Jusuf Nurkic named MVP after leading Bosnia to U20 title

Denver Nuggets draft pick averaged double-double at European Championships
by Aaron Lopez
Nuggets.com

Jusuf Nurkic is a hometown hero.

Playing in his native country, the Denver Nuggets prospect capped a month to remember when he led Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Under-20 European Championship Division B title in Sarajevo.

Nurkic, selected 16th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, scored 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Bosnia’s victory over Belgium in the final game. He was named tournament MVP after averaging 21.4 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.63 blocks in eight games.

“He has shown the skills and growth we were hoping for when we drafted him,” Nuggets assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas said.

“We are happy to see him playing well while winning an MVP award and a championship for his country.”

Nurkic, 19, was dominant throughout the tournament. He shot .564 from the field, posted double-doubles in each of the final six games and stayed composed when teams went to a Hack-a-Nurk strategy.

After going 16-for-28 from the foul line in the first four games, he made 35-of-39 in the final four games – including 16-of-18 in the title game.

While there was some initial speculation about whether Nurkic would play in the NBA next season, the Nuggets plan on having the 7-footer on their roster in 2014-15.

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