29 July, 2017
06 August
16 Ivan Fevrier (FRA)
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Group D Preview: France, Bosnia and Herzegovina forced to look deeper into talent pool

BRATISLAVA (FIBA U18 European Championship 2017, Division C) - After getting to know the other players and teams of the FIBA U18 European Championship 2017, we check in with Group D, which will include defending champions France, the dangerous 1999-born Bosnia and Herzegovina side, as well as tournament hosts Slovak Republic and Latvia.


Yanik Blanc is expected to be among the team leaders this year

Players to Watch: The brunt of the work load in France will fall on the shoulders of playmaker Yanik Blanc, the electrifying guard Sofiane Briki and big men Ivan Fevrier and Timothee Bazille, who led INSEP to the Adidas Next Generation Tournament triumph in Istanbul earlier in the season. Fevrier earned ANGT Finals MVP honors, while Blanc and Bazille were selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Outlook: Heavily hit by injuries, France will have to do without Jaylen Hoard, Yves Pons, Joel Ayayi and Sekou Doumbouya in Bratislava. Only one player, Ivan Fevrier, remains from last year’s FIBA U18 European Championship title-winning roster but there is plenty of talent on the squad for the country to be in contention for the top spots again. The 1999-born selection of players finished 5th at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2015 in Lithuania and 6th at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2016 in Spain.

Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic will make their FIBA U18 European Championship debut

Players to Watch: There were six 1999-born players at the FIBA U18 European Championship, Division B last year, with Jakub Kadasi playing the biggest role of the group, averaging 6.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. The team also included David Javorsky, Maros Zeliznak, Samir Hebibi, Jakub Mokran and Matej Majercak.

Outlook: Slovak Republic have never played in a Division A of a FIBA U18 European Championship before, but qualified last year with a third-place finish in Division B after a thrilling conclusion in the bronze-medal game against Hungary. The talented 1999-born generation of Slovak players, who made up half of the U18 roster, were just one win away from bringing their country to Division A at the U16 level in 2015. With invaluable experience from last year's triumph, Slovak Republic could be looking to make some noise in front of their fans.


Team spirit and a never-give-up attitude will be key for Latvia

Players to Watch: The 2000-born Anrijs Miska is the player with the most upside on Latvia's roster. An all-round power forward with intriguing physical attributes in terms of length and quickness, Miska is still very much a work in progress but could have a breakout performance in the Slovak Republic after averaging 9.5 points and 6.7 rebounds at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2016 last year. Edgars Kaufmanis and Davids Atelbauers got their feet wet at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2016 and should be valuable contributors this summer.

Outlook: After just barely avoiding relegation at the FIBA U18 European Championship in Samsun last year, Latvia will be hoping to steer clear of the lower end of the standings with the 1999-generation of players, who themselves placed 11th at the FIBA U16 European Championship in Kaunas a couple of years ago. Not as talented as some of the other Latvian teams of recent times, the Uvis Helmanis-coached side would probably be more than content with a mid-table finish. As hosts of next year's tournament, they cannot be relegated.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sani Campara is facing an increased role for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Players to Watch: Sani Campara and Njegos Sikiras will be making all the calls for Bosnia and Herzegovina this summer after it became apparent that Dzanan Musa, one of the most talented 1999-born players worldwide, will not be able to help the U18 team. Not the most athletic player on the floor, the Real Madrid prospect Campara makes up for his shortcomings with on-court smarts and a good shooting touch from mid-range and beyond the arc. One of the best power forwards in the tournament, Sikiras has a great post game, but can also stretch the floor with his outside shot. 

Outlook: Bosnia and Herzegovina took home the crown at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2015 in Kaunas for the country's first-ever gold medal at a team sport, qualifying for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2016, where the side underperformed and finished 9th in the final standings. However, with Musa training with the senior national team, the expectations are considerably lower for Bosnia and Herzegovina's gifted 1999 generation of players, now headlined by Sani Campara and Njegos Sikiras.