Abrama Canka

Team: Kedainai Nevezis (loan from Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar)
DOB: March 17, 2002 – 18 years old
Nationality: Italy
Shooting Hand: Right
Primary position: Shooting guard
Secondary position: Small forward

Offensive skills: One-on-one scoring, slashing, cutting, mid-range shooting as a creator or spot-up shooter.
Defensive skills: On the ball defense, switch to PGs, SGs and SFs.
Abramo Canka is a basketball talent who grew up at the Stella Azzurra Basketball Academy. Canka and has been on the radar of many scouts since 2016 and someone who has shown a good improvement curve since 2018. He was one of Italy’s best players at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2018 and played in Legadue Gold for Roseto Sharks in the following season.
After his excellent performances in both the Adidas Next Generation Tournament Munich and Legadue Gold in 2019, he received a contract offer from Lokomotiv Kuban. Canka signed with Lokomotiv, but for this year he will play for Lithuanian club Nevezis. Greek talent Georgios Kalaitzakis made a jump at Nevezis last year. This year, Canka is joined on the Nevezis roster with another notable 2002-born prospect, Ariel Hukporti while Panagiotis Kalaitzakis is also on the team’s roster.
From a statistical standpoint, Canka averaged 16.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.3 steals, 1.8 turnovers while shooting 40% from the 3-point line and 64% from inside the stripe at the ANGT Munich. He had a great reserve role last year for Roseto Sharks and did a good job on the offensive end, in my opinion.


Abramo Canka (who in the past has also been known as also known as Abramo Pene) was born on March 18, 2002, in Genoa, Italy. His father left his mother when he was young. Afterwards, Canka and his mother lived together and faced the usual difficulties of life. Canka was impacted a lot by his mother’s work discipline and love for him. He thinks he’s good at basketball thanks to his mother’s faith and hope.
Canka tried many sports until the age of 9, but after playing basketball at a sports festival at the time, he decided to stay exclusively in that sport. Canka grew up at the great Stella Azzurra academy. Canka does not yet know when he will enter the NBA Draft. He wants to make a decision according to his performance this season. His favorite player is Kobe Bryant. He also enjoys watching Matise Thybulle. Watching soccer is one of his hobbies. He also likes to watch movies but does not neglect his studies. Canka, who is a fan of Sampdoria, is studying sports management and wants to do something in the field after retiring from basketball. The Blind Side is his favorite movie.
An Italian assistant coach who works in the top Italian basketball league, told me that about Canka: “He is a true, real hard worker. He knows what is lacking in his skillset, and when he sees that others are doing well due to him lacking things, he does not leave the basketball gym for long periods of time. Doing his best and being calm, fun off the court and caring for his family is his perfect identity.”

Physical Tools and Athleticism

Standing 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan and 185-pound frame, Abramo Canka has nice size for an 18-year-old guard. He has a lot of room to get stronger but Canka glides up and down the court with ease, especially in transition. Two years ago he had a 155-pound frame at the FIBA ​​U16 European Championship, but in the last two years, he has improved in both length and strength. He has nice width and average strength in his shoulders that allow him to have good biceps and triceps and make him a pesky defender. Canka also possesses very active hands, good hand-eye coordination, body coordination, solid stance and ground balance. He also has a good wingspan for a guard. His arms are long but lack strength though he has nice smoothness and solidness in his wrists. He does not have good strength in the chest area, and also needs work on his core muscles. I think that his upper body is good in terms of length and base but has a lot of room to get stronger. In terms of his lower body, he has great quickness, is very quick off his feet and has nice vertical pop offensively – he can dunk and can finish above the shot blocker but at the defensive end, he is not a rim protector or elite shot-blocker. I’m not a big fan of his lateral movement, where he needs work, in my opinion. He has great athleticism for his position. After getting the ball in the corners, he can use burst/eye/body/pass/shot fakes and quickly pass his defender and dunk. Canka can also make highlight dunks in the open court. He is not a tremendously smooth athlete in tight spaces but he has shown he can finish in traffic by using his hips. He has good stance explosion, meaning he squares his back to the defender and shifts his weight to his back leg. So he can change direction in the air easily. Also, thanks to his strong first step, Canka can change direction/can use a Eurostep to get to the basket. He has a basic crossover, spin around crossover skill-set. Overall, Canka’s work discipline and Nevezis’ training programs are great pluses for his improvement physically. Also, he is just 18 years old and projects to still grow for at least four years, which is great. Last note, his all physical tools remind me of Danny Green during his St. Mary’s time. I think Canka has the same base, same strength problems, and same dazzling athleticism package. Right now in the NBA, a shooting guard who can finish above the rim, can run the open floor quickly, has a work-ethic to improve, can change direction both on the ground and in the air, is very important for all 30 teams. So, if Canka will get stronger in the next two or three years, his NBA ceiling is really high in my opinion.



Abramo Canka is a scorer first and an adequate ballhandler. Canka does much of his best work at the offensive end as a one-on-one and around-the-basket finisher. He lacks elite soft touch but has solid and smart touch work. He can finish with both hands at the rim but usually uses his right. His very strong step allows him a change direction ability on the ground. He has a nice hop before jumping off of one foot (he also jumps off two feet and can absorb the contact, can finish with using a snake-like skill-set but not consistently) thanks to his almost elite body coordination.
Canka usually finds his buckets around the basket or as a slasher, from the right wing or top of the key. He usually dribbles from these areas. He is not an elite smart finisher but has some tricks here. He can consistently change speeds to control the pace. So, he dribbles the ball fast-low-fast and breaks his defender’s rhythm and defensive line after which he goes to the basket, gets in front of the defender – by doing so he protects the ball and closes his opponent’s shot blocking angle – jumps and finishes using the glass smartly. He has limited pop in the paint in traffic but as I said, he has shown some promising flashes. He has a lack of elite upper body strength and elite last touch hurts his finishing skill-set. Also, sometimes he forces the game but overall, he is unselfish, talented and a smart finisher in my opinion. He is very quick in transition situations both on the ball or off the ball. A capable driver, Canka does not have a crafty or shifty dribble the ball skill-set in the half-court. But when things come to spontaneous, out of action scenarios, Canka’s quickness and deceptive ballhandling ability make him a great player. However, the game is not always run out of motions, so he needs to improve here.
His off-the-ball motions are good in my opinion. He knows how, when and where to cut as an off-the-ball scorer or pass-to-assist player. He reads his teammates’ movement, reacts well – uses his burst and body fakes very much like JJ Redick – and if he sees good space after taking the ball, he dribbles to the basket. But if there is no space he knows how to pull the defenders out onto him and create space for his teammates. As a shooter in off-the-ball motions, he has shown some spot-up shooting flashes but is still inconsistent.
Canka is able to generate his own shot in the mid-range area, mostly using a crossover or burst fake before elevating for a jumper. Also, after cuts to the middle, he can hit the 2-point jumper quickly. While doing it, he reads his opponent’s footwork and reacts well. He has good BBIQ on his shots.
His shooting form looks solid with a nice set-up in his feet, good angles at the knees, a nice shot pocket (eye test: parallel to shoulders and a little bit above the rim) and good pop. However, I think Canka has room to polish his shooting stroke because the ball doesn’t come out smoothly on his three-point shots every time and also generally, he doesn’t transfer energy from his hips to his shooting form, using his upper body, which as I said is not strong enough yet.
Another note on his shooting ability: Canka is not a shooter who has the ability for hesitation dribble, stop on a dime, attack left/right, pull up or give a pass. But his smart shooting choices and some flashes on catch-the-ball situations are promising.
He is a good to very good passer. He is not a crafty passer like Arturs Zagars or Leandro Bolmaro, but when he takes defenders on him, he gives the ball off to the open man quickly. Also, he has shown a pocket, drive-and-dish skill-set. I think his scoring-first mentality gives him a “forcing the game” identity sometimes. But he is an unselfish player though he really needs some balance.
He is not a pick-and-roll player. He has a lot of room to learn to find the scorer as a pick-and-roll handler in my opinion. Really, the Italian prospect almost has nothing here.


Based on what I’ve seen from Canka so far, his defense is way ahead of his offense in my opinion. He is pesky defender who knows how to use his great length to apply intense defense on his opponents. He is really a totally-focused and active defender.
He slides laterally to cut off the ballhandler, absorbing contact on ISO situations. Also, one hand is always up and his other hand is down, so, he avoids fouls easily. He has a solid stance, turns his hips and squares his back to contest his opponent’s situation. If his man changes direction, Canka has good two feet hop and hip rotation to help him. By pressuring the ball, Canka can really control his man’s offensive vision and force him to expose the ball around the perimeter.
But things aren’t always good at the defensive end for him when the game goes from the perimeter to the basket. Since Canka does not have elite lateral and upper strength, he cannot defend stronger players in motion. He can defend players who are faster than him thanks to his stance movement – low to high or high to low. He is quick and has great timing. Also, his active hands and great body coordination help him here.
An aggressive, high-level motor defender, Canka has good team awareness at the defensive and. I think he has the potential to be a defensive playmaker at higher levels. Because he reads the game very well, Canka has great defensive BBIQ; is a nice positional defender, does impressive things by being at the right spot on the court; and keeps his hand out to take away passing lanes when he’s helping off the ball. Also, the Italian prospect does a good job following his man around screens, tagging the cutter in help and then getting back to his matchup. But sometimes he gambles too much around the baseline and under the basket. He shows great rotating down but his high gaming excitement, willingness to do anything, and his lack of experience cause him to do the wrong help defense. He can over-help despite his man waiting on the strong side. He needs some balance and clearly needs experience.
He has good pick-and-roll defense thanks to his BBIQ and coordination which I talked about earlier. His biggest improvement area at the defensive end is his closeouts in my opinion. Canka really does a good job closing space on the shooter thanks to his length, pop, athletic package and BBIQ. But he does not have great reaction timing on closeouts. He is also very quick to believe his opponent’s shot/pass/burst fake and makes the wrong closeouts rotation. As a rim protector and shot blocker, he only occasionally blocks shots from the help side.
Canka is a great rebounder thanks to his vertical pop, game reading ability and length. He has grab-and-go ability, finds scoring for himself or can create for others after grabbing a defensive rebound. At the offensive end, he uses his quick second jump and can finish with one hand touch in the air.

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What levels will his make percentage be when his volume of three-point shots increases?
Will he be able to use his offensive aggression to become a killer scorer?
Will he be a lockdown defender at high levels?


Abramo Canka is an energetic scoring guard who has a great one-on-one scoring package, decent shooting, good awareness, strong aggressiveness, a pass-the-ball mind-set and the athleticism to make a score. At the defensive end, Canka is a pesky, hard-working defender with a great engine. Also, his off-the-court life is really very good.
I think he can find a good place in the NBA and be a mid-rotation player. But he needs to strengthen his upper body; he has to play a little more balanced on defense; he must definitely improve his three-point shooting; and he needs to learn to be a little more of a killer scorer. As a final note, I think the position where Canka’s career ceiling will be the highest is SF. Like Matisse Thybulle, he can bring a lot to the table with his energy and athleticism. So yes, his skillset is like Thybulle and his body is like Danny Green in my opinion.

Kuzey is the chief editor at Eurosport Turkey, where he lives and attends EuroLeague, Turkish Basketball League and youth league games. Kuzey has been writing about basketball since he was 9 years old and working as a freelance scout since 2017. He has interviewed more than 100 prospects. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.



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