At this time last summer, these players were getting ready to compete in the 7DAYS EuroCup. To a man, they did that well enough to draw attention this summer from the biggest teams on the continent. Most now will be making their Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debuts this season thanks to the springboard they found in the EuroCup.
Isaiah Canaan, UNICS Kazan
Just like his team, UNICS Kazan, Isaiah Canaan had a strong EuroCup season and is now set to test his strengths in the EuroLeague. In his eighth season as a professional basketball player, Canaan decided to play outside his native United States and delivered 14.1 points and 3.1 assists in 24 EuroCup games in helping UNICS to the Finals. A great all-around scorer with unlimited shooting range and good one-on-one skills, Canaan may be one of the most pleasant surprises in the 2021-22 EuroLeague.
Matt Costello, Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz
Matt Costello is a modern power forward with great timing on rebounding and blocking shots as well as the ability to open the floor with his three-pointers. He comes off two strong seasons with Herbalife Gran Canaria. Costello ranked fifth in the EuroCup last season in rebounds per 40 minutes (11.6) and led the competition in blocks (1.8 bpg.). He seems like a perfect fit at Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz as he plays with high intensity and character, which is a must for any squad coached by Dusko Ivanovic.
Ibrahima Fall-Faye, AS Monaco
Ibrahima Fall-Faye already played for AS Monaco in the 2020-21 campaign, but was not eligible to help it win the EuroCup title, because he joined after the EuroCup transfer deadline. Before that, Fall-Faye impressed a lot of basketball fans with his defensive skills and aggressiveness at both ends of the floor. He averaged 15.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 10 EuroCup games with Telenet Giants Antwerp. Two of those games were against his current team, which was quick to sign him when it had the opportunity to do so.
Ognjen Jaramaz, FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich needed a two-way, energetic player and found it in Ognjen Jaramaz, who spent the best part of the last three seasons with Partizan NIS Belgrade. Jaramaz is dangerous in transition, as his first option is to attack the basket due to his quickness and ballhandling. He averaged 9.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 11 EuroCup games with Partizan last season. Jaramaz already played for Coach Andrea Trinchieri at his former club, so expect him to surprise a lot of people.
Michalis Lountzis, Olympiacos Piraeus
He's not exactly a EuroLeague newcomer, but his previous experience consists of 25 minutes and 15 seconds in four games, the last one played on November 13, 2015. At age 23, Michalis Lountzis joins Olympiacos Piraeus fresh off a strong 2020-21 EuroCup campaign with Promitheas Patras in which he averaged 6.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 10 EuroCup games. A good athlete who can attack the rim, strike from downtown and play strong on-the-ball defense, he seems to be a perfect match for the Reds.
Andreas Obst, FC Bayern Munich
Obst means fruit in German, and Coach Andrea Trinchieri, like many Italians, is not a fan of putting fruit on pizza. He made a joke about it after a German Cup semifinals showdown in which Andreas Obst buried six three-point shots for ratiopharm Ulm in a 102-104 loss. Obst, 25, now joins Bayern to keep doing that: pull the trigger from every angle. Last season, Obst buried 51.1% of his three-point shots in EuroCup action, averaging 11.0 points. He should provide instant offense.
Dylan Osetkowski, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
Few EuroCup newcomers impressed fans and experts alike as much as Dylan Osetkowski, who is about to make his EuroLeague debut with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. Even though his team, ratiopharm Ulm, did not advance past the regular season, Osetkowski was strong from start to finish, ranking second in PIR (21.8), tied for third in scoring (17.9 ppg.), and also averaging 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals. He made 52.0% of his three-point shots and his all-around game should make him a fan favorite for ASVEL fans.
Kendrick Perry, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
Kendrick Perry had to go a long way to reach the EuroLeague; he played in Australia, the United States, Poland, Hungary, Russia and Serbia before joining EuroCup powerhouse Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana. He had an outstanding season in which he ranked fifth in scoring (16.1 ppg.), third in assists (6.1 apg.), eighth in steals (1.4 spg.), and third in PIR (19.2). His all-around skills and overall energy put him on EuroLeague teams' radar and Panathinaikos managed to snatch him up as its new floor general.
Giampaolo Ricci, AX Armani Exchange Milan
Giampaolo Ricci has gone a long way to finally make his EuroLeague debut at age 30. He started his career in the Italian fourth division and reached the top flight in 2017. After winning the Italian Cup with Vanoli Cremona, Ricci joined Virtus Segafredo Bologna, which he helped win the Italian League and reach the EuroCup Semifinals last season. An effective low post player (66.7% 2FG) with deep shooting range, Ricci joins AX Armani Exchange Milan and is expected to play a key role off the bench.
Okaro White, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens
It comes as no surprise that Okaro White will make his EuroLeague debut with Panathinaikos. He first came to Greece to play for Aris Thessaloniki, coached by Dmitris Priftis, for the 2015-16 season. After three seasons in the United States, White returned to Europe last season to play for Coach Priftis at UNICS Kazan. White helped UNICS reach the EuroCup Finals and played a big role in do-or-die Game 3 of the semifinals against one of his former squads, Virtus Segafredo Bologna. When Priftis joined Panathinaikos, he brought his signature player with him.