Radar ZdB: Ben Kovac

After standing out in European training, being the reference of his team, and without consolidating himself or reaching a true reconversion, it may be surprising to see in Radar ZdB to Ben Kovac (2000 / 196cm), eternal basketball wonder boy from Luxembourg, a country with little basketball power. But let’s not fool ourselves. Last season he decided to leave his comfort zone and ended up in the Netherlands, where he has acquired a good progression that can take this player to the European Leagues, who, let’s remember, is still U22.

Ben Kovac had a basketball in his hands from a very young age. His mother, a Basket Esch player, who died when he was 12 years old, was always his influence. Supported by his father, he began to stand out, whether in the training categories, and even having a presence in the Basket Esch first team despite his youth. Teammate of ex-Betis Lou Demuth (back in Luxembourg), Kovac played his first European Cadet as a child in 2014, leaving in the summer of 2016 in the U16 European Division B (23.3 pt, 13.3 re). In junior he repeated again and also played in the first division of his country. Thus, on 17/18 he averaged 6.8 points and 3.9 rebounds with Esch, being 18.9 points and 10.4 rebounds with the Junior team. However, his size and his lack of consistency in his shot raised doubts. He seemed like he would be NCAA meat, but in the end he wasn’t and he stayed on the usual team. On 18/19 he followed his ascending line without breaking it (10.3 pt), registering good averages (16.3 pt, 7.3 re) in the 2019 U20 European Championship, in which the NBA Queta was the protagonist; however, his decision-making raised doubts.

19/20 (beginning of the pandemic) was passing and 20/21 made the decision to be a professional basketball player after rejecting the offer from Inter Bratislava (he has Slovak roots), his bet being on a Dutch club that trains players like Den Helder Suns . There he had a good season and went from less to more (12.6 pt, 3.6 re), finishing the course helping his usual team, Basket Esch (7 pa, 12.1 pt, 4.7 re). This season started as a shot, continues to progress and is starting to attract the attention of other leagues and teams (32 mi, 16.8 pt, 4.7 re, 2.2 ace, 1.9 ro). Another important aspect is that in recent years he has finally managed to establish himself in the senior team with an important role (averages of 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in November, contributing 12 points and 6 rebounds against Albania in the recent February window ).

The one who signs these lines has been seeing Kovac for many years, both when he was the statistical leader in European training and when he competed in a weak league like Luxembourg, where the two foreigners have carte blanche to throw them all, except for certain cases of local players. His departure to the Netherlands, to a young team, has come in handy. A more structured competition than that of his country and with rivals who can demand it.

Already last season I liked it and in this one it has continued its upward progression, although it still has some way to go. Already in full-time outside positions, when as a young man he played a few minutes inside, he continues to maintain his physique (good upper body). At the time of the academy that physique made him stand out, but now he continues to maintain those conditions of explosiveness, speed and springs, consolidating his launch each course. He currently has several ways to score: on the one hand, he has managed to stabilize his shot from three, very comfortable in the catch and shoot, does not hesitate to throw as soon as he receives (even if the defender is on top of him); on the other, he goes out very comfortable in the open field, where he exhibits all his power. In addition, he knows how to play without the ball in a static state and takes advantage of cuts without the ball very well, benefiting from an assistant point guard.

He is not a player whose strength is Q&Abut he knows how to enter like a bull when he receives with an advantage and does not hesitate to go to the hoop, although his definition is not always correct, as he sometimes adorns himself too much in his fade away and step-back. He is also able to assist his teammates, giving continuity to his team’s ball circulation. Back, he has physique, he knows how to be attentive to the passing lanes and theft; however, he has a hard time staying focused all the time and sometimes fails to target himself, suffering against fast players. Another issue that caused me doubts as a young man was his decision-making, an aspect in which I think he has improved, but his desire for leadership takes its toll on him and sometimes he forces options, something that in a “more competitive” team or league is not possible. can allow you.

Already established in his national team and as one of the most representative players in his country, he declared his dream of playing in the Euroleague or emigrating to a strong league like the German BBL. He continues to retain his youthful qualities and has worked on his weak points, managing to establish himself without getting lost along the way, something that not everyone achieves. Despite those aspects, he needs to continue working on ball handling, 3-point shooting selection and defensive consistency. Ben Kovac has the drive and the mentality, so why not.

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Radar ZdB: Ben Kovac