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.
He followed up his 2005 national team performance in which he led Greece to EuroBasket gold with a spectacular showing at the World Championship in Japan.
For the entire competition, the 200-cm guard tallied 9.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 4.0 apg. But more than his individual statistics, he did whatever was necessary to help his team win.
This was particularly exemplified in Greece’s stunning 101-95 triumph over the United States. Down by double-digits in the first half, the Greek playmaker turned the tide of the game, particularly with his dribble penetration which resulted in 12 assists, as Greece came back to win in dramatic fashion.
Greece fell short against Spain in the final, but Papaloukas and his teammates were still able to return home with a silver medal.
As a result of his play in 2006, Papaloukas came out on top in both the fan vote, weighted to account for 30% overall, and the expert panel, which accounts for 70% of the total vote.
However, the voting was extremely close. In the expert panel, Papaloukas received eight first-place votes, one more than both Gasol and Nowitzki, who won the inaugural FIBA Europe Player of the Year award in 2005.
In the fan vote, Papaloukas received 6,035 votes, while Gasol had 5,756 and Nowitzki 5591.
“I am delighted that both the fans and experts have selected Theo Papaloukas as the FIBA Europe Player of the Year,” said FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos.
“I have had the joy of following Theo’s career very closely over the years. I find it most appropriate that the ultimate team player and winner received this individual distinction.”
“Theo Papaloukas is an inspirational player,” added FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.
“The passion he has to win for his team and country is a model that all players can follow now and for years to come.”
Papaloukas will be receiving the FIBA Europe Player of the Year custom-designed trophy at a date to be announced.
Top 10 Results
|Overall Rank||Name||Rank in panel vote||Rank in fan vote||Total Weighted Rank|
|1||Theo Papaloukas (GRE)||1||1||1.0|
|2||Pau Gasol (ESP)||2||2||2.0|
|3||Dirk Nowitzki (GER)||3||3||3.0|
|5||Juan Carlos Navarro (ESP)||5||6||5.3|
|6||Boris Diaw (FRA)||6||9||6.9|
|7||Vasileios Spanoulis (GRE)||7||7||7.0|
|8||Tony Parker (FRA)||8||8||8.0|
|9||JR Holden (RUS)||9||10||9.3|
|10||Jaka Lakovic (SLO)||9||11||9.6|