Euroleague Basketball is pleased to announce that Dzanan Musa of Cedevita Zagreb has been chosen as the 2017-18 7DAYS EuroCup Rising Star Trophy recipient. Long considered one of the top prospects in Europe, the 18-year-old guard showed what the hype was all about with a breakout campaign in his second full season at the professional level. The EuroCup Rising Star Trophy recognizes the most outstanding player in the competition who was younger than 22 years of age on July 1 of the summer before the season started. Musa, who will turn 19 on May 8, played a big role in carrying Cedevita to the EuroCup Top 16. Despite coming off the bench in 15 of his team's 16 EuroCup games this season, Musa was the third-best scorer in his team, ranked fourth in rebounds and second in performance index rating. He ranked 19th in the EuroCup in points per 40 minutes (20.8) and was Cedevita's second-best scorer in the regular season (12.2 ppg.).
The Rising Star Trophy is part of an expanded end-of-season awards structure launched before the 2008-09 season to enhance the recognition of the finest EuroCup players for their efforts on the basketball court. Apart from the EuroCup Rising Star, Euroleague Basketball and its in-house experts also select the EuroCup Coach of the Year, the All-EuroCup First and Second Teams and the EuroCup MVP. The EuroCup Finals MVP will be announced following the completion of the finals series.
The 2.04-meter Musa averaged 10.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16 EuroCup games this season. He made 56.9% of his two-pointers and sank 36.4% of his three-point tries. Musa had a very strong start to the season; he scored in double digits in each of his first five games. He had 12 points and a PIR of 17 in just 15 minutes in a win against Morabanc Andorra and posted 20 points in 18 minutes when his team downed mighty UNICS Kazan. Musa came through with 11 points and a PIR of 14 to held Cedvita beat previously-undefeated Darussafaka Istanbul and scored 17 points in his team's regular-season finale against Levallois Metropolitans. Musa ranked 13th in regular season per-minute scoring (23 points per 40 minutes) to help Cedevita get to the Top 16. In that stage, Musa tallied 14 points against Buducnost VOLI Podgorica and 13 against Dolomiti Energia Trento. He led all Rising Star eligible players in PIR (10.8) and scoring.
Long before he started attacking EuroCup baskets, Musa was a dominant player in youth tournaments. He was the MVP of the 2015 U16 European Championships, which he led in scoring with 23.3 points per game, as he helped his native Bosnia and Herzegovina to the gold medal. A year later, Musa shined at the 2016 FIBA U17 World Championships, where he was again the top scorer with 34.0 points per game, including a tournament-record 50-point effort against Chinese Taipei. Musa joined Cedevita as a 15-year old and made his first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague appearance as a 16-year-old starter on opening night of the 2015-16 season at Olympiacos Piraeus.
Musa joins a select list of Rising Star trophy winners that also includes Victor Claver of Power Electronics Valencia, Milan Macvan of Hemofarm Vrsac, Donatas Motiejunas of Benetton Basket Bwin, Jonas Valanciunas of Lietuvos Rytas, two-time winner Bojan Dubljevic of Valencia Basket, Kristaps Porzingis of Baloncesto Seville, Mateusz Ponitka of Stelmet Zielona Gora, and last year’s winner, Rolands Smits of Montakit Fuenlabrada.