Partizan is the only club with 2 players in the race for the Euroleague Rising Star. Besides Yam Madar, the Serbs also propose Alen Smailagic, the youngest player in the history of the NBA G League.

He missed the first 7 rounds of the Euroleague due to an injury, but in the 8th round, he managed in just 4.44 minutes, 9 points and 2 rebounds against Maccabi. He made another extraordinary match against Fenerbahce in round 25, with 9 points and 6 rebounds in 10 minutes. In 20 games played in the Euroleague, he has 4.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10 minutes per game.

Smailagic started to play basketball with his hometown club Beko. In the 2017–18 season, Smailagic played for Beko in the Junior Serbian League and averaged 21.7 points and 11.1 rebounds. He made his senior debut for Beko of the semi-professional 3rd-tier Serbian Regional League in the 2017–18 season, he averaged 15.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. On 20 October 2018, the South Bay Lakers selected Smailagic as the 4th pick in the 2018 NBA G League draft. Smailagic was drafted as the 39th pick of the 2019 NBA draft by the New Orleans Pelicans and was then traded to the Golden State Warriors. He appeared in 29 games over two seasons with Golden State, averaging 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 7.7 minutes per game. Has been a member of the Serbian U-16 National Team at the 2016 FIBA ​​Europe Under-16 Championship, in a fantastic generation with Pecarski and Petrusev, managing the counter-performance to finish 10th, he averaged 5.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game.

He is endowed with very good technical abilities for a player of his size, protects the rim and can block shots if he manages to improve his discipline, have more patience and become more athletic he can be an extremely good player. That’s why coach Zeljko Obradovic give him minutes and trust, including him many times in the starting lineup. 

Valentin Petruta

Photo credit: EuroLeague