Minnesota Timberwolves: Rubio and Pekovic in the Running for FIBA Europe Prizes

Mitch DrofstobCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 25:  Fifth overall draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves,  Ricky Rubio makes his way to the stage during the 2009 NBA Draft at the Wamu Theatre at Madison Square Garden June 25, 2009 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

That’s right, amongst other capable ballers, including the Lakers’ Pau Gasol and the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, the Timberwolves’ own European imports, Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio, have been selected to be in the top 10 in their respective categories.

Pekovic is seemingly an underdog in his category and will need the full backing of the Minnesotan natives if he is going to win.

In all honesty, it’s a little bit surprising that Pekovic was picked ahead of Darko Milicic, but the Timberwolves should still get behind their man.

The full list for FIBA Europe’s Player of the Year is:

Andrea Bargnani
Nicolas Batum
Omri Casspi
Luol Deng
Dimitrios Diamantidis
Goran Dragic
Pau Gasol
Ersan Ilyasova
Linas Kleiza
Timofey Mozgov
Juan Carlos Navarrro
Dirk Nowitzki
Nikola Pekovic
Milos Teodosic
Hidayet Türkoglu

When voting, you have to pick three players. As a Briton, let me ask you to choose Chicago Bulls and Great Britain small forward Luol Deng.

It’s the first time he has been recognised by the FIBA panel and should be taken as recognition of the stellar work he put in for team GB in the Eurobasket qualifiers.

Not only is he a great player, he’s a very intelligent and kind individual, who has had to struggle against a lot more than your average basketball player, just watch this video.

You can vote here.

Also in the running for an award is Ricky Rubio, who looks to be the favourite to win the Young Men’s Player of the Year.

Although he's never stepped on the floor for the Timberwolves, he will in less than a year, and for him to do that while being recognised as Europe's best young player would look good for the Timberwolves.

Here is the full list:

Andrew Albicy
Davis Bertans
Mario Delas
Enes Kanter
Przemyslaw Karnowski
Dmitry Kulagin
Dejan Musli
Kostas Papanikolaou
Nikos Pappas
Mateusz Ponitka
Ricky Rubio
Dario Saric
Tomas Satoransky
Jonas Valanciunas
Jan Vesely

You can vote here.