Euroleague Week 12 MVP award in 2013, after scorching Fenerbahce with 23 points and seven assists. Koponen's scoring and playmaking skills, as well as his terrific 1-on-1-defence makes him the key player of Finland's Wolf Pack who are trying to improve on their sensational 9th spot at EuroBasket 2011.