22 November, 2021
28 February, 2023
10 young players who shined bright in Window 5 of the European Qualifiers
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10 young players who stood out in Window 5 of the European Qualifiers

MUNICH (Germany) - Each window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers has seen young players step up with strong performances. Window 5 in Europe was no different, in fact the number of youngsters who played major roles in their teams' performances was quite impressive and promising for the future.

We have selected 10 players born in 2001 or later to take a closer look at and how they performed in the European Qualifiers window.

But before we delve into how they got on - we want you to let us know which rising star impressed you most in the November games.

Need help deciding? This is what these young talents got up to for their respective national teams in the penultimate window of the European Qualifiers.




Birth date: January 04, 2004 (18 years old)
Height: 219cm / 7'2"
School: Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans (France)

November stats: 19.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG in 24.0 minutes per game.

It was hard not to watch Wembanyama in his debut and he definitely gave the world a show. In his debut in Lithuania, the 18-year-old scored 20 points to go with 9 rebounds and 1 steals. Wembanyama then tallied 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

ZIGA SAMAR - Slovenia


Birth date: January 26, 2001 (21 years old)
Height: 198cm / 6'6"
School: Hamburg Towers (Germany)

November stats: 13.5 PPG, 9.0 APG, 5.0 RPG, 2.5 SPG in 32.0 minutes per game.

Samar took it upon himself that Slovenia would get two wins and lock up a spot in the World Cup in this window and not have to worry about finishing the deal in the final window in February 2023. The 21-year-old collected 13 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals against Israel and stepped up even more in beating Germany with 14 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block.



Birth date: April 21, 2001 (21 years old)
Height: 191cm / 6'3"
Club: CB Breogan (Spain)

November Stats: 10.0 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.5 SPG in 16.5 minutes per game.

Hollatz showed he can lead a team as he guided Germany to World Cup qualification with a win over Finland. The 21-year-old playmaker collected 18 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals for an efficiency of 28. In the second game against Slovenia, Hollatz got hurt after just 4 minutes and did not play the rest of the contest, finishing with 2 points and 1 assist.



Birth date: September 01, 2001 (21 years old)
Height: 209cm / 6'10"
School: Monbus Obradoiro CAB (Spain)

November stats: 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG in 17.5 minutes per game.

Blazevic left Lithuania this off-season for a new challenge and his performance with Obradoiro in Spain earned him a spot in the window. And the 21-year-old big man did not waste the opportunity. Blazevic poured in 14 points with 6 rebounds against France and then had 4 points and 2 rebounds against Montenegro. 



Birth date: December 29, 2001 (20 years old)
Height: 191cm / 6'3"
Club: Filou Oostende (Belgium)

November stats: 15.5 PPG, 5.5 APG, 3.5 RPG in 26.0 minutes per game.

The Netherlands may have finished the window winless with two more defeats but van der Vuurst had his two best games in the European Qualifiers. The playmaker scored 19 points while also dishing out 6 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds against Ukraine. In the loss to Spain, the young guard had 12 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds.



Birth date: March 14, 2001 (21 years old)
Height: 190cm / 6'3"
Club: Virtus Segafredo Bologna (Italy)

November stats: 13.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.5 APG in 16.0 minutes per game.

Mannion showed just how special he can be in Italy's big battle with Spain as the guard drained 3 three-pointers in scoring 20 points to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists. The 21-year-old played just 6 minutes against Georgia but tallied 6 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist.



Birth date: March 06, 2002 (20 years old)
Height: 199cm / 6'6"
School: Happy Casa Brindisi (Italy)

November stats: 9.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG in 21.5 minutes per game.

Estonia were already eliminated so that gave the coaching staff a chance to let their youngsters play, including the Italy-based Riismaa. The small forward had played in two European Qualifiers games in the First Round and then picked up 7 points and 7 rebounds against Sweden. Riismaa then scored 11 points with 1 rebound against Finland.



Birth date: July 16, 2002 (20 years old)
Height: 195cm / 6'5"
School: Maccabi Rishon LeZion (Israel)

November stats: 6.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.0 APG in 17.7 minutes per game.

Israel failed to stay alive in their fight for the World Cup with two losses. One bright spot for the country in the window was Dovrat. The 20-year-old guard picked up 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 16 minutes against Slovenia and then had 4 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists versus Sweden.



Birth date: May 27, 2004 (18 years old)
Height: 186cm / 6'1"
School: UCAM Murcia (Spain)

November stats: 9.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.0 APG in 21.7 minutes per game.

Another young guard made his way into the Slovenian national team and the 18-year-old Klavzar showed he is ready to make an impact. The Murcia playmaker picked up 9 points and 3 rebounds in his first European Qualifiers game against Israel. And he followed that with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in the win over Germany to get Slovenia into the World Cup - including two free throws to ice the game with 2 seconds left.



Birth date: August 07, 2002 (20 years old)
Height: 195cm / 6'5"
School: Paris Basketball (France)

November stats: 9.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.0 APG in 15.7 minutes per game.

Knowing they were all but through to the World Cup, France were able to allow the next generation of talents into the senior national team. Alongside Victor Wembanyama was also 20-year-old Begarin. The guard had 2 points and 2 rebounds in 12 minutes versus Lithuania. He then broke out with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in a win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Honorable mentions:

The 21-year-old Rati Andronikashvili averaged 5.0 points and 2.5 rebounds for Georgia, while Czech Republic's 20-year-old guard Richard Balint poured in 16 points on perfect 6-of-6 shooting against Hungary.

19-year-old center Furkan Haltali played a solid role in Turkey beating Belgium with 9 points and 1 rebound in 12 minutes and France showed even more depth of young talent with Ismael Kamagate averaging 6.0 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Yannick Kraag showed what he can do for Netherlands as the 20-year-old poured in 15 points and had 7 rebounds against Ukraine; Spain's 18-year-old playmaker Juan Nunez struggled with his shooting (0-of-3 in two games) but he collected 7 assists and 5 rebounds in 28 minutes of action and 21-year-old Styrmir Thrastarson tallied 7 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes for Iceland against Ukraine.