Basketball Without Borders in Treviso

Basketball Without Borders in Treviso
Aug 08, 2004, 01:00 am
Submitted by Marco Fracasso

All photos courtesy of FIBA Europe (

The Basketball Without Borders Camp (Europe) was held in La Ghirada sports complex in Treviso, Italy from July 24th-27th. This is the same place where the Reebok Eurocamp and Big Man Camp were held.

50 of the best European prospects born in the years 1986, 1987 and 1988 from 26 different countries were in attendance here. Because of the many Fiba tournaments held this summer for the various national teams, some of the best talent available from each age group was missing. Several promising NBA prospects such as Nemanja Aleksandrov, Johan Petro, Roman Gomenyuk and more were missing.

In the mornings, all the players were divided into six groups and put through drills run by various NBA players-Jiri Welsch, Samuel Dalembert, Stanislav Medvedenko and Gheorghe Muresan and coaches such as P.J. Carlesimo, Dick Harter and Paul Westhead. In the afternoons, four teams were created and named after NBA teams (Celtics, Lakers, Sixers, and Spurs) to play 40 minute games.

As previously stated, the level of the competition was good but not excellent, in fact there weren't many players who stood out as sure-fire NBA material.

The following four players left the best impression:

Martynas Pocius (6-4, 177 pounds, 1986)
The best player in the camp. Looks bigger than the 177 pounds he's listed at. Possesses NBA caliber athelticism and made several fantastic plays to prove that. He's definitely a scorer and can create his own shot if needed. He can get to the basket and finish strong, even though the intimidation he faced wasn't very tough here. He is a very good shooter, even with a hand in his face. Smart enough to find the open man under the basket in pick and roll situations. His ballhandling and ability to drive and dish need improvement. The NBA isn't really lacking undersized scorers, so he's not going to be a NBA prospect anytime soon without another inch or two, but he could become very interesting down the road for the 2007 or 2008 draft, once he has matured and after gaining valuable experience at the top levels of Europe. He averaged 15 points per game for the disappointing Lithuanian national team in the U18 European Championship in Zaragoza.


Marco Belinelli (6-5, 192 pounds, 1986)
Much more experienced than any other player at this camp. Started at the shooting guard position for Euroleague runner up Fortitudo Bologna. After a while, you realize that he's bigger than what it first seems, although his body definitely still needs to develop. He has good athleticism, and is a very fundamentally sound player. Good court vision and ball handling, but he has a scorer's mentality. While he can get his shot off anytime he wants at this level, even with an effective mid-range game, his future in the NBA will depend on how much he'll be able to develop his point guard skills. Otherwise he's probably a second round talent.


Aleksandar Ugrinoski (6-4, 168 pounds, 1988)
A very young and promising PG. Already seen at the Reebok Eurocamp, where he impressed with his excellent court vision and the confidence and poise to effectively run a team made up of players several years older than him. He once again showed off his amazing ball-handling skills and passing ability, even if he was sometimes looking for the most spectacular play. The downside is that he has no jump shot at this point and as you might expect from a 16 year old, his body has a long way to go. Could be a very interesting player for the NBA in three years or so, he's first round material for sure, so we'll have more time to evaluate his progress in the future.


Martynas Andriuskevicius (7-3, 230 pounds, 1986)
Martynas was the most interesting player at the camp as far as the NBA is concerned, he is being touted as a lottery prospect for next year, and possibly the number one pick overall. After a U18 Euro Championship where he showed the ability to rebound and block shots, those skills were put on display once again in this camp. Coach Carlesimo did not let him hang outside the 3 point line and made him play inside. The competition here was very low so it's hard to jump to too many conclusions just yet. He is a very good offensive rebounder, but he still lacks the strength and agressiveness to finish under the basket, relying too much on turnaround jump shots instead. His hands might be a concern, they seem to be small and weak, as he didn't always catch the ball too well and usually needed two hands on it to dunk. He's a great talent, but don't expect him to come and contribute in the NBA anytime in the near future.


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