A power forward with great athleticism, ballhandling and mobility, Tornike Shengelia emerged this decade as a born leader for a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague standard-bearer, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz. After winning the 2010 EuroCup as a teenager with Valencia Basket, Shengelia made his EuroLeague debut with Spirou Charleroi of Belgium in the 2011-12 season. No sooner did he return to the competition with Baskonia in 2014 than he began turning heads.
He was a full-time starter from the get-go and helped lay the groundwork for Baskonia's run to the 2016 Final Four, even though injury that limited Shengelia to nine games that season made him miss the occasion. He bounced back in style, earning All-EuroLeague First Team honors in the 2017-18 season while making off with the March MVP award before defending champion Fenerbahce Istanbul stopped Baskonia in the playoffs.
- All-EuroLeague First Team
- EuroLeague March MVP
Despite ranking 93rd in games played and 72nd in minutes – in part due to injuries – Shengelia sits 40th or better in total points, rebounds and performance index rating this decade. His averages are even better: 15th-best in each of those three categories among all EuroLeague players since 2010. Most important, he has shown the special pride and effort it takes to become the newest embodiment of Baskonia's famous character. And at 28 years old, Shengelia is on the cusp of his prime, a tantalizing thought for all EuroLeague fans.