The EuroLeague Basketball Adidas Next Generation Tournament has developed into one of the world’s most prestigious stops for future stars in basketball. From 2003 onwards, more and more players have used the ANGT to showcase their talents at a young age and gain experience in international club competition. Vasilije Micic had just turned 16 years old when he played a key role in FMP’s triumph in the Belgrade qualifying tournament in February 2010. FMP was a true powerhouse of the continental youth basketball scene, having won the previous two ANGT titles. And the Serbian team made an early statement of its intent to dominate the qualifying event in its own city, thrashing KK Buducnost 93-64 in the opening game. Micic had a limited role in that game, but he made a major impression on defense by grabbing 5 steals in less than 11 minutes on the court.

That performance was enough for Micic to earn more playing time over the remainder of the tournament, spending at least 22 minutes on the floor in each of the four remaining games. The first of those was another resounding win, 99-67, over ASVEL Villeurbanne in which Micic made just 1-of-5 field goal attempts on a tough shooting night, but shined as a distributor with 4 assists. FMP then concluded the group phase by making it three wins out of three with a local derby thrashing of Crvena Zvezda, 88-45. Micic was outstanding, combining 11 points with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for a game-high PIR of 19. The semifinal saw FMP overcome another local rival, Partizan Belgrade, 71-58. Micic impressed again, shooting 4 of 5 from the field as he scored 10 points while contributing 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. The title game saw FMP taste glory by overcoming French side INSEP 77-69 and Micic starred by leading his team in scoring with 14 points plus 3 rebounds and 4 assists.

Micic’s all-round combination of scoring, assists, rebounds and snaring steals made him a hot property among talent spotters and just a few months later he left FMP to start his professional career with Mega Vizura. Despite only being 16 years old, he was quickly advanced into the senior team and made 35 appearances in the Serbian League in 2010-11. His prodigious talent was reflected in his impressive debut season figures of 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, and he continued to gain valuable experience with Mega over the next couple of years including a starring role alongside big man Boban Marjanovic in the club’s first promotion to the Adriatic League. When he finally stepped up to compete in the EuroLeague with a move to FC Bayern Munich in 2014, Micic was more than ready to impress on Europe’s biggest stage – and nobody who saw him in action for FMP four years earlier would have been surprised at all.

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