The FIBA U18 European Championship 2017, Division B tips off today in Tallinn and there are a number of interesting players to watch out for in the Estonian capital – some of them coming from some countries you might not automatically expect.

Let’s start with the hosts Estonia, who actually have a quartet of guys who will excite the home fans. Shooting guard Mart Rosenthal has already played at the Basketball Champions League and FIBA Europe Cup this season with Tartu. He also averaged 11.4 points for Estonia last summer at the U18 level as a bottom level player.

Krisitian Kullamae, the son of former Estonian great Gert Kullamae averaged 17.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists at the U18s last year and then played the entire season in Germany’s second division ProA and helped Gotha to promotion to the top flight. Center Matthias Tass meanwhile averaged a double-double last summer at the U18s also a year younger. And Henri Drell is a 2000-born small forward who has taken major steps in Germany with Bamberg’s youth ranks.

Speaking of having a prominent family member, Marek Welsch may be making his international debut but the point guard – who is playing at the Get Better Academy – is the nephew of long-time Czech international Jiri Welsch.

Croatia enter the tournament looking to get back to Division A as they play at Division B for the first time in their history. And the Croatians are loaded with point guard Antonio Jordano, do-it-aller Luka Samanic, power forward Darko Bajo and emerging shooting guard Toni Nakic.

Another team looking to get back up is Israel who had a pretty heart-breaking Division A last year. The ultra competitive and diminutive shooting guard Amit Ebo went through that and wants to make good on the campaign in Samsun. It’s so much fun watching Ebo play and he will definitely be one of the best players in the tournament. He will receive help from 2000-born big man Tomer Levinson, who is an emerging talent.

While Ebo was a member of the All-Tournament Team at the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in Belgrade, Belarus big man Yauhen Massalski made the ANGT All-Tournament Team in Kaunas playing for Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius. And he will likely have a huge tournament in Tallinn.

Sticking with the ANGTs, let’s move to Luxembourg – yes, Luxembourg. The small nation actually has two guys to watch for. Lou Demuth is a 6-11 lefty who can move a bit and showed that playing for Real Betis Seville of Spain. Demuth is a 2000-born big man and actually has a solid chance of becoming the greatest player to ever come out of Luxembourg. As does Ben Kovac, who finally moves to the U18 Division B after playing three straight summers at the U16 Division B level.

Iceland is kind of one of the trendy up-and-coming teams and they might just have another gem in Sigvaldi Eggertsson, born in 2000 who poured in 18.8 points a game at the U16 Division B last summer.

Sweden is the final relegated team from the U18 Division A last year and the Scandinavians actually had a great chance to move back up if they were at full strength. Felix Lemetti and Felix Edwardsson are on board but missing are Olle Lundqvist as well as Melwin Pantzar among others.

Let’s give a call out to Bulgaria. They are hosting the FIBA U16 European Championship Division B for the third straight summer and you have to think that will have an impact.  That might be coming with a couple of interesting guys. There are the Lachezar point guards Lachezar Dimitrov and Lachezar Vezirski as well as 2000-born center Tsvetomir Chernokozhev. These guys could give fruit to their federation’s labor.

Here are three more interesting 2000-born players – all point guards – with Hungary lining up Andras Dancsecs and Adam Somogyi while Otar Pertaia averaged 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists for Georgia at the U16 Division B last summer.

A player to watch for with Austria is Daniel Koeppel who has already debuted in the Austrian top flight while Sacha De Vreught is a 2000-born point guard who excelled last year at U16 Division B and could run the team in Tallinn.

Okay, so, those are most of the big names. Here is a list of some of the other players to watch and some of the stats from past national team events.

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ALBANIA

Angelo Caushi – SF

– nearly averaged a double-double (9.2 points 10.4 rebounds) at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division C

Odri Dedolli – SG

– had 17.5 points 5.2 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division C

Eldi Hysa – PG

– collected 5.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

AUSTRIA

Luka Brajkovic – C – 1999

– had 9.0 points and 8.5 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Jonas John – SG

– averaged 11.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Paul Isbetcherian – PG – 2000

– collected 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Daniel Koppel – C – 2000

– averaged a double-double of 11.4 points and 11.5 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Jakob Skutta – PG – 1999

– played seven games in the FIBA Europe Cup with Redwell Gunners, had 17.4 points and 5.3 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

 

AZERBAIJAN

Saadettin Donat – C – 2001

– averaged 14 points and 8.7 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division C

Shirzad Shirzadov – PG – 2000

– averaged 4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division C

 

BELARUS

Vitali Lebedev – C – 1999

– averaged 10.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

Yauhen Missalski – PF – 1999

– averaged 9.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.3 blocks at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

David Odiah – SF – 2000

– averaged 12.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Dzmitry Ryuny – PF – 2000

– collected 11.5 points and 9.1 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Vadzim Stubeda – C – 2000

– averaged 8.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

BELGIUM

Servaas Buysschaert – PF – 1999

– averaged 6.5 points and 5.9 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Noel Coleman – PG – 2000

– averaged 14.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Sacha De Vreught – PG – 2000

– averaged 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists (2.9 TOs) at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Giuliano Neri – SG – 1999

– averaged 10.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

BULGARIA

Tsvetomir Chernokozhev – C – 2000

– averaged 16.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Lachezar Dimitrov – PG – 1999

– averaged 5.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B; averaged 5.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists at FIBA U15 European Championship 2015, Division B

Krastan Krastanov – C – 1999

– averaged 12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Aleksandar Matushev – SF – 2000

– averaged 13.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Lachezar Vezirski – PG – 2000

– averaged 5.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

CROATIA

Darko Bajo – PF – 1999

– averaged 8.7 points and 8.3 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division A

Antonio Jordano – PG – 1999

– averaged 10.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division A

Toni Nakic – SG – 1999

– 2.8 points and 3.1 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division A

Luka Samanic – PF – 2000

– averaged 17.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.9 blocks at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

CZECH REPUBLIC

Radek Farsky – SG – 1999

– averaged 8.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

Tomas Havlik – SF – 1999

– averaged 13.2 points at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

Lubos Kovar – PF – 2000

– averaged 10.9 points and 6.4 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Vit Krejci – SG – 2000

– averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Ondrej Vycha – PF – 1999

– averaged 7.4 points and 9.2 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

Marek Welsch – PG – 1999

– has not played for Czech Republic, nephew of long-time Czech international Jiri Welsch

 

DENMARK

Igor Bakic – SF – 2000

– averaged 12.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Anton Gajda Harbo – SG – 2000

– averaged 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Aleksandar Nedic – SF – 1999

– averaged 10.9 points, 4.0 rebound and 1.9 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

 

ESTONIA

Henri Drell – SF – 2000

– averaged 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Kristian Kullamae – PG – 1999

– averaged 17.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Mart Rosenthal – SG – 1999

– averaged 2.5 points and 2.8 rebounds at 2017 Basketball Champions League/FIBA Europe Cup; averaged 11.4 points and 3.1 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Sten Saaremael – PG – 1999

– averaged 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Matthias Tass – C – 1999

– averaged 13.4 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

GEORGIA

Otar Pertaia – PG – 2000

– averaged 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

GREAT BRITAIN

Nelson Boachie-Yiadom – F – 1999

– averaged 9.9 points and 6.5 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B; averaged 12.8 points and 10.1 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division A

Jacob Round – G – 2000

– averaged 14.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

HUNGARY

Andras Dancsecs – SG – 2000

– averaged 15.1 points, 4.5 rebonds and 4.9 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Jozsef Katona – PG – 1999

– averaged 13.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

Adam Somogyi – PG – 2000

– averaged 15.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

ICELAND

Sigvaldi Eggertsson – PG – 2000

– averaged 18.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Hilmar Henningsson – PG – 2000

– averaged 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Arnor Sveinsson – SG – 2000

– averaged 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

IRELAND

Cian Heaphy – PG – 2000

– averaged 12.8 points, 6.6 rebound and 3.9 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

ISRAEL

Amit Ebo – SG – 1999

– averaged 10.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division A

Tomer Levinson – C – 2000

– averaged 14.6 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Ofek Malka – SG – 2000

– averaged 11.8 points at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

LUXEMBOURG

Lou Demuth – C – 2000

– averaged 8.6 points and 6.7 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

Ben Kovac – PF – 2000

– averaged 23.2 points and 13.2 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Andrej Jordanovski – PG – 2000

– averaged 12.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Kiril Panov – PG – 2000

– averaged 11.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Luka Stojanovski – SG – 2000

– averaged 11.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

NETHERLANDS

Boyd Van Der Vuurst De Vries – PG – 1999

– averaged 6.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Roel Van Overbeek – PG – 2000

– averaged 4.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

POLAND

Kacper Makowski – PF – 1999

– averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B

Dominik Wilczek – SG – 1999

– averaged 10.8 points and 3.0 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

PORTUGAL

Francisco Amarante – SG – 2000

– averaged 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

Pedro Lanca – PG – 1999

– averaged 11.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

Gustavo Texeira – SG – 2000

– averaged 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

ROMANIA

Dan Lucas Tohatan – PG – 1999

– averaged 9.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division B

 

SWEDEN

Felix Edwardsson – F – 1999

– averaged 3.7 points and 3.3 rebounds at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division A

Oliver Gehrke – F – 2000

– averaged 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division A

Felix Lemetti – G – 1999

– averaged 11.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists at FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division A

Erik Persson – G – 2000

– averaged 14.3 points and 2.9 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, Division A

 

SWITZERLAND

Laurent Zoccoletti – SF – 1999

– averaged 6.1 points and 8.8 rebounds at FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division B