In tribute to the FIBA Europe 2005 Player of the Year, Dirk Nowitzki, fibaeurope.com takes a nostalgic look back at the 27 year old German superstar's career.
|The next Boris Becker? Nowitzki tried his hand at tennis, before turning to basketball. It proved to be a wise decison.|
|Nowitzki playing for his home city club, DJK S. Oliver Würzburg, in the 1998-1999 season.|
|Nowitzki takes a jump-shot in the 1999 EuroBasket held in France. In his first major international competition, Nowitzki averaged 15.2 points per game. The German team finished seventh in the competition.|
|With the ninth pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, the Milwaukee Bucks selected Dirk Nowitzki and then traded him to the Dallas Mavericks. Pictured is Nowitzki in his rookie year during the 1998-99 season.|
|Personal coach Holger Geschwindner has played an integral role in Nowitzki's development.|
|In his second NBA season, Nowitzki averaged 17.5 points per game. Pictured, Nowitzki drives around New Jersey's Aaron Williams.|
|Nowitzki led Germany to the bronze medal at the 2002 FIBA World Championship, averaging a tournament-best 24 points a game. He was named Most Valuable Player.|
|Nowitzki representing his country against Italy in a 2004 game in Germany.|
|Nowitzki hoists the 2005 EuroBasket Most Valuable Player award. Nowitzki was the leading scorer in the tournament, this time averaging 26.7 a game. He helped Germany win the silver medal and achieve their highest placement in the competition since 1993.|
|Over the years, Nowitzki has been supported by his parents, Helga and Joerg. In her time, Helga played for the German women's national basketball team, while Joerg took up handball.|
|Silke Nowitzki, Dirk's sister, also played basketball. She works for the NBA in International TV and is the President of the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which works to support health and education to children throughout the world.|
All photos are courtesy of Holger R. Sauer.