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Gasol - European basketball player of the year 2009
ThinkSpain , Monday, February 15, 2010

Spain's Pau Gasol has been named European basketball player of the year for 2009 by the FIBA, the second consecutive year he has been awarded the honour.

Gasol, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Spanish national team, beat Germany's Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Serbia's Milos Teodosic, from Greek side Olympiakos, amongst others, to take the prize.

The Spanish centre, who played in his third NBA All Stars game this weekend, won the American NBA league with the Lakers and the European Championship with Spain last year, achievements that have again been recognised by experts and fans alike with this latest award.

"Pau Gasol's performance in Poland goes to show that he will be considered one of Europe's basketball greats," said George Vassilakopoulos, president of FIBA Europe.

"Year after year Pau distinguishes himself not only on court, but also off it.  He is a great player and a marvellous ambassador for the sport," added Nar Zanolin, secretary general of the European organisation.

Gasol won by a clear margin of votes, both from the panel of experts as well as from the fans.
Rudy Fernández and Juan Carlos Navarro, two other members of Spain's European Championship winning side, who play with the Portland Trail Blazers and Barcelona respectively, came in sixth and seventh in the voting.

Voting results: Experts / Public
.1. Pau Gasol (ESP) 433 / 9,815
.2. Dirk Nowitzki (GER) 94 / 5,370
.3. Milos Teodosic (SRB) 60 / 4,058
.4. Vassilis Spanoulis (GRE) 63 / 1,903
.5. Erazem Lorbek (SLO) 48 / 7,046
.6. Rudy Fernández (ESP) 48 / 4,022
.7. Juan Carlos Navarro (ESP) 46 / 3,892
.8. Tony Parker (FRA) 44 / 2,011
.9. Hidayet Turkoglu (TUR) 31 / 4,479
10. Ersan Ilyasova (TUR) 21 / 4,525
11. Nikola Pekovic (MNE) 24 / 1,936
12. Marcin Gortat (POL) 9 / 8,837
13. Novica Velickovic (SRB) 10 / 4,783
14. Ioannis Bouroussis (GRE) 12 / 1,417
15. Igor Rakocevic (SRB) 3 / 2,024
16. Lior Eliyahu (ISR) 0 / 1,032

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