The first qualifier of this season's Adidas EuroLeague Next Generation Tournament comes your way starting Friday, February 25, from Belgrade, Serbia, with a full complement of rising stars to discover. Here's some names to watch out for from each of the eight teams.
Players to watch: ANGT Belgrade
Zaccharie Risacher, U18 ASVEL Villeurbanne
Risacher will be playing his second ANGT after he collected 2.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals at the ANGT Valencia last season as well as 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists at the ANGT Finals. As a 2005-born player, the 2.00-meter small forward is still a year younger than most of his competition this weekend. He is averaging 13.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 blocks in 26 minutes of play in the French U21 Espoirs league. He also has played in two Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games for ASVEL, picking up 1 turnover in 7 minutes. Risacher, whose father Stephane Risacher played in the Euroleague for Olympiacos and Unicaja, helped France win their FIBA U16 European Challenger 2021 by tallying 10.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 3.4 steals and 1.0 blocks. He is an all-around excellent offensive player with a great three-point shot. Risacher moves well without the ball and crashes the offensive glass. He still needs to work on his individual defense and is still growing into his body.
Luka Vudragovic, U18 Crvena Zvezda Belgrade
Vudragovic will be playing his second ANGT after he collected 10 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal in 25 combined minutes over four games at the ANGT Belgrade last season and averaged 1.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 9 minutes at the ANGT Finals last season. The shooting guard also averaged 7.4 points and 2.2 rebounds at the FIBA U18 European Challengers 2021 for the Serbian national team. Through his first six games in the Serbian junior league, Vudragovic was averaging 23.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. He is a guard with excellent physical potential and a good shooter from three-point range. He also can attack the basket.
Daryl Doualla, U18 Lietkabelis Panevezys
Doualla will be playing his third ANGT after appearing in the ANGT competition for the past two seasons with U18 ASVEL Villeurbanne. In 2019-20, the 1.95-meter guard averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.3 steals at the ANGT Valencia. He collected 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists at the ANGT Valencia in 2020-21 and then contributed 4.3 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists in the 2020-21 ANGT Finals. Doualla also tallied 12.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals at the FIBA U18 European Challengers 2021. He moved to Lithuania this past off-season and signed with Nevezis Kedainiai. Doualla is very explosive, physical and versatile, and a great leaper. He is using his body and strength right now, but he will need to understand the details in the game better in the future and use his smart basketball IQ while also developing a better shot.
Nikola Djapa, U18 Mega Mozzart Belgrade
Djapa will be playing his second ANGT season after appearing at the ANGT Belgrade and ANGT Finals in 2020-21. He picked up 2.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in nearly 16 minutes per game at this tournament last year. He recorded just 2 fouls in 5 minutes over two games at the ANGT Finals. This season he is averaging 7.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in the U19 ABA League as well as 11.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in the Serbian U19 League. The 2.09-meter Djapa is a mobile and modern big man who can play both power forward and center. He can play the face-up game and has both good pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop games thanks to solid shooting from three-point range. He is also improving more and more from a physical standpoint.
Filip Jovic, U18 Next Generation Team Belgrade
Jovic will be making his ANGT debut. The 2005-born forward stands 2.04 meters tall and plays for Spars Sarajevo in his home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has averaged 18.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.0 blocks in five games this season in the U19 ABA League. Jovic can be productive at both ends of the floor. He has excellent versatility on offense, dominating in the post with very good footwork and a good handle. Defensively, he is a solid perimeter defender.
Efe Tahmaz, U18 Partizan NIS Belgrade
Tahmaz will be playing at the ANGT Belgrade for a second time after he collected 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounds last season. The Istanbul, Turkey native has been with Partizan since 2018 and averaged 19 points and 4 rebounds at the junior level last season. He is averaging 11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals for Partizan's second team as well as 6.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals in the U19 ABA League. Tahmaz also played at the FIBA U18 European Challenger 2021 and collected 3.4 points and 2.4 rebounds. The 2.01-meter forward can cover multiple positions and also does a good job blocking shots.
Ege Demir, U18 Tofas Bursa
Demir will be playing at his second ANGT after he picked up 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.3 blocks at the ANGT Istanbul in 2020-21. The 2.09-meter center averaged 12.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 3.8 blocks in the U19 Turkish League last season and is collecting 10.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in the Turkish second division this season with Tofas's cooperation team Gemlik. Demir is a good post-up player with good athleticism, strong defense and a good feel for rebounding. He is also an excellent rim protector.
Sergio De Larrea, U18 Valencia Basket
De Larrea will be playing in his second ANGT after he picked up 8.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals at the ANGT Valencia last season. Larrea, who is a 2005-born guard, is averaging 5.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 17 minutes for Valencia's team in the Spanish third division. De Larrea is a tall point guard with great ability to read the game and very good ball-handling. He can also drive and finish and has a solid mid-range game. He still must play better defense and work on his physical condition.