PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
|Milos Teodosic receives the Player of the Year for 2010 award from FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson|
Players do not normally receive trophies of any kind after a win in a friendly game.
When Milos Teodosic took to the court in Stožice Arena on Sunday evening though, for Serbia's warm-up game against FYR of Macedonia, he knew that -win or lose- he would collect at the end another valuable award to add to his already oversized trophy case.
FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson was in Ljubljana to present the Serbia guard with the European Player of the Year for 2010 award.
Teodosic accepted Mr Rafnsson's congratulations and the applause of the 6,000 fans in the arena with the same modesty he had received the news of the voting result and his win back in February.
"I'd like to thank from the heart everyone who voted for me," were his first words.
"But really, this award belongs first and foremost to my teammates both in Olympiacos (his club until earlier this summer, when he signed with CSKA Moscow) and the Serbian national team," he said in an interview with fibaeurope.com
Although still just 24 years old, Teodosic has already collected a number of trophies and individual awards, including gold medals with Serbia in three European Youth Championships.
In 2010, the 1.95m guard was named Euroleague Regular Season MVP, having averaged 13.4 points, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals to lead Olympiacos to the Final Four of the competition.
|Nika Baric receives the Young Women's Player of the Year for 2010 award from FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin|
Later that summer, he was the driving force behind Serbia's run to the FIBA World Championship semi-finals.
When Nika Baric heard in February that she had been voted European Young Women's Player of the Year for 2010, she was over the moon.
Several months later, on Sunday evening, she wore a huge smile on her face before, during and after receiving the award from FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin.
"I knew that there was voting for the best player, but even in my dreams I didn't imagine that this award will one day be mine," the Slovenian young star told the local crowd in Ljubljana once she was holding the awards in her hands.
"I had a lot of competition as other players were also very good. This award means a lot to me because it confirms I'm on the right track," she added.
The 1.69m point guard's impressive ball handling and sharp shooting made her an instant fan favourite at the U18 European Championship Women last summer and an absolute nightmare for opposing defenders.
The 19-year-old star was the main reason Slovenia made it to the semi-finals and she walked away with the tournament MVP title, averaging 23.3 points, four rebounds and 5.9 assists per game.