By Pietro Cristofori
From November 16th to November 19th, Trieste (Italy) held the “U16 No Borders Euro Cup 2023”. The eight participating teams were divided into two groups, and in the end, Real Madrid won it all, beating Baskonia (80-72) in the final game. Our Editor-in-Chief Pietro Cristofori attended the tournament, and tells us more about the top prospects of the event.
Real Madrid - Baskonia 80-72
3rd Place Game:
EA7 Milan - Orange1 Bassano 81-66
- Real Madrid
- Olimpia Milan
- Orange1 Bassano
- Trieste Select Team
- Partizan Belgrade
- Cedevita Olimpija
- Bayern Munich
Tournament MVP: Ilia Frolov (Real Madrid)
Tournament Best Scorer: Giannis Odzebe (Orange1 Bassano)
Abraham Juom Maker Bol - 2008, 6'11, PF, Baskonia
The best prospect in Trieste. Projects as a top NBA draft pick in the future. Lengthy PF that covers plenty of ground thanks to a unique mix of mobility and quickness. He makes up for his lack of physicality with his size. Outstanding scorer, shoots over everybody's head. Handles and shooting mechanics are fluid for his age and size. At the youth level he can guard all the positions. Covers plenty of ground. Wants to stay on the floor and fights for his team.
Baptiste Manel - 2010, 6'10, C, Real Madrid
One of the most intriguing prospects in Trieste. Limited productivity at this stage. But in a couple of season he could become an NBA prospect. He has mobility and coordination to play at the PF one day. Extremely skinny and narrow. High center of gravity, although keeps good balance. Outruns his man on the open floor- High motor. Right now he can't shoot or put the ball on the floor. He just shows some low-post game and switchability on the perimeter. Physical tools are there, now he has to start adding some technical improvements. Work in progress.
Omer Kutluay - 2009, 6'2, PG, Real Madrid
Pure PG. Son of former Euroleague player Ibrahim Kutluay, Omer was one of the best passers in the entire tournament. Floor-general with clear Euroleague potential. He could be even NBA depending on his physical development, he should grow other 3 or 4 inches. Frame is undeveloped still, long arms, not powerful. Puts his teammates in rhythm with easy passes. Terrific pick&roll player at this level. Fair scorer, better on pull-ups than spot-ups. Defense doesn't look like his focus now, although at the moment he struggles to keep the rhythm with more physically developed guards.
Farid Compaore - 2010, 6'4, SG, EA7 Milan
Two years younger than the competition, Compaore probably was the main surprise in the tournament. He competed at the highest level, and never backed-down. He looks a bit chubby, but you can see he will become strong once he will the final growth spurt. Tremendous physical upside. Already has good coordination and hang-time. Solid 3-point shooter. Three-level scorer potential. Not enough skilled or powerful to build his own shot off the dribble yet, but it will come with time. His work on the defensive end was quite impressive, despite not being explosive or mobile still he was able to stay in front of guards. Great anticipation skills.
Stefan Joksimovic - 2008, 6'3, SG, Baskonia
Standing at 6'3, Joksimovic has lanky and narrow frame still. Very raw. He has added multiple inches over the last 15 months. Average athleticism. Talented ball-handler, always keeps the dribble alive. Lefty. Shooter. Shoots the ball with high arc, fluid mechanics, still not linear due to his physical build. Potential to play as a full-time SG. Ok attitude on defense.
Ilia Frolov - 2008, 6'10, C, Real Madrid
Strong big-man. MVP of the tournament. He has grown a couple inches over the last year, now his growth looks like has stopped. Soft touch, what makes him special is his skillset and coordination at that Euroleague size. Reliable pick&pop player, ok on mid-rangers as well. High IQ overall. Solid passer. The main doubt on his game is his quickness and switchability at top European level. Footwork is good looking, but he's not laterally quick to withstand switches on wings and forwards in the pros. I want to see him against some more physical competition to see also his physical impact in the paint.
Abraham J. Maker Bol