|All Tournment Team: MVP Amedeo Della Valle & Awudu Abass (Italy), Kaspars Vecvagars & Janis Berzins (Latvia), Daniel Diez (Spain)|
In a tournament dominated by outstanding forwards, a guard, Amedeo Della Valle of champions Italy, caught the eye of participating coaches and was named MVP of the Sportland U20 European Championship.
Della Valle emerged as the ultimate clutch player in Tallinn already in the quarter-final against Lithuania, when he made the three-pointer at the end of regulation that sent the game into overtime and gave Italy the chance to prevail.
More than anything though, he was the hero of Italy in the title game,
The 1.92m guard scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the deciding fourth quarter and dominated the final five minutes of the big encounter, demonstrating bravery and leadership in equal measure.
Della Valle averaged 13.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals-per-game in the 10 games he played in Tallinn en route to the top with Italy.
|Tonu Seil, Ministry of Culture of Estonia presenting Amedeo Della Valle the MVP award|
Abass was the engine in the Italian machine throughout the tournament, the definition of the all-round player who contributed whatever his team needed at a given time, from any position on the floor; he averaged 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
Vecvagars missed two games and played from the quarter-finals onwards with a plaster around his finger because of a fracture but still his organising and scoring capacity, combined with his ability to dictate the tempo shined through, as he averaged 16.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the eight encounters he featured.
Berzins, a small forward, impressed in Tallinn with his athleticism, speed and excellent shooting skills and Latvia put that explosive package to good use on the their way to the second step of the podium; he averaged 15.4 points and 7.4 rebounds-per-game.
Diez was colossal for Spain despite the fact he had to play most of the championship at the ‘4' spot rather than as a small forward and averaged a tournament-high 18.7 points per game.
He was the third-leading layer in minutes played and rounded up his contribution with 8.8 rebounds and one assist-per-game on average to propel the Iberian side to the podium.