We are recalling all foreign players that have ever played in the League, telling about foreign championships and National teams of different countries in World basketball map project. Today we’re going to talk about basketball in Sweden.
Ludvig Hakanson became the first Swedish player in VTB United League. In 2015/16 season, the guard played for VEF Riga, and represented Zielona Gora in 2019/20.
Christopher Czerapowicz leads the rating of Swedish players by number of games played (25) and PPG (12.5). He played for Tsmoki-Minsk and Nizhny Novgorod.
Jonas Jerebko is the most famous Swede in the league. In 2019, after 9 seasons in the NBA, the forward signed with Khimki and played 16 games of the previous season. Jerebko also took part in VTB League All-Star Game.
Curious thing is that all the Swedes who played VTB League games (Hakanson, Czerapowicz and Jerebko) have at least 10 points per game overall in the tournament. Another player, Charles Barton, was in PARMA’s roster for 2016/17 season but haven’t played for the club.
Basketball in Sweden
League: Svenska Basketligan (SBL)
Number of teams: 10
League’s web-site: http://www.svenskabasketligan.se/
Swedish league was founded in 1992. 11 teams have won the title within 28 years of the league. Lulea (8 wins) and Soderalje Kings (6 wins) are the most titled clubs.
There are 4 rounds of the regular season, and then 8 best teams advance to playoff. Best-of-5 format is used for quarterfinals, semifinals and final are played in best-of-7 series.
Two SBL clubs represent Sweden in Europe. Sodertalje Kings played in the Champions League while Boras was in FIBA Europe Cup,
Swedish league individual awards are Final MVP, Regular Season MVP, Rookie of the Year, Best Defensive Player, Best Guard, Best Forward, Best Center. Ex-Enisey’s John Roberson has 2 Final MVPs and a Regular Season MVP. Furthermore, the American won 3 league titles.
Apart from Robertson, the SBL had Ken Brown (ex-PARMA), and Jerel Blesingame (ex-Asseco Prokom)
The legendary Magic Johnson played in Swedish league in 1999/00 season. The American sponsored and played for Boras (in 1999-2000 named Magic M7 Boras).
In 2008, Scotty Pippen finished professional career in Sweden. The forward played for Sandsval Dragons.
Sweden National team
FIBA rank: 55
FIBA members: since 1952
Achievements: Olympic Games appearance, 10 appearances at Eurobasket
Sweden joined FIBA in 1952 and a year later made a debut at Eurobasket in Moscow. Russian capital was also the venue of their Olympic debut in 1980.
Sweden took part in 10 Eurobaskets, but their highest place was the 12th.
In 2003, Sweden hosted Eurobasket. In 2007 and 2009, the national team played in Eurobasket’s division B.
The last time Sweden played in Eurobasket was in 2013. The Scandinavians managed to win one game (81:62 vs Russia at group stage). Sweden also beat Russia at 1993 Eurobasket (100:92 OT).
Today Sweden is ranked 55th by FIBA (31st among European teams).
Most famous Swedish players in history
Jonas Jerebko. 2009 NBA draft pick 39, champion of Sweden. 9 seasons in the NBA (635 games), played for Detroit, Boston, Utah and Golden State. Member of the second NBA All-Rookie Team in 2010.
Jeffrey Taylor. 2012 NBA draft pick 31, Euroleague champion, 3-time champion of Spain, 2-time winner of Cup of Spain, 2-time winner of Spanish Supercup. 3 seasons (132 games) for NBA’s Charlotte.