Career: Tcherno More Varna (Bulgaria-Pro A, 1997-2000), Cordivari Roseto (Italy-Lega, 2000), Longobardi Scafati (Italy-LegaDue, 2001), Tcherno More Varna (Bulgaria-Pro A, 2001), Academic Sofia (Bulgaria-Pro A, 2001-…).
He’s never played in the Euroleague. In Serbia-Montenegro, he is participating in the first EuroBasket of his career. At 28, he cannot be regarded as an NBA prospect. Nevertheless, Todor Stoykov, the captain of the Bulgarian national team, is one of the best scorers in Europe.
Bulgaria seems to have a tradition of scoring machines. Back in the 80's and 90's, the legendary Georgi Mladenov was feared by every defense in Europe. Todor Stoykov is his heir. A left-handed player, he is one of the most prolific scorers in European Basketball. Last season, with Academic Sofia, he was the number one in the ULEB Cup, averaging 24.0 points per game during the regular season. But not only an offensive genius, Todor is a versatile perimeter player and a consummate winner. Last spring, he took Academic to its third national title in a row. And thanks to his leadership, Bulgaria are back at the top of European basketball for the first time since 1993. Look at the stats ! During the qualifying round, he led the national team in points (19.3 ppg), rebounds (6.2 rpg), assists (4.0 apg) and steals (1.3 spg) !
Born in Varna, Stoykov naturally started his career in Tcherno More. And what a start ! In 1997, when he was only 20, he made a name of himself pouring in 22.2 points per game in the Korac Cup. His best night ? A 41-point explosion against the Polish squad of Pruskow. His precocious talent obviously caught the attention of several Eastern European teams. In 2000, he finally decided to sign abroad, joining Italian side Roseto. Not a very good memory for him. Still young, he experienced difficulties in adjusting to his new environment. After only five games (1.0 ppg), the club decided to release him. Stoykov finished the season in Italy, but in the second division, with Scafati. Disappointed with his first experience out of his native borders, he immediately chose to go back home, to Varna. He only stayed there a few weeks. Aiming to build a champion team, Academic persuaded him to move in the middle of the 2001-02 season. Since then, Stoykov has not stopped improving, being named basketball player of the year the last three seasons. "Since I came back from Italy, I think that I have grown as a player", he admits. Mature, smooth and athletic, he can either shoot the long-distance jumper or slash to the basket. In 2003, he registered the first and only triple-double in the history of the ULEB Cup (33 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a double-overtime win against KK Zagreb). Stoykov ? Europe’s best kept secret, so far…