EuroBasket fever hit Palma de Mallorca Tuesday night as Germany and Spain played their second friendly in less than a week and fans had a chance to pay tribute to young superstar Rudy Fernandez.
The 22-year-old was named the FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year for his efforts with club and country in 2006, culminating in a World Championship for Spain.
Rudy Fernandez, the winner of the 2006 FIBA Europe Young Men’s Player of the Year, will be recognised in front of his home fans tomorrow (28 August) when Spain takes on Germany in a friendly game in Palma de Mallorca.
FIBA Europe will present Fernandez with the custom-designed 2006 Young Men’s Player of the Year trophy during the game.
Greek star Theo Papaloukas received his custom-designed 2006 FIBA Europe Player of the Year award on 30 June among a standing ovation from the appreciating crowd of Athens’ OAKA, the Olympic Sport Complex Arena.
Later Papaloukas proved why he won the award by leading his 2005 EuroBasket champions Greek team to victory over a European All-Star selection in the bi-annual Eurostar game.
CSKA Volgaburmash and Russian international center Maria Stepanova lifted the FIBA Europe 2006 Women’s Player of the Year award at the EuroLeague Women All Star Game.
Stepanova, a back-up on the European team, entered the game in the opening stages of the first quarter and play was stopped so FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin could walk on to the floor and present Stepanova the trophy.
Few followers of the women's game will argue with Maria Stepanova's second successive FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year award.
The announcement came on the same day that Stepanova's club side, CSKA Volgaburmash, comprehensively saw off Dynamo Moscow 71-45 to retain the Russian Cup, the latest achievement by the 27-year old center.
Greece’s Theo Papaloukas of CSKA Moscow was selected as the FIBA Europe 2006 Player of the Year, edging out Pau Gasol and Dirk Nowitzki in a tight vote.
Papaloukas had a winning campaign in 2006, helping Greece to the silver medal at the FIBA World Championship and leading CSKA Moscow to the Russian Cup, and both the Superleague and Euroleague crowns.
Rudy Fernandez was a gold medal winner on the greatest basketball stage of all in 2006, the FIBA World Championship.
A Spaniard who has been on the international hoops radar since earning MVP honours at the Copa del Rey in 2004 with DKV Joventut, Rudy, now 21, is sublimely gifted and showed last year his full array of skills in the biggest games.
The ultimate team player, and leader - that's Theo Papaloukas of Greece and CSKA Moscow, winner of the FIBA Europe Player of the Year award.
Really, only one thing matters with him as a basketball player and that’s winning.
Maria Stepanova of the Russian national team and CSKA Samara has been named the FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year.
The 202-cm center has now won the award for the second consecutive time.
Rudy Fernandez was named today as the 2006 FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year.
Fernandez succeeds Greek national team player Nikos Zisis who claimed the title in 2005.