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The All-Summer Youth Tournaments Team
REGENSBURG (David Hein's Eye on the Future) - Now that the summer of men's basketball is over - yeah, I know the FIBA Oceania U18 Championship is still to come in December - it's time to look back and crown the best youth players of the summer.
Seeing as there is always an All-Tournament Team at the end of each event, let's call this David Hein's All-Summer Youth Team.
Here is the team.
Dragan Bender, Forward, 1997-born, Croatia
The next Croatian sensation was selected to the U18 European Championship All-Tournament Team as a 16-year-old with some pretty crazy numbers. He finished with 14.4 points, 10.4 rebounds (third-best in the tournament), 4.9 assists (also third-best), 2.2 blocks (led the tournament) and 1.1 steals.
The Maccabi Tel Aviv talent put up a monster 34 points and 14 rebounds against Lithuania and then followed that up with 21 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists against Latvia - coming just one assist short of the first U18 European Championship triple-double since Lithuanian Martynas Andriuskevicius collected 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks against Israel in 2004. Bender then came up just a rebound short of a triple-double in the third place game against Greece with 14 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.
Cedi Osman, Guard, 1995, Turkey
Playing as an underclass player, Osman guided Turkey to their first-ever title at the U20 European Championship. And the 19-year-old stepped up most when it counted with 20 points and seven rebounds in the Final win over Spain to take MVP honors. In the Semi-Final against Serbia, Osman had 19 points, five rebounds and five assists after having collected 24 points, four rebounds and three assists against Lithuania in the quarter-finals.
Those 21.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the final three games were up from his final averages of 13.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Osman's summer wasn't over as he then moved to the Turkish senior national team for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. And despite being the fifth youngest player in Spain, Osman did not seem overwhelmed and coach Ergin Ataman was not afraid of putting him into the game. Osman played in nine games, scoring a total of 16 points to go with seven rebounds, four steals and four turnovers in 64 minutes. The youngster did score seven points against both Finland and Dominican Republic in group play.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, Guard, 1997-born, Ukraine
Mykhailiuk showed he can lead a team at the U18 European Championship Division B in guiding Ukraine to the final and promotion to the Division A next summer. The guard was named MVP of the tournament as he finished fifth in scoring at 16.0 points per game while also picking up 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.1 assists. Mykhailiuk did struggle in the final against Germany, being held to eight points and turning the ball over five times.
The to-be Kansas Jayhawks freshman Mykhailiuk then worked his butt off to make the Ukraine senior national team for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup as the youngest player by nearly two years. He didn't get into the game much, 33 minutes in five games, totaling seven points and five rebounds.
Mykhailiuk scored four points against Finland and nailed a three-pointer against the eventual champions United States.
Isaac Humphries, Center, 1998-born, Australia
The center was one of the biggest revelations of the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship as he averaged 18.9 points and 11.6 rebounds - both third-best in the tournament - as well as 3.3 blocks - tied for second-best - to go with 1.6 assists while shooting 58 percent from the field and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
Humphries - who won't turn 17 until January - set a tournament record with 41 points against Canada to go with 19 rebounds. All told, he had four double-doubles. Humphries is not expected to play at the FIBA Oceania U18 Championship in December as he will be in high school in the United States.
Stefan Peno, Guard, 1997-born, Serbia
Not many people can say they won medals at the world and continental level this summer, but Peno can. The 17-year-old stepped up as an underclass player to help Serbia reach the Final of the U18 European Championship, losing to hosts Turkey. Peno averaged 8.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals. He was especially outstanding in the quarter-finals against Lithuania with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Peno then joined the U17 Serbian team for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship with barely three days of practice. He averaged 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.3 steals in helping Serbia to third place.
Peno's best game came in the Semi-Finals against the United States as he scored 18 points on four three-pointers to go with four assists and three rebounds.
Near misses: Of course these aren't the only five young players who had great summers.
Here are a couple of near misses.
Malik Newman was named the MVP of the United States' undefeated run to the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship title. The fact that he hit just 14 of 35 shots (40 percent) - including 4 of 14 on three-pointers - in the semi-final and final diminishes his showing just a bit - also the fact that the Americans had so many weapons.
Aleksandar Aranitovic teamed up with Peno to take third place at the U17 World Championship and then went to the U16 European Championship, where Serbia were undefeated until the quarter-finals where they lost to Spain despite 32 points, 13 rebounds, six steals and four assists from Aranitovic.
Dillon Brooks was a true force at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship where he helped Canada to second place and a spot in the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship. Brooks averaged a tournament-best 25.2 points on 62 percent shooting from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line while collecting 5.2 rebounds, a tournament-best 2.6 steals and 2.2 assists.
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