Euroleague Basketball congratulates Nando De Colo of CSKA Moscow, who was named 2015-16 Euroleague MVP on Thursday at the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Awards Ceremony, one of the first official acts of the Final Four, at Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany. This season’s trophy for the top performer of the season was presented by 2006-07 Euroleague MVP Theodoros Papaloukas, who also won the award wearing a CSKA Moscow uniform. It was the third major award of the morning for De Colo, who also walked away with the Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy and a spot on the 2015-16 All-Euroleague First Team. De Colo received more MVP votes than any other player during the selection process, which was open to both fans and accredited media members. De Colo, who joined CSKA prior to the 2014-15 campaign, was the Euroleague leader this season in average performance index rating (24.0 per game) and scoring (18.9 ppg.).
"It's amazing, I am very happy and proud to get this trophy of MVP in the best competition. But we are not done, we have two more games and need to stay focused. but this is great. All season i did my best to help the team and this is the most important." De Colo said. "It's always good to have individual trophies, but the most important thing is team spirit. I am very proud of playing in CSKA Moscow with my teammates, they make me a better player."
De Colo was far more than just an efficient scorer this season; he was the driving force behind a historic offense. De Colo ranked fifth in the league in free throw accuracy (93.4%) while attempting the second-most free throws (124) and most per game (4.96). He was also second in fouls drawn (157), seventh in three-point accuracy (46.2%) and ninth in assists (4.9 apg.). With De Colo as its motor, CSKA advanced to the Final Four tied for the league’s best record and as its top-scoring team with 90.7 points per game, which is the third-highest scoring average in competition history.
The entire All-Euroleague First Team – De Colo’s CSKA teammate Milos Teodosic, their semifinals opponent Malcolm Delaney of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, Ioannis Bourousis of Laboral Kutxa Vitoria and Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce Istanbul – was on stage when the MVP award was announced. Also in attendance were a third honoree from CSKA, Best Defender Trophy winner Kyle Hines, and Euroleague Rising Star Award winner Alex Abrines.
De Colo was firing on all cylinders from the very start of the season; he scored at least 17 points in each of CSKA’s first four games without ever playing even 30 minutes. De Colo was 12 for 12 from the foul line in a Regular Season Round 7 victory over Dinamo Banco di Sardegna Sassari and followed that by claiming weekly MVP honors in the next round after dousing Brose Baskets Bamberg with 27 points and 11 assists. De Colo missed just 6 shots in torching defending champion Real Madrid for 28 points in the second game of the Top 16. Though injury sidelined him for the following two games, De Colo returned in peak form, scored 19 points in each of his next four appearances and was named MVP for the month of February. He got even better as the Top 16 progressed by reaching a performance index rating of at least 30 in three of the final five games of that stage, including a 26-point effort with just 3 missed shots in a Top 16 Round 13 win over Zalgiris Kaunas and 20 points with 13 fouls drawn, 12 of 13 free throws made and 3 steals in a road win at Olympiacos Piraeus as CSKA won its group in style. De Colo was the weekly MVP after both of those games. Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade devised a plan to limit De Colo’s scoring in the playoffs, but he still starred with 10 assists in Game 1 and broke free with 20 points in Game 3 as CSKA swept the series.
De Colo becomes the 11th different player to win the MVP award since the current end-of-season awards format was introduced in 2005. He is the first French-born MVP and the fourth for CSKA, joining Papaloukas, Ramunas Siskauskas (2008) and Andrei Kirilenko (2012). De Colo began his career with Cholet Basket in his native France and played there through age 22, when he moved to Valencia Basket of Spain. In three season there De Colo was named to the 2010 All-Eurocup First Team after helping the team win the title and made his Euroleague debut the following season. He went on to play two seasons in the NBA with San Antonio and Toronto before signing with CSKA and instantly regaining the form that made him a star. De Colo was named to the 2014-15 All-Euroleague Second Team after helping the team reach the Final Four in Madrid. Now in his second season in Moscow, De Colo has firmly etched his name into the Euroleague record books.
Euroleague MVPs (since current awards format was put in place):
2005 Anthony Parker, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv
2006 Anthony Parker, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv
2007 Theodoros Papaloukas, CSKA Moscow
2008 Ramunas Siskauskas, CSKA Moscow
2009 Juan Carlos Navarro, Regal FC Barcelona
2010 Milos Teodosic, Olympiacos Piraeus
2011 Dimitris Diamantidis, Panathinaikos Athens
2012 Andrei Kirilenko, CSKA Moscow
2013 Vassilis Spanoulis, Olympiacos Piraeus
2014 Sergio Rodriguez, Real Madrid
2015 Nemanja Bjelica, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul