Nuggets prospect Jusuf Nurkic shining for Bosnian national team

Center was 16th overall pick of 2014 NBA Draft
by Aaron Lopez

Jusuf Nurkic is showing why the Bosnian national team wanted him to compete in the under-20 European Championships.

In the process, the 19-year-old center is also showing why the Denver Nuggets thought so highly of him on draft night.

Nurkic, selected 16th overall in last month’s NBA Draft, is averaging 18.2 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots in five games of preliminary play of Division B of the U20 championships.

Behind Nurkic’s strong play in the middle, Bosnia and Herzegovina are 5-0, with one game remaining in pool play in Sajajevo.

After posting eight points and nine rebounds in the tournament opener, Nurkic has picked up the pace nearly every games. He had 14 points, eight rebounds and nine blocks in a 48-point victory against Cyprus; 24 points and 16 rebounds against Romania; 15 points and 12 rebounds against Estonia; and 30 points and 17 rebounds against Portugal.

Bosnia’s average margin of victory in its first five games is 34.4 points.

Because of Nurkic’s commitment to his national team, he was unable to participate with the Nuggets at the Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Denver still plans to have him on its roster for the 2014-15 season.