02 October, 2023
24 April, 2024
8 Danilo Gallinari (ITA), 15 Jahlil Okafor (NGR)
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10 players to watch in the FIBA Europe Cup Qualifying Tournaments

MUNICH (Germany) - The FIBA Europe Cup Qualifying Tournaments feature 22 clubs with a number of star players to look out for when the action gets underway.

The battle for places in the Regular Season will be fiercely contested across the seven Qualifying Tournaments with games possibly won by some moments of individual brilliance.

Here are 10 players to watch in the Qualifiers:

Jahlil Okafor - Casademont Zaragoza

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Okafor is one of the biggest names in the history of the FIBA Europe Cup as the American is a two-time youth world champion (FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2012 as MVP and FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2013), a former NCAA college champion (with Duke in 2015) and a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2016. Okafor, still only 27 years old, has played in 247 NBA games from 2015 to 2021 for four teams - averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 2015-16. Okafor played for Nigeria at the 2020 Olympics, picking up 9.0 points and 4.7 rebounds. This is his debut season in Europe.

Daron Russell - Manisa BBSK

Russell played last season in the Basketball Champions League with Galatasaray Istanbul, averaging 15.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in six games. That came after he was the leading scorer (26.8 PPG) and assist man (7.3 APG) in the Adriatic League with Mornar Bar of Montenegro. Russell comes into a Manisa team with Pako Cruz and John Roberson - two veterans who were also at the club last season.

Tomas Vyoral - BK KVIS Pardubice

Vyoral returns to continental club action for the first time since playing in the Basketball Champions League for Nymburk in 2018-19. The 31-year-old has been with Pardubice since that season, averaging at least 12.6 points and 4.7 assists the last four seasons. The point guard also has played for Czechia at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European Qualifiers as well as the Tokyo Olympics.

Derrick Alston Jr. - Rostock Seawolves

Alston will be making his European club competition debut in the Qualifiers campaign with the German club, who made their maiden journey in the top flight domestically last season. The forward averaged 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 2022-23 for Rostock, who were competing for a playoffs spot late in the season in Germany. His father Derrick Alston played two years in the NBA and 16 seasons overseas.

Dejan Kravic - Casademont Zaragoza

Dejan Kravic (far right)

Kravic is a second name from Zaragoza, who have a roster full of intriguing players. The Serbian big man returns to Spain after a season in Italy with Pesaro and comes to Zaragoza with the experience of being a three-time Basketball Champions League winner - 2019 with Virtus Segafredo Bologna and 2020 and 2021 with San Pablo Burgos. Zaragoza would love to have him add a FIBA Europe Cup crown to his resume.

Lovre Basic - Nevesis-Optibet Kedainai

Basic played many years with KK Zadar in his native Croatia before playing for Vrijednosnice Osijek and then Liege Basket in Belgium. The last two seasons he has bounced between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading the Croatian league in assists (9.0 APG) last year with KK Alkar Sinj. The 28-year-old has headed to the Baltics to play for Nevezis and taken over the reins from World Cup star Arturs Zagars.

Mike Holton - Sabah BC

Holton will likely light up scoreboards if he can get Sabah into the FIBA Europe Cup. The guard ranked third in scoring in Austria last season with 21.2 points per game at St. Poelten. The 22-year-old has poured in at least 15.5 points per game over the course of the last six seasons. Holton also has the chip on his shoulder of being a player from the NCAA Division II.

Tonny Trocha-Morelos - Chernomorets Burgas

The Colombian big man could be the best rim protector in the Qualifiers as he makes his return to the Bulgarian club - having played there in 2021-22. He has regularly averaged more than 1 block per game and it wouldn't be a surprise if he does the same in the competition. Trocha-Morelos has played for the Colombia national team since 2017.

Max Landis - FC Porto

Landis has been one of the leading players for Porto for years, playing with the Portuguese team since 2019. This would be the playmaker's third season in the FIBA Europe Cup. He averaged 15.0 points and 2.4 assists in 2021-22 and 15.1 points and 2.0 assists last season. Landis and Porto also reached the FIBA Europe Cup Quarter-Finals last season and will need to qualify this time around.

Zayd Muosa - Anorthosis Famagusta

Muosa will play the entire season as a 20-year-old, playing with Anorthosis for a second campaign. In 2022-23, the guard averaged 11.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals in the Cypriot league. Muosa used to play in the Panionis and Olympiacos youth teams in Greece. He also played for the Cyprus national team in the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers, tallying 5.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists.