Kings Shine in EuroBasket 2015
For several weeks in August and September, three Kings represented their home countries in the EuroBasket 2015 tournament.
The Sacramento trio showed why the 2015-16 Kings have plenty to be excited about in the upcoming season.
Looking to vastly improve from their 21st place finish in 2013, Omri Casspi led Israel out of the group stages. Standing as a strong leader and go-to scorer, Casspi finished as the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 16.4 points, 7.2 boards and 3.2 assists over six contests.
Although Israel completed the group stages with a 3-2 record, they would be eliminated in the first round of the knockout stage by Kings teammate Marco Belinelli and Italy.
As for Belinelli’s Italian squad, the Nazionale di pallacanestro dell'Italia compiled some hallmark wins against powerhouse European squads, defeating Spain and Germany in the group stages.
However, Italy was knocked out in the second round by eventual tournament runner-up Lithuania. Belinelli, like Casspi, enjoyed a successful tournament from an individual standpoint, putting up averages of 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.
The Kings new guard known for his shooting stroke showed it off plenty by knocking down 3.4 three-pointers per contest, including a couple of clutch makes.
Kosta Koufos was a solid contributor for Greece, averaging 10 points and 6.6 rebounds over eight games. Greece lost just one game during the tournament, but their sole defeat came during the elimination round against Spain, who would go on to win their third EuroBasket championship.
The final rankings by FIBA Europe had Greece in fifth, Italy in sixth, and Israel in 10th.
After a busy and competitive past few weeks, these three players will now shift their focus to gearing up for the Kings upcoming training camp as the 2015-16 season draws near.