The young guns set to take FIBA 3x3 World Tour 2020 by storm
17 Jan 2020
MIES (Switzerland) – The next wave of 3x3 superstars are set to take the World Tour by storm next year.
Let's pick some of the best under 23 talent and select teams for them in next year's World Tour.
Dylan Van Eyck (Team Amsterdam... or Rotterdam???)
This dude is the real deal and ready for the big time after dominating at every level so far. He was the top-scorer at the FIBA U23 World Cup 2019 as he carried the Netherlands to fourth place with 53 points.
Van Eyck is the total package and a bucket-getting machine. But there is something extra special about him. The high-flyer is a human highlight reel and carries himself with a healthy amount of swag. He has superstar written all over him.
Putting him on the ever reliable Team Amsterdam could give the Dutchmen the x-factor they need to get them over the top. They made the semis in three Masters and also the Utsunomiya Final but perhaps need some new blood to make them truly elite.
And pairing him with Dimeo van der Horst might just prove the most dynamic duo of them all.
Unless he just joins his three U23 Dutch national team teammates on Team Rotterdam, who made their pro debut in 2019?
Justinas Jogminas (Sakiai Gulbele)
The 22-year-old is unstoppable above the rim – as he spectacularly proved when he won the U23 World Cup dunk contest to win Lithuania's first-ever gold medal in the competition.
Jogminas' talents will light up the World Tour and you can just bet he will be a regular in the top five plays.
He would be an ideal fit at Sakiai Gulbele, who made the leap this season and became a 3x3 powerhouse. They played beautiful basketball through the one-two punch of Marijus Uzupis and Aurelijus Pukelis but could well benefit from some high-octane energy.
Justinas Jogminas fits the bills.
Nils Ozolins (Ventspils Ghetto)
The 23-year-old has the frame and physicality to match it with the beasts in the paint on the World Tour. Unlike his former teammates Armands Ginters and Roberts Paze, Ozolins has not played on the World Tour yet.
Ventspils Ghetto has obviously been overshadowed by compatriots Riga Ghetto, who are royalty in 3x3, but you sense they are set to emerge soon.
Adding Nils Ozolins (in some ways, a younger version of Riga's Edgars Krumins) and letting him do his thing could see them become a force.
The 19-year-old is already a star. Just look at his Instagram account and be jealous of his number of followers. Men want to ball like him, women want to date him.
The Argentinian is a marketer's dream and he has the talent to match as he stunningly showed during a series of nasty performances at the U/23 World Cup.
Unfortunately, Argentinian teams have been relatively barren on he World Tour so let's be creative.
Let's propose he goes to Lausanne – a team that has already recruited a South American star last year (Leandro from Brazil). De la Fuente would ensure Lausanne's hype train goes into overdrive but, perhaps, he is their missing piece of the puzzle.
Franck Seguela (Nantes)
The Frenchman is a big boy and would be absolutely intimidating standing alongside Lucas Dussoulier. Don't bother driving to the rim. You ain't scoring against these monsters. With Seguela's inclusion, Nantes could become the sleeping giant of European 3x3.
Ruslan Aitkali (Gagarin)
The recently turned 22-year-old has helped put Kazakhstan on the 3x3 map, most notably at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup earlier this year. His ability to slash to the basket without fear makes him a player who would thrive on the World Tour.
He is too talented not to make an immediate impact and would be intriguing on a fringe contender.
How about Gagarin? Much like Lausanne, the Russian team has been talked about for a while but it hasn't quite translated on the court. They disappointingly missed out on the Utsunomiya Final but you know they can absolutely make the jump quickly.
Pairing Aitkali with fellow young gun Alexander Zuev would be lit. Good luck trying to keep Gagarin under 21!