The EuroLeague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament has developed into one of the world's most prestigious stops for future stars in basketball. From 2003 onwards, more and more players have used the ANGT to showcase their talents at a young age and gain experience in international club competition.
One player who gave fans a taste of his future success in the ANGT is swingman Nihad Dedovic of FC Bayern Munich. Dedovic had recently turned 18 years old when he played his only two games in the ANGT for U18 FC Barcelona back in 2008 in Madrid, where the tournament was held in parallel with the 2008 EuroLeague Final Four.
Dedovic had already made his EuroLeague debut with Barcelona's senior team earlier that season, playing almost 6 minutes of a season-opening loss at Partizan Belgrade when he was still 17. He had 1 point and 2 rebounds in that game. At the ANGT in Madrid, Dedovic played the U18 team's last two games of four. He scored 27 against Lietuvos Rytas in his first outing, as Barcelona ran its record to 3-0 and reached the championship game against FMP Belgrade. In that final, Dedovic rang up a double-double of 29 points and 11 rebounds, but his team lost 70-80. His average of 26.5 points was the highest in that season's tournament.
Dedovic appeared in three games during the next EuroLeague season with Barcelona and also became a Spanish League champion before moving to Lottomatica Roma of Italy, where he aced his EuroLeague return in 2010-11, averaging 9.3 points as a 20-year-old starter playing alongside another rising star, Luigi Datome. Dedovic would pass through ALBA Berlin for another solid EuroLeague season before landing in his current home in Munich, where he had actually lived as a boy until age 7.
Dedovic carried his new club into the EuroLeague in 2013 and was a double-digit scorer in the competition for the next three years. After nine EuroLeague seasons overall, five of them with Bayern, he has career averages of 9.7 points and 2.9 rebounds through 124 EuroLeague games. Along with winning three German League titles together, Dedovic is the longest-serving player ever in a Bayern uniform and the current team captain, taking an iconic club to new heights in basketball.