Monday, May 19, 2014

Balsa Koprivica - The NYBL's Next REALLY Big Thing

There are many similarities in the American and Euro game of basketball; especially since the 1992. In 1992 the USA Olympic Team Coach Chuck Daly predicted that over a period of time that the rest of the world would catch up to the skill level of American players.  This most certainly has occurred at the youth level as well as at the highest levels of basketball outside of the United States.  The Euro training that differentiates itself from the training done in the states involves “position-less” training; all players are taught ball-handling, perimeter shooting, and perimeter skills.  

Well the chickens have come home to roost; and one of their eggs has been hatched in the country’s most powerful and competitive youth league, the NYBL.  The NYBL who just completed their 3rd session has become the proving grounds for many of the nation’s top players.    This weekend Balsa Koprivica from Serbia via NYBL team; Team Florida validated on the court claims of future stardom and must now be considered in the discussion as one of the top players in the world in the class of 2019.

Koprivica whose father played internationally and played against the original 1992 Dream Team stands an imposing 6’9 – with mom standing at 6’2 there has to be little surprise that their son is pushing 6’10 already in the 7th grade. Balsa who has only been in the states now for a little of two years; speaks an impressive level of English and articulates his goals and dreams with respect to basketball exceptionally well.  His favorite player is Kevin Durant and long term he see's himself progressing as a full time perimeter player.  At 6’10, 235lbs one may assume that this is the makeup of a traditional back to the basket post player.  Those assumptions would be wrong, Balsa runs the floor extremely well for his size and shows extremely soft hands in receiving the ball.  He can handle out to 19ft and shoots the 3-points shot at a high percentage off the catch and bounce already with great form and touch!  One of the better passers out the post that we have seen his basketball IQ and ability to read cutters and double teams speaks to a player much more his senior.  

The game that Balsa displays is not simply one you see in the lay-up line.  He translates; we are talking production NOT potential.  There wasn’t a game this weekend that Balsa didn’t grab 10+ boards which can be considered his minimum.  But his three 30+ point outburst prove again and again that he is next level good.  These are not just layup after layup; its three pointers, catch and shoots, dribble drives, mid-range finishes and of course dunks in traffic and on people.  His size as a 7th graders translates and makes sense already at the NBA level; with continued work and natural growth America and is looking at a future high level star.  

Thank you NYBL for introducing us to this talented star of the future - you have done it again!

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