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“24 points, 8 assists, one step from hero! NBA suitors calling; he’s a Curry fanboy too!”

The 2023 Men’s Basketball World Cup saw Latvia fall short of the quarterfinals in a sobering match against Germany by just two points. The focus of this game was 23-year-old guard Andris Zagas. Zagas contributed 19.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game in this World Cup, ranking sixth and third on the scoring and assist lists, respectively, making him Latvia’s scoring king and organizational core. His outstanding performance has attracted the attention of several NBA teams and he has reportedly received several contract offers.

Childhood memories

Andris Zagas, born on October 13, 2000, has a height of 1.90 meters, weight of 82 kilograms, and plays as a point guard. He was born in Riga, the capital of Latvia, to an architect father and an accountant mother. He has an older brother and a younger sister who are both basketball enthusiasts.

Zagas showed exceptional basketball talent as a teenager and represented the Latvian U16, U18 and U20 national teams in several international tournaments with notable results. At the 2015 European U16 Championships, he contributed 13.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, helping Latvia to a sixth-place finish.

At the 2016 European U18 Championship, he averaged 15.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game to lead Latvia to the quarterfinals and ultimately a fourth-place finish.At the 2017 European U18 Championship, he averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game to again lead Latvia to the semifinals and ultimately a fifth-place finish.

At the 2018 European U20 Championship, he averaged 14.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game, helping Latvia to an eighth-place finish.At the 2019 European U20 Championship, he contributed 18.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game, making him the best player on the Latvian team, as well as the conference leader in assists.

“24 points, 8 assists, one step from hero! NBA suitors calling; he’s a Curry fanboy too!”

Career.

Zagas began his professional basketball career in 2016 and made the Barcelona first team in the 2018-2019 season. He is considered a guard player with great potential, possessing excellent ball-handling, breakout and passing skills, as well as specializing in three-point shooting and free throws. Zagas has repeatedly stated that his basketball idol is Steph Curry.

Last season, he made 24 appearances in the Spanish league, averaging 10.5 minutes per game, and was able to contribute 3.2 points and 1.7 assists. In European competition, he made 10 appearances and averaged 2.7 points and 1.8 assists in 10.4 minutes per game.

Technical Characteristics

Zagas is a prototypical European offensive organizer whose excellent basketball instincts and high basketball IQ make up for a lack of height and physicality. He possesses excellent passing skills, excels at blocking plays and is adept at taking advantage of opponents’ defenses. He possesses excellent dribbling skills, agile athleticism and excellent shifting ability, along with proven ball-handling ability.

In addition, he has the ability to score with the ball, and can finish with layups on the break and soft hands. Although there is room for improvement in three-point shooting, he has shown the ability to shoot well from three.

On the defensive end, he needs to build strength and weight to better handle both on-ball and off-ball defense. Despite lacking top-notch speed and physicality, his intelligence and awareness on the basketball court make him a well-rounded player.

Although Latvia failed to reach the quarterfinals of the Men’s Basketball World Cup, Zagas showed great performance in the tournament. For the future, he has great potential and is expected to have more success in the NBA or other top leagues.

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