Congratulations are in order as Partizan Belgrade’s Israeli point guard, Yam Madar, was announced as the 2022-23 EuroLeague Rising Star. The accolade, which is voted on by the EuroLeague head coaches, is awarded annually to the best player in the season who was younger than 22 on the 1st of July immediately preceding the then-current season.
During the regular season, Madar averaged 5.7 points, 0.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists with a PIR of 4.5 in 13 minutes for Željko Obradović’s team, helping them secure 7th place in the standings and a matchup against Real Madrid in the quarterfinals. While Partizan won the first two games of the series in Madrid, Real regrouped and won the last three games of the series to end Partizan’s season. However, Madar increased his averages in the playoffs, with 6.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists with a PIR of 8.2 in just under 16 minutes.
Madar, who turned 22 in December, previously played with Hapoel Tel Aviv from 2018-2021, where he won the Winner League Most Improved Player in 2020 and was a member of the Winner League All-Israeli Second Team in 2021, before signing with Partizan before the 2021-22 season.
On the Israeli National Team, Madar won the 2019 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship on a team that also featured Israeli NBA player Deni Avdija and he has since become a staple of the senior team. Like Avdija, Madar was selected in the 2020 NBA draft. Selected by the Boston Celtics with the 47th overall pick, to date he has played with the team in the Summer League, waiting to see whether he will eventually make the roster for a regular season in the future.
Madar is the first Israeli to win the EuroLeague Rising Star award and the third player from Partizan to win, after it was won in 2008-09 by Novia Velickovic and in 2013-14 by current Atlanta Hawks star Bogdan Bogdanović (who also won the award with Fenerbahçe in 2014-15).
Other notable names to win the award include current NBA stars Luka Dončić (with Real Madrid in 2016-17 and 2017-18) and Ricky Rubio (with Barcelona in 2009-10), as well a number of players who will be participating in this year’s Final Four, including Real Madrid’s Rudy Fernández (with DKV Joventut in 2006-07), Barcelona’s Nikola Mirotić (with Real Madrid in 2010-11 and 2011-12) and Rokas Jokubaitis (with Barcelona in 2021-22) and Kostas Papanikolaou (with Olympiacos in 2012-13).