|Dario Saric: 2013 FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year|
After being runner-up in 2012, Dario Saric has claimed the top accolade in 2013 by being named the 2013 FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year.
It marks a constant rise for the Croatian wunderkind who was first nominated for the award in 2010, finishing sixth in the voting, before slightly missing a place on the podium 12 months later when the final count of the votes placed him in fourth position.
2013 was another stellar year for the power forward who provided the backbone for Croatia's campaign at the U19 World Championship, finishing the tournament ranked second in points per game (20.3), rebounds per game (11.2) and assists per game (4.2), deservedly earning a place on the All-Tournament team.
His summer in a Croatian jersey was far from over however, with a trip to Slovenia to participate in EuroBasket 2013 as a member of his nation's senior team to follow. The 19-year-old was not just there to warm the bench, picking up 17.7 minutes a night in Jasmin Repesa's rotation for 5.5 points and 3.2 points a game, helping his team to fourth place and a spot at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Domestically, the Sibenik-native has been no less impressive. The 2013 calendar year marked his second full year of senior basketball, providing a strong inside presence for Cibona Zagreb as they blazed a path to winning the Croatian domestic double.
Already for the 2013/14 ABA season, Saric is leading the regular-season MVP ranking.
"I had the pleasure of watching this young man play at EuroBasket 2013, and I have no doubt that this is only the tip of the iceberg of what Dario is still to achieve in basketball," commented FIBA Europe Acting President Cyriel Coomans.
"Saric has already been a great servant to Croatian national teams for a number of seasons and he is still only 19. I already look forward to watching him turn out again this summer for his country," said FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak, adding to the comments of Acting President Coomans.
FIBA Europe will announce in due course when and where the awards will be presented.
The 2013 FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year and 2013 FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year announcements will follow on Friday.
FIBA EUROPE YOUNG MEN'S PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2013 FINAL VOTING
|Amedeo Della Valle||5475||106||0,0526|
|Devon Van Oostrum||8302||85||0,0458|
*the accumulated ranking reflects a combination of the fan and expert voting.