The extended Euroleague Basketball family gathered on Saturday night at the majestic Ciragan Palace in Istanbul for an unforgettable Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Awards Ceremony. The EuroLeague's title sponsor, Turkish Airlines, hosted the lavish event to honor the stars of the 2016-17 season and celebrate a fantastic campaign with hundreds of honored guests. Stars of the Final Four, EuroLeague Legends, representatives from the Euroleague Basketball family of sponsors and local celebrities made the Ciragan Palace, on the Bosphorus Strait, straddling two continents, the place to be in the world of basketball on Saturday.
The highlight of the evening was the awards ceremony, which saw Sergio Llull of Real Madrid named MVP of the 2016-17 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season. He received his trophy from Euroleague Basketball Legend Mirsad Turkcan. Llull was joined by fellow All-EuroLeague First Team members Sergio Llull of Real Madrid, Nando De Colo of CSKA Moscow, the Fenerbahce Istanbul duo of Ekpe Udoh and Bogdan Bogdanovic plus Georgios Printezis of Olympiacos Piraeus.
Also picking up trophies were Real Madrid's Luka Doncic as Rising Star Trophy winner and Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy Keith Langford of Unics Kazan. EuroLeague Best Defender Adam Hanga of Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz was unable to attend the ceremony, but sent a short video statement to express his gratitude. Llull collected another trophy for his teammate Anthony Randolph, whose blocked shot that was chosen 7DAYS Magic Moment of the season. The other retired EuroLeague greats who presented trophies were Theodoros Papaloukas, Ibrahim Kutluay, Matjaz Smodis, Nikola Vujcic and Patrick Femerling.
Before the trophies were handed out, Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu and Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines Ilker Ayci each addressed the assembled crowd.
Once the award ceremony ended, a first-class dinner was served and with fine music setting the backdrop, the party continued well into the Istanbul night for most, though the crews from Fenerbahce and Olympiacos could not stay long; they still have important work left on Sunday in the championship game to decide the kings of the EuroLeague for this season.