At 22 years old, Deni Avdija has this physical status:
Deni Avdija (born January 3, 2001) is an Israeli professional basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League and the EuroLeague.
He is the son of former basketball player Zufer Avdija.
Avdija was named the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship MVP after leading the Israeli Under-20 team to win the FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship in July 2019.
Early life and youth career
Avdija was born in Beit Zera, Israel, where his mother is of a Jewish descent (of ethnic origins). Zufer Avdija (of ethnic Gorani-Muslim descent) served with the Yugoslav national team before heading to Israel to compete for various local Israeli teams.
He played association football until he reached fourth grade, when he began focusing on basketball. He joined Maccabi Tel Aviv's youth team in 2013, where he played under coach Shai Omer. Avdija led Maccabi Tel Aviv to three consecutive Israeli youth state championships from 2017 to 2019. He competed in Basketball Without Borders Europe in Belgrade in August 2018, where he was named camp MVP.
Avdija started competing at the youth level for Bnei Herzliya, and Avdija's U18 team competed in Munich in January 2019. Since leading the tournament with 24.3 points, 6 assists, and 3.8 steals per game, he was selected to the all-tournament team. (PIR): 31.5. Avdija finished second among all players with 11 rebounds per game, while his team finished second, second. Avdija was named MVP of the Basketball Without Borders World Camp in Charlotte, North Carolina, in February 2019. In May, he joined Maccabi Tel Aviv's U18 team for the ANGT Finals. Since winning the competition with 24.7 points and 12 rebounds per game, he earned all-tournament team awards, finishing second with 6.7 assists per game and placing second.
Avdija began his playing days with Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv on Friday, signing a six-year contract with the club. On November 19th, he made his professional debut in the 2017-18 Israeli Basketball Premier League, against Ironi Nes Ziona. He made history by playing for his club's senior team for the first time at 16 years and 320 days old. In a 74–70 loss to Fenerbahçe, Avdija made his EuroLeague debut on November 22, 2018. In three minutes of playing time, he scored two points in three minutes.
Avdija made his first appearance in the EuroLeague on October 24, tying six points and three rebounds in 16 minutes over Valencia. In a 94-83 victory over Hapoel Holon, Avdija scored a then career high of 22 points, shooting 9-of-15 from the field. Avdija was voted Israeli Player of the Month in the Israeli Basketball Premier League on January 31 after scoring 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in four games played that month. In an 86-81 loss to Hapoel Eilat, Avdija recorded a new career-high of 26 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the field, and grabbed six rebounds. In a 78-77 victory over Fenerbahçe, he scored 13 points, eight in the second quarter, including eight in the second quarter. In July 2020, his dunk over Luigi Datome during the game would be dubbed EuroLeague Magic Moment of the Season. Avdija revealed her draft for the 2020 NBA draft on April 16th.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Avdija's season was postponed for about three months. In a 114–82 victory over Maccabi Ashdod, he returned to action on June 21 with 23 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in 24 minutes. In an 83-68 victory over Hapoel Tel Aviv, he scored 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and grabbed 10 rebounds, assisting Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Israeli Basketball Premier League Final Four on July 23. Avdija added five points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals to help Maccabi Tel Aviv defeat Maccabi Rishon LeZion, 86-81. He became the youngest player to ever win the Israeli League MVP award. Avdija was also named Israeli League Player of the Year and a First Team pick for the Israeli League in Israel, as well as an All-Israeli League First Team pick. He finished the season with 12.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game in the Israeli Basketball Premier League. Avdija averaged four points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 14.3 minutes per game in the EuroLeague.
The Washington Wizards selected Avdija with the ninth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. On draft night, he was expected to be a consensus top-five pick, but he fell. On December 1, 2020, he signed a rookie deal with the Wizards.
In a 128-124 loss against the Miami Heat on January 9, 2021, Avdija scored a career-high 20 points and five three-pointers, as well as five rebounds, five assists, and two steals. During a 118–114 victory over the Golden State Warriors on April 21, Avdija sustained a right ankle fracture. Avdija scored 15 against the Detroit Pistons on February 14, a career high in rebounds.
Avdija played in all 82 games during the 2021-22 season, scoring 8.4 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, and 2.0 assists per game.
National team career
Despite the fact that he had been able to represent Serbia internationally due to his father's Heath, Avdija decided to play for Israel because he had friends there and was more familiar with the language. At the 2017 FIBA U16 European Championship in Podgorica, he competed for Israel. With 12.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game, Avdija led the tournament to 15.3 points per game.
Avdija averaged over 17 points and nine rebounds for Israel at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, an under-18 competition in Mannheim, in April 2018. He appeared at the FIBA U20 European Championship in Chemnitz in July 2018, leading Israel to a gold medal. While earning a spot on the all-tournament team with teammate Yovel Zoosman, Avdija averaged 12.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Avdija competed in the FIBA U18 European Championship Division B in Skopje later this month. He seemed to be drained from his previous tournament and short of endurance, he had 17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.4 steal normals per game.
Avdija led Israel to a second straight gold medal at the FIBA U20 European Championship in Tel Aviv in July 2019. He had 18.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 blocks, 2.4 blocks, and 2.1 steals per game, winning MVP and all-tournament team awards as the second-youngest participant at the tournament. In the semifinals, Avdija tallied 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 steals against France, before being tasked with 23 points, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks against Spain.
In an 81–77 victory over Germany during the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification stage, Avdija made his debut for the Israeli senior national team, defeating Germany 21–77. During the EuroBasket 2021 qualifiers, he scored 21 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes on February 24, 2020.
His free throw shootings aren't as good as his otherwise versatile game; in 59 games for Maccabi, he averaged 59% from the free throw line and 33% from the 3-point zone;
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