Standouts from the U14 Spanish Championships

The month of June brought back the Spanish Championships, with a lot of talent on display all over the country. The under-14 tournament was the first to get underway in Betanzos, Galicia. Real Madrid dominated the entire tournament, showing their clear competitive advantage over their opponents and beating Real Betis in the final. Despite this imbalance in the final, there were a lot of prospects showing their ability throughout the tournament and a lot of interesting games. We bring you a list of the players that stood out in Betanzos and that we could be hearing about in the next few years.

Alberto Blanco

Team: Real Betis | DOB: 20/01/2007

Stats: 6 Games | 13.8 PPG | 7.0 RPG | 1.5 SPG

Blanco was the main man for a Real Betis team that finished 2nd in the tournament. He has really good size and mobility, shows nice footwork and post moves. He’s really good playing around the rim and has nice touch, using his body well to protect his shot. He can also attack closeouts, reading the defense and either assisting on the move or absorbing contact to finish. Blanco has a good enough mid-range and outside shot.

Amadou Traore

Team: Real Madrid | DOB: 25/05/2007

Stats: 6 Games | 16.7 PPG | 15.2 RPG | 2.3 BPG

Traore’s height and wingspan at his age are a big plus, as he’s able to swat shots and grab rebounds easily. But there’s much more to like from Traore. His quickness, agility, and explosiveness are elite, as is his ability to play in the open court. He can also be a great weapon when facing up in the low post, showing patience and having the necessary physical tools to get to the basket. Traore has a good ability to receive the ball and go up quickly near the basket.

Arouna Coulibaly

Team: Canterbury School | DOB: 02/03/2007

Stats: 4 Games | 14.5 PPG | 18.0 RPG | 2.5 BPG

Coulibaly’s impressive physical profile helps him big time, as does his movement. He’s a good cutter, moves well off the ball, and stays in control around the basket. He’s also a good rim protector and rarely jumps on fakes. Coulibaly is a really good passer, especially out of the high post, but also has the ability to start fastbreaks.

Bakary Fongoro

Team: Canterbury School | DOB: 06/03/2007

Stats: 4 Games | 15.5 PPG | 12.25 RPG | 1.5 SPG

Another imposing physical player with great movement ability, Fongoro can attack closeouts with his dribble and initiate transition opportunities, putting the ball on the floor. Fongoro is also a good finisher on the move and has a quick jump and second jump to grab rebounds and quickly score. He has the lateral quickness to defend on the perimeter and stay in front of attackers, also using his wingspan to steal the ball on the dribble or on the pass.

Daniel Gonzalez

Team: Valencia | DOB: 28/02/2007

Stats: 7 Games | 14.9 PPG | 2.3 RPG | 2.3 SPG

Gonzalez was the best and most consistent player for Valencia, that finished 4th. Gonzalez was mostly used coming off the bench and showed his ability to create shots, mostly from the outside. He has a nice stepback move he can go to and has impressive range for his age. Shooting the ball feels like it comes organically to him, not shying away from it, off the catch or dribble. He also showed some capacity going to the rim and finishing with floaters or stopping for a quick pull-up. Gonzalez is a true scorer and shot creator that showed what he can do in Betanzos.

David Delgado

Team: Cajasiete Canarias | DOB: 23/02/2007

Stats: 6 Games | 14.8 PPG | 6.8 RPG | 1.5 SPG

Delgado is an all-around player who can do a lot of things for his team. He can’t be given much space from three, as he presents a threat with a really efficient percentage, while also being able to attack closeouts and get to the rim. Delgado is a really smart player, he plays with his head up and finds the best solution. His defense is also really good and he was, to me, one of the best defenders in the tournament. Not only can he stay in front of ball handlers but will also put pressure on them and create problems on the dribble. Delgado is also really good at denying passing lanes and exhibits high IQ on team defense.

Declan Duru

Team: Real Madrid | DOB: 12/01/2007

Stats: 6 Games | 12.7 PPG | 9.5 RPG | 1.2 BPG

The most developed player of the whole tournament, Duru made it all look so easy. His body and ball control are really good, keeping his dribble low and close to his body. It’s actually impressive how a kid his age and with his physical tools can show fluidity with the ball. He can get to the rim easily and finish in various ways. Duru is also an imposing defender, on and off the ball. It’s hard to take him off the dribble and harder to score on him at the rim. Declan Duru was possibly the best prospect in Betanzos and he didn’t have to do much.

Enric Sanmartin

Team: Barcelona | DOB: 11/01/2007

Stats: 6 Games | 8.3 PPG | 5.2 RPG | 1.3 SPG

Enric Sanmartin was the brightest spot in a subpar tournament for Barcelona. Sanmartin combines a good ability to attack closeouts with intelligence, good court vision, and interesting physical tools. He has good size and can get around defenders with long steps going to the rim. He is also a pretty competent defender, can defend on the ball and close paths to the rim and shutdown advanced ball handlers.

Ignacio Campoy

Team: Movistar Estudiantes | DOB: 03/12/2007

Stats: 7 Games | 16.1 PPG | 7.6 RPG | 1.1 SPG

Campoy is an interesting prospect and probably the one who gave more problems to Real Madrid’s big men in the tournament. He has a good combination of size and mobility and is a really good shooter from outside in catch and shoot situations. He can also put the ball on the floor and attack. Campoy is already advanced for his age around the rim, offering passing options to drivers and being able to use his body to gain space and finish. He can defend, mostly outside, with good lateral quickness to keep up with guards.

Ignacio Pino

Team: Real Betis | DOB: 09/02/2007

Stats: 6 Games | 11.7 PPG | 2.5 APG | 2.3 SPG

Pino was one of the best shot creators in the whole tournament. He has amazing handles and ability to take his man off the dribble and get to the paint. He likes to finish with floaters or little push shots once he gets there. Pino can also pull up from three or shoot after the pass. His shot creation and gravity helps him finding open teammates and he does a great job of involving them. He drives mostly to his right and is much more comfortable passing and finishing with that hand, but can also go left and create problems from there.

Kyllian Michee

Team: Real Madrid | DOB: 02/02/2007

Stats: 6 Games | 9.2 PPG | 3.5 APG | 1.2 SPG

Unpredictable and a joy to watch. Michee is guaranteed entertainment for everyone that comes to watch him. He wasn’t afraid of trying new things in this tournament and will surely be a name to keep watching. His quickness and fluidity with his dribble are his calling card but he also tried to involve his teammates as much as possible. Michee likes to play in the open court and will find paths to the rim or create them. Michee is basketball in its most purest form, a really complete offensive player with a lot of potential.

Mohamed Kouma

Team: Gabinete Asesores SACC | DOB: 01/07/2007

Stats: 3 Games | 27.7 PPG | 23.3 RPG | 2.0 BPG

Kouma benefited tremendously from his team being in one of the last groups, ending up with ridiculous stats. But his talent is real and pertains to much more than his physical advantage over the opponents. He moves really well, reads the game and is smart, with and without the ball. He has freakish explosiveness when going to the basket and nice touch around the rim. Kouma is really good at taking on defenders off the dribble, playing in the open court, and maneuvering inside to find his shot.

Pau Torrens

Team: Imprenta Bahia San Agustin | DOB: 24/12/2007

Stats: 4 Games | 17.3 PPG | 7.0 RPG | 2.0 APG

Torrens was one of the most impressive players on the lesser known teams side of things. He can create some offense, using his body really well to fake defenders and get past them. He’s also a really good outside shooter, off the catch or dribble, with a quick and high release. Torrens shows some skill finishing inside, be it at the rim or when shot blockers are present and is also a willing passer, who can find teammates inside.

Sergio Gomez

Team: Real Madrid | DOB: 28/07/2007

Stats: 4 Games | 8.5 PPG | 3.7 RPG | 1.5 SPG

Not the most flashy player for Real, but Gomez was one of the most complete and competent. He has really good size and is fundamentally sound. He can put the ball on the floor, read what’s happening in front of him and opt for the best option. Gomez is a really patient finisher who can absorb contact. Really good defensive instincts on and, especially, off the ball, where he stays sharp and can steal the ball or block shots.

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