top of page
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Final 4 will feature 21 international players


Photo: BC Wolves



The 2023 Final Four teams include 21 international players from Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Let`s take a closer look at our globe travelers.


NBA, Euroleague or ENBL – you will find American players everywhere.


The 2023 Final Four will feature 12 American players.


One thing is certain – at least one American will lift the ENBL trophy.


Americans make the second largest group after Poles and they are followed by 10 Lithuanians.


Nine Lithuanians play for BC Wolves while Benas Griciunas joined Polski Cukier Start Lublin.


Latvians occupy the fourth place with three players present – Klāvs Čavars, Ojārs Siliņš and Aigars Šķēle.


Montenegro, Croatia, Philippines, Argentina and Sweden have one player each.


In total, nine nations will be represented at the 2023 Final Four.


BM Stal Ostrow: five international players


Nemanja Djurišič, Montenegro

Montenegro forward played for University of Georgia Bulldogs (2011-2015).


He is one of just 19 players in UGA history to score 1000 points and pull down 500 rebounds.


Djurišič started 57 games for the Bulldogs.


He is a two time Polish champion with Zastal Zielona Gora (2016, 2017).


Djurišic majored in international relations, while at UGA.


Markus Lončar, Croatia

Croatian center was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina shortly after the 1992-1995 war.


He played for various Croatian and Bosnian teams until 2020.


Lončar joined Astoria Bydgoszcz in 2020.


He has also played for Portuguese side FC Porto.


Lončar re-joined BM Stal Ostrow in the end of March.


Ojārs Siliņš, Latvia

Latvian forward is known for his capabilities in defense.


A 2013 European U20 vice-champion started his professional career at Pallacanestro Reggiana in Reggio Emilia, Italy.


Siliņš won the FIBA EuroChallenge in 2014 and Italian SuperCup a year later.


He moved on to play for Trento, Trieste, Avellino and Brescia.


Siliņš other foreign stops include Germany, France, Kazakhstan and Estonia.


He won the Kazakhstan league in 2021 and last year played for Estonian powerhouse Kalev/Cramo.


He didn`t had a role in the 2022 Estonian box office hit Kalev.

Aigars Šķēle, Latvia

A three time Latvian champion – VEF 2015, Valmiera Ordo 2016, VEF 2021 – is a younger brother of Armands Šķēle.


Armands won the 2003 PLK title, while playing for Anwil Wloclawek.


Aigars has played in five different countries during last five seasons – France, Estonia, Latvia, Germany and Poland.


He is known for his ball handling skills and excellent court vision.


Adonis Thomas, USA

Shooting guard/small forward played for University of Memphis (2011-2013).


The Tigers went unbeaten in the Conference USA in 2013 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament.


Thomas after a 31-5 season hired an agent and declared for the 2013 NBA draft.


He played for the Atlanta Hawks at the 2013 NBA Summer league and had a short stint with Orlando Magic.


On April 7, 2014, he signed a 10 day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.


Thomas has played in Italy, Turkey, Germany, France, Mexico, Kazakhstan and Slovenia.


King Wilki Morskie Szczecin: four international players


Bryce Brown, USA

Shooting guard played for Auburn Tigers (2015-2019).


Brown led the Tigers to their first ever Final Four in 2019, while playing for Bruce Pearl.

He was named the MVP of the SEC tournament.


Brown signed a training camp contract with New York Knicks in 2020.


He played for Sacramento Kings during the 2019 NBA Summer league and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2021 NBA Summer league.

Zac Cuthbertson, USA

The 2023 ENBL Most Valuable Player attended West Craven High School at Vanceboro, North Carolina.


As a freshman, Cuthbertson played at Lincoln Trail College in Illinois. As a sophomore, he played for the NJCAA Division One team Mineral Area College (2016-2017) in Missouri.


Cuthbertson transferred to the NCAA Division One team Coastal Carolina. He started in 59 games for Chanticleers and played in the Sun Belt Conference.


Cuthbertson has played for Boras Basket in Sweden, Maccabi Ashdod in Israel, Hamburg Towers in Germany and La Union de Formosa in Argentina.


Phil Fayne, USA

Center played for Illinois State Redbirds (2016-2019) in Missouri Valley Conference.


His first stop overseas was Argentina.


The next year Fayne moved up north to Kataja Basket Joensuu in Finland.


He averaged 16.3 points and 6.6 points in Korisliiga.


Last year he transfered to German Bundesliga and represented Giessen 46ers.


Tony Meier, USA

Missouri native played college basketball at Milwaukee Panthers from 2008 to 2012.


The Panthers won the Horizon league regular season title in 2011.


Power forward started his professional career in Australia with Frankston Blues.


Meier won the Czech league and Czech Cup with ČEZ Nymburk in 2017.


He played two seasons at Zastal Zielona Gora (2019-2020 and 2021-2022) before signing with King Szczecin.

Polski Cukier Start Lublin: six international players


Troy Barnies

Auburn, Maine native was named 2007 Mr. Maine basketball.


Barnies became a Maine Black Bear (2007-2011) and eventually started in all 30 games during his senior season.


He started his professional career in Turkey, before moving North.


Barnies has played in Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary and Ukraine.


He won the Estonian Championship with Parnu Sadam in 2022.

Klāvs Čavars, Latvia

Center won the Latvian title with VEF Rīga in 2019.


He played together with Kristaps Janičenoks, a current director of the Latvia Basketball league.


Čavars true potential was unlocked when Luca Banchi invited him to the Latvian National team.


Center helped his native country to qualify for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


Last year he played for Astoria Bydgoszcz and started in all 30 PLK games.


Gabe DeVoe, USA

Shooting guard played for the ACC team Clemson (2014-2018).


He was named a Player of the Week in the ACC on February 5, 2018.


Clemson Tigers advanced to their first Sweet 16 since 1997, after beating #12 New Mexico State and #4 Auburn (a year before their Final Four run highlighted by Bryce Brown).


They fell at the hands of #1 Kansas then, 76-80.


DeVoe worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers in preparation for the 2018 NBA draft.


After going undrafted he played for the Charlotte Hornets in the 2018 NBA Summer league.


He joined Zastal Zielona Gora in September 2018 and a year later signed at Dzūkija Alytus.


DeVoe`s next stops were in Ukraine, Italy and France.


Benas Griciūnas, Lithuania

Center played for Lithuania U18 and U20 teams.


Griciūnas won the silver medal at the 2012 European U18 championship in Lithuania.


Nine years later Kazys Maksvytis invited him to the National team tryouts.


Griciūnas played shortly for Auburn Tigers in 2013-2014 before transfering to Charlotte and later to Eastern Washington (2017-2018).


He has played for Šiauliai (2018-2020), Neptūnas Klaipeda (2020-2022) and Lietkabelis Panevežys before signing his first contract in Poland.


Cleveland Melvin, USA

Power forward was born in Baltimore, Maryland.


Melvin represented DePaul (2010-2014), registering 99 starts in 110 games.


He led the Blue Demons in scoring, averaging 16.3 points throughout his college career.


Melvin is the seventh best scorer in DePaul history with 1792 points.


He earned the only unanimous selection to the 2011 Big East rookie team.


Melvin has played in Hungary, Mexico, Lebanon, Croatia, Israel and Poland.


He played for King Szczecin from 2019 until 2021.


Dayshon Hassan Smith, USA

Scoochie Smith was born on November 11, 1994, in the New York City.


He wears #11 and has a Lithuanian agent Tadas Bulotas.


Smith was given his unusual nickname by his grandfather.


Bronx native played for the Dayton Flyers from 2013 until 2017.


The Flyers made four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including the first Elite Eight finish since 1984.


Dayton knocked out #6 Ohio State, #3 Syracuse and #10 Stanford – three higher seeded teams – before losing against #1 Florida in March 2014.


Dayton won the Atlantic-10 regular season title in 2016 and 2017, while Smith made All conference team in his senior year.


Point guard has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers at the 2018 NBA Summer league.


BC Wolves Alytus: six international players


Juan Gomez de Liano, Philippines

Liano is the first homegrown made player from the Philippines to join a European basketball club according to Randolph B. Leongson from spin.ph.


His signing made waves as the Phillipines are the Asian hotbed of basketball with large and dedicated fan base.


The Philippines capital Manila will host the playoffs of the 2023 FIBA World Cup.


A young Gilas Pilipinas star scored 22 points for the Wolves in a 89-60 road win at Valmiera.

Ahmad Caver, USA

Point guard grew up in Atlanta, Georgia.


Caver played for Old Dominion Monarchs from 2015 until 2019.


He led the Monarchs to the Conference USA championship in 2019.


They went on to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011.


Caver signed several short contracts with the Memphis Grizzlies and later with the Indiana Pacers.


He made his NBA debut on January 5, 2022, scoring two points in a 121-129 loss against the Brooklyn Nets.


Caver signed with the Wolves on August 7, 2022.

Rashard Kelly, USA

Fredericksburg, Virginia native played college basketball at Wichita State (2014-2018).


Kelly joined the Shockers one year after their second Final Four appearance.


Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference in 2015, 2016 and 2017.


The Shockers joined the American Athletic Conference in 2017.


Wichita State played in four consecutive NCAA tournaments, including a Sweet 16 finish in 2015.


As a senior, Kelly grabbed a school record 104 offensive rebounds.


His first coach overseas was Nikolajs Mazurs, now a coach at Tartu University.


Kelly has played in Russia, Italy, Turkey, France and Australia.


Marcos Delia, Argentina

Argentinian center with Italian passport joined the ACB club Murcia in 2016.


He played for Oscar Quintana, Fotios Katsikaris, Ibon Navarro and Javier Juarez during his three seasons at Murcia.


Delia played at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship in Latvia and later joined the senior National team.


His biggest achievement is a silver medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China.


Last three years he played in Italy, representing Virtus Bologna (2019-2020) and Trieste (2020-2022).


Eric Buckner, USA

Ehrhardt, South Carolina native finished his college career, playing for Georgia State (2010-2012).


Buckner has played for the New Orleans Pelicans and the Boston Celtics at the NBA Summer league.


Center started his professional career in Turkey.


He has played in China, Greece, France and Russia.


Buckner won the VTB United League title with Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2022.


Jeffery Taylor, Sweden

Jeffery is a son of former NBA player Jeff Taylor.


He was born in Norrkoping, Sweden, and played for the Dolphins youth team before moving to the USA.


Taylor played for the Vanderbilt University (2008-2012).


The Charlotte Bobcats selected him in the 2012 NBA draft with 31st overall pick.


Taylor has 132 NBA games under his belt.


He represented Sweden at the EuroBasket 2013, averaging 21.2 points per game.


Taylor returned to Europe and played for Real Madrid from 2015 until 2022.


He won the 2018 EuroLeague title.


Shooting guard/small forward is a four time Spanish champion.


Comments


bottom of page