Young Men - The Candidates

Alejandro Abrines - Spain and FC Barcelona
Drafted in the summer by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 32nd spot, injury then ruled Abrines out of making his swansong at European youth championships, but every cloud has a silver lining. In this instance it is a prosperous season to date playing for Spain's basketball powerhouse, Barcelona with the guard/forward averaging close to 10 points a night in the Euroleague and just under nine points in the ACB with over 20 minutes a night in each of the competitions.
Amedeo Della Valle - Italy and Ohio State
With just one previous appearance in a European youth event, the average European fan could be excused for questioning: "Della who?" With injuries hampering his summers of the past, the 20-year-old stayed injury-free in 2013 to reveal his true talent, taking an outside-ranked Italian team all the way to gold medal glory at the U20 European Championship in Tallinn, Estonia. He was the prominent Azzurri player in the gold medal game, providing five rebounds to go with 19 points, earning himself tournament MVP honours.
Anzejs Pasecniks - Latvia and VEF Riga
In the most successful summer in the history of the Baltic nation, one player stood out taller than the rest. Clocking up some big minutes at the back end of VEF Riga's VTB League campaign, the 18-year-old burst onto the European scene in front of his home fans, averaging 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds a night to take Latvia to the semi-finals of the U18 European Championship. He then topped his summer off at the FIBA Europe U18 All Star Game in September, where he was voted game MVP.
Dario Saric - Croatia and Cibona Zagreb
Putting off court dramas behind him, Saric simply focused on what he needed to do on the court. Following on from playing his first full season of senior men's basketball, Saric turned his attentions to the U19 World Championship - his second appearance - leading Croatia to the quarter finals with 20.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists - second-best in all three categories. His summer was just beginning with a stint at EuroBasket still awaiting, playing nearly 18 minutes-a-night as Croatia made a run to the semi-finals.
Devon Van Oostrum - Great Britain and Laboral Kutxa
2013 brought to an end a remarkable youth career for Van Oostrum who featured in no less than six European youth championships, rounding out his time at the U20 European Championship Division B with 26.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists a game, confirming Great Britain's Division A status for 2014. Later in the summer the 20-year-old was remarkably appearing at his second EuroBasket. The guard is now focusing on working his way onto the regular rotation at Spanish club Laboral Kutxa.
Domantas Sabonis - Lithuania and Unicaja Malaga
The son of one of Europe's greatest ever players has shouldered the expectations he carries well in the past 12 months, gaining his place on the court of one of Europe's 21st century powerhouse clubs on account of his own merits. His summer began with a solid campaign for Lithuania at the U18 European Championship, averaging 14 points and 11.4 rebounds a game. He has since worked his way into the Unicaja rotation, enjoying over 10 minutes a night in the Euroleague as the club push to go past the first round on a ninth consecutive occasion.
Giannis Antetokounmpo - Greece and Milwaukee Bucks
Little known outside Greece, some grainy YouTube clips of the 18-year-old caught the attention of NBA scouts and soon the whole basketball world was scrambling to find out more about the 2.08m guard/forward who is now currently the youngest player in the NBA. Following on from big hype beginning in the spring, Antetokounmpo was unveiled to European fans at the U20 European Championship in Tallinn, providing a solid 8.0 points and 7.6 rebounds a game for the Greeks. He is currently seeing over 15 minutes a night for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kenan Sipahi - Turkey and Fenerbahce
Just 18 and already with a European club campaign behind him, Sipahi arrived in Latvia for his third and final U18 European Championship with the desire to add to the bronze medal he had won back in Poland in 2011. With assassin-like stealth, Sipahi retained a modest stat line whilst coming up with the big plays every time it was required to lead Turkey to gold and earn the tournament MVP honour along the way. The guard narrowly missed out on a EuroBasket spot but has since established himself as starting guard for European powerhouse, Fenerbahce.
Ludvig Hakanson - Sweden and FC Barcelona
Arguably the biggest surprise name on any of the rosters at EuroBasket 2013 was 17-year-old Swedish point guard Ludvig Hakanson. Having previously only appeared in Europe at Division B youth level, including at the U18 European Championship earlier in the summer when he made the All Tournament team, Hakanson wasted no time in showing Europe what Swede national team coach Brad Dean and Barcelona saw in him, playing with confidence for more than 16 minutes a game. He finished his summer by competing in the U18 All Star game.
Mateusz Ponitka - Poland and Telenet Ostende
A standout amongst a talented Polish generation, Ponitka had already roughed it with the big boys in 2012, but the small forward still had unfinished business to deal to at youth level. That was achieved when he averaged 15.6 points and 5.5 rebounds at the U20 European Championship Division B, leading the Poles back to Division A. He then returned to the Poland senior team, coming off the bench at EuroBasket. The 20-year-old is now averaging close to 20 minutes a night for Telenet Ostende in the Eurocup.
Rasmus Larsen - Denmark and La Bruixa d’Or
The Danish Dirk Nowitkzi - a 2.12 m tall blond inside presence who also has the skillset to hurt opponents from outside - missed the summer with the Danish youth system but hit the court running when his maiden ACB campaign began for La Bruixa d'Or at the age of 18. His arrival announcement could not have been louder, scoring 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting from downtown, whilst also grabbing 13 rebounds for good measure on debut. His numbers have since slightly plateaued but his intentions have been made loud and clear.
Vasilje Micic - Serbia and Mega Vizura
Micic's first reward of the 2013 summer was a place on the U19 World Championship All-Tournament team, assuring Serbia made back-to-back appearances in the final with 12.9 points a game and 4.8 assists. His performances were enough to impress Dusan Ivkovic who gave him a spot on his roster for EuroBasket. Far from being just a spectator, the point guard was thrown into a much bigger role following the late withdrawal of Milos Teodosic, running the plays for 14 minutes a night. Micic is now averaging more than 10 points a night in Adriatic league action.

All Winners

Men
2013: Tony Parker
2012: Andrei Kirilenko
2011: Dirk Nowitzki
2010: Milos Teodosic
2009: Pau Gasol
2008: Pau Gasol
2007: Andrei Kirilenko
2006: Theo Papaloukas
2005: Dirk Nowitzki

Women
2013: Sancho Lyttle
2012: Celine Dumerc
2011: Alba Torrens
2010: Hana Horáková
2009: Sandrine Gruda
2008: Maria Stepanova
2007: Anete Jekabsone-Zogota
2006: Maria Stepanova
2005: Maria Stepanova

Young Men
2013: Dario Saric
2012: Jonas Valanciunas
2011: Jonas Valanciunas
2010: Jan Vesely
2009: Ricky Rubio
2008: Ricky Rubio
2007: Ricky Rubio
2006: Rudy Fernandez
2005: Nikolaos Zisis

Young Women
2013: Astou Ndour
2012: Alina Iagupova
2011: Emma Meesseman
2010: Nika Baric
2009: Alba Torrens
2008: Gintare Petronyte
2007: Sonja Petrovic
2006: Sandrine Gruda
2005: Anete Jekabsone