From August 16th to August 20th the U14 SloveniaBall Tournament was held in Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia. 9 of the best National Teams competed in the tournament, and our Chief Editor, Pietro Cristofori, and our collaborator, Felix Hilgart, attended the tournament.
Here's a report on some of the best players in the tournament.
3rd Place Game:
Israel-Slovenia Blue 62-51
- Slovenia Blue
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Slovenia White
Jakob Siftar - 2009, Shooting Guard, Slovenia Blue
Tournament's top-scorer, Siftar scored the ball in many ways. Lanky frame, shoulders are still narrow, but lengthy overall. Dribbles the ball really low to the ground and with good change of pace and rhythm. Above-average handles for his size. One of the best shooters out there: finished the tournament with 35.4% from behind the arc. Decision-making has to improve. On defense he didn't look committed, but it might be due to his offensive responsibility.
Toni Garma - 2010, Guard, Croatia
Skilled guard, Garma played the tournament one year under-age. Still a bit chubby, you can see that his physical development is still at an early stage. Shoulders and chest look good. He struggled to compete against ready bodies. Above-average killer instinct for a guy of his age. Shooting mechanics are very smooth, outstanding release and solid preparation. Looks average on defense. Bad attitude throughout the tournament.
Lun Jarc - 2009, Forward, Slovenia White
Excellent size and length, still frail frame. Moves well, but not very coordinated yet, really struggles to play through contact. Body language needs to improve, very questionable at times. Shows good potential handling the ball, also good vision when pushing it in transition. Uses his long strides and change of direction driving, but lacks finishing ability at the rim – especially with his left hand. Fluid shooting motion but slow release due to dipping the ball very low on the catch. Needs to improve passing quality, although he reads the game fairly well. On defense, the timing on blocks and rebounds is a little off, gets turned too easily when closing out on opponents, but shows good commitment.
Marko Popovic - 2009, Wing, Montenegro
Physically wise he looks a lot like last year. Wide shoulders, ok length. Didn't grow much. Gets to the basket at will, nice strides. Looks like he can develop into a shooter. Although, he has some weird follow through: doesn't finish it. Doesn't handle the ball like a pure guard yet, but he has good vision and timing on passes. On defense he's average, ok commitment. Fair under the boards.
Andrej Fantic - 2009, Shooting Guard, Montenegro
Average frame, he has grown some centimeters since last Summer, but didn't really develop physically. Still raw from many aspects. Athleticism has to be developed still. Pure scorer, good touch. Can score from all over the floor. Acts as secondary handler, never really brings up the ball and sets the offense. At times it looks like he shies away from responsibilities. Has to improve defensive stance, but he can turn into a nice on-ball defender.
Eshel Lewinthal - 2009, Shooting Guard, Israel
Average athleticism for his age, physically looks pretty ready. Sharpshooter. Played like a pro in some actions: he always knows where to relocate on the floor, good IQ and awareness. Fair passer. Good on-ball defender, active hands. Average length, but he's smart and can touch many passes.
Agoston Nagy - 2009, Wing, Hungary
Decent size and length for a guard. Average athlete, not very explosive. Shot looks good, fluid motion, just a small hiccup before the release, soft touch. Struggles to beat his defender 1on1, but good body control to finish through contact or over the top of defenders. Good and timely cutter. Shows flashes as a ball handler but needs to get more comfortable, having the ball in his hands. Plays smart and aggressive on the defensive end, has good lateral speed, and uses his chest and arms very well to stay in front of his opponent. Fights over screens and is active as a rebounder.
Antoni Majcherek - 2009, Shooting Guard, Poland
Good size and length for a guard, average athlete. Good ball handler and very controlled bringing the ball up also against pressure. Good use of in&out dribbling and headfakes in transition. Willing passer (both hands) with good vision. Shot looks very promising but struggles to make it because he rarely shoots in balance – always fading. Finishing ability at the rim is questionable, always wants to finish to his right. Tends to be too passive off the ball. Defensive awareness questionable, loses sight of his opponent too easy. Overall average defender, laterally slow.
Kenan Alispahic - 2009, Forward, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Good size, long arms, and big hands. Good athlete with a quick first step. Moves well and seems to have good strength. Shooting form looks OK – very high release – but he rushes into it and is too stiff in the end, jumps too far forward. Very good driving to his left, and also spinning back to his right. Good touch around the rim with both hands. Solid ball handler for his size and good decision-making and vision on drives. Quick lateral movement on defense, good use of his wingspan to disrupt passes. Shows good commitment, awareness still questionable.
Mark Szafko - 2009, Forward, Hungary
Good size and OK length. Body looks already developed, not sure if he is going to grow much more. Very good motor, always very active. Aggressive driving to the basket and does not shy away from contact finishing. Decision-making under pressure questionable, tends to lose focus, rushes shots and commits unforced turnovers. Shooting motion looks OK, soft touch, release a little funky and narrow base, but can really get hot within a few possessions. Holds on to the ball too long at times and stops the flow of the offense. Plays hard on the defensive end, very good lateral speed and shows potential to become a very good on-ball defender. However, his defensive awareness is questionable, tries to help everyone and goes roaming free at times. Very active crashing the offensive board, creating many second chances.