MILANO, ITAY -- Jan. 22, 2002 – Predrag “Peja” Stojakovic of the Sacramento Kings wins the coveted 2001 Euroscar, La Gazzetta dello Sport’s annual award to the top European basketball player. The newpaper is Europe’s top selling and Italy’s oldest daily sports newspaper with a daily circulation of more than 700,000.

Since its inception in 1979, the 23rd annual Euroscar was created to recognize the top European basketball player. For the third time in the history of the award, the top three spots have been awarded to NBA players. Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) and Pau Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) round out the top three. Previously in 1993, the late Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc (Atlanta Hawks) and Detlef Schrempf (formerly of the Portland Trail Blazers) were the top three winners respectively while in 1996 it was Kukoc, Predrag Danilovic (formerly of the Dallas Mavericks) and Arvydas Sabonis (formerly of the Portland Trail Blazers).

Other NBA players who have won the Euroscar, a great honor in European basketball, include Sabonis, a six-time winner (1984, 85, 88, 95, 97, 99); Kukoc, a five-time winner (90, 91, 94, 96, 98); and Petrovic (86, 89, 92, 93). The 2000 Euroscar was awarded to Italy’s Gregor Fucka, the first Italian to win since 1983, when Italy's legendary Dino Meneghin was recognized for outstanding achievement in European basketball.

The Euroscar, known as European basketball’s “Oscar”, has a committee composed of coaches, players and sportswriters from 14 different countries, who submit their vote for the best “European Basketball Player” from the previous calendar year. All the best European players took part in the voting process, many of whom play in the NBA including Vlade Divac, Hidayet Turkoglu (both of the Sacramento Kings); Nowitzki; Kukoc and Gasol.

2001 EUROSCAR – Final Results
1) Predrag Stojakovic, Sacramento Kings (Yugoslavia) 94
2) Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks (Germany) 71
3) Pau Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies (Spain ) 32
4) Deian Bodiroga, Panathinaikos Athen (Yugoslavia) 17
5) Hidayet Turkoglu, Sacramento Kings (Turkey) 11

The following is a list of past Euroscar winners:
1979 Vladimir Tkachenko (Russia)1980 Drazen Dalipagic (Yugoslavia)
1981 Dragan Kicanovic (Yugoslavia)1982 Dragan Kicanovic (Yugoslavia)
1983 Dino Meneghin (Italy)1984 Arvydas Sabonis (Russia)
1985 Arvydas Sabonis (Russia)1986 Drazen Petrovic (Yugoslavia)
1987 Nikos Galis (Greece)1988 Arvydas Sabonis (Russia)
1989 Drazen Petrovic (Yugoslavia)1990 Toni Kukoc (Yugoslavia)
1991 Toni Kukoc (Croatia)1992 Drazen Petrovic (Croatia)
1993 Drazen Petrovic (Croatia)1994 Toni Kukoc (Croatia)
1995 Arvydas Sabonis (Lituania)1996 Toni Kukoc (Croatia)
1997 Arvydas Sabonis (Lituania)1998 Toni Kukoc (Croatia)
1999 Arvydas Sabonis (Lituania)2000 Gregor Fucka (Italy)