U18 All Star Game: Karasev Counts The Stars

17 September 2011

7. Sergey Karasev (Russia)
Russia's Sergey Karasev is a great admirer of Spain captain Juan Carlos Navarro

Sergey Karasev is one of the brightest young talents in basketball.

A member of the Russia national team that won the bronze medal at this summer's FIBA U19 World Championship, the 17-year-old sat close to the Kauno Arena court on Friday afternoon and watched a fascinating EuroBasket Semi-Final between Spain and FYR of Macedonia.

He and 23 other teenagers are in town to play in Saturday's U18 All-Star Game.

On Friday, though, Sergey and the others were able to sit back and watch as Juan Carlos Navarro torched the opponents for 35 points in Spain's 92-80 victory.

"Navarro," Karasev says to

"Nobody can stop him."

Maybe one day, Sergey will have a chance to guard the 31-year-old Barcelona star, Navarro.

He is on the fast track to play at the highest level of the game.

This summer, Sergey competed at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Riga and helped Russia capture the bronze medal.

He averaged 15.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Sergey poured in 17 points in both the Quarter-Final upset of the United States and the medal-clinching victory over Argentina.

He's not the first person in his family to wear the Russia shirt.

His father, Vasily Karasev, was the point guard on the teams that reached the podium at the EuroBaskets in 1993 and '97, and 1994 and '98 World Championships.

He was, Sergey says, one of the players who inspired him.

"I looked at my father," he says.

"But I have NBA TV at home and watch a lot of NBA games.

"My favorite is Kobe Bryant because he does my job.

"I look at what he does, and try to copy it in practice."

The fans on Saturday will be able to see what he's learned from Kobe because Sergey will take part in the dunking contest in the Kauno Arena.

For anyone wanting to keep tabs on Sergey Karasev, they can monitor the box scores or watch games in Russia's top flight.

He plays for Triumph Lyubertsy.

Triumph is a club that is helping in the development of Russia's promising players.

He should get plenty of minutes.

"I am having a second season in the first league in the Russian championship," he says.

"I'm going to play against CSKA, UNICS, Khimki - the best teams in Russia. CSKA are the former Euroleague winners.

"Now it's very hard to play because I need to improve physically, my strength, but I am working every day to play in the first team to maybe one day go to the NBA or (a big club) in Europe."

One of the benefits of playing for Triumph is that he has a chance to see his father, Vasily, all the time.

"My father is the second coach of Triumph and we have a lot of time to speak about basketball," he says.

"But when we come home, we speak about life - father and son - not like coach and player."

One thing that the father has told his son about basketball is that he can't back down from anyone.

"My father was a very aggressive player," Sergey says.

"He didn't want to be the fifth or sixth player in the team but the first.

"I want to do the same.

"When I came to Triumph, I was the young one.

"But I take the ball and try to be aggressive."

Something that should help Sergey at every level he plays is his versatility.

"At Triumph, I play the three, small forward, or the two," he says.

"But sometimes point guard, sometimes power forward, but just a little - just what the coach says. I do it."

Sergey is hoping to make it in the senior team of Russia one day.

"Of course, every young guy wants to play in the EuroBasket in the first team, so I watch all the games I can," he says.

"I watch also the games of Russia.

"I love their basketball because (coach) David Blatt has good tactics and has done a very good job."



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