Aleksander "Olek" Balcerowski is one of the rising stars of professional basketball in Europe. Having been born on the 19th of November 2000, he is aged only 20 at the time of writing and has his whole career ahead of him on the basketball court. Balcerowski was raised in Świdnica, Poland and has been playing basketball at a high level since 2017.
1. Balcerowski in ABA
Balcerowski currently plays for Košarkaški klub Mega Basket of the ABA League. The ABA League is extremely competitive and features top teams from the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. KK Mega Basket is based in Belgrade, Serbia and Balcerowski has been a member of the team since 2021, meaning he is a relative newcomer to the ABA League.
In addition to competing in the ABA League with KK Mega Basket, Balcerowski is also performing in the Basketball League of Serbia. KK Mega Basket qualified for the play offs in the 2020/21 season and Balcerowski will be confident he can help the team win the competition having reached the final in 2021, where they eventually lost 2-1 to Košarkaški klub Crvena Zvezda.
2. Balcerowski in Spain
Looking back at the beginning of his professional basketball career, Balcerowski started with Club Baloncesto Gran Canaria, also known as Herbalife Gran Canaria for sponsorship reasons. The Pole participated in the 2020/21 EuroCup Basketball competition for the Spanish club and they topped group D, thanks in no small part to the performances of Balcerowski. The Polish international averaged 6.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in 15 EuroCup Basketball games during the season, which is all the more remarkable considering he had less than 15 minutes on the court.
Balcerowski made such a strong impression on the tournament, the organisers named him the 7DAYS EuroCup Rising Star Trophy winner for the 2020/21 season. The award recognises the most outstanding player under the age of 22 in the competition and Balcerowski shone as he helped Herbalife Gran Canaria reach the semi-final of the tournament. Balcerowski ranked 11th in the competition in both offensive rebounding (2.1 orpg.) and blocks, with his height of 2.15 meters helping keep out his opponents.
Having started playing basketball in Poland with Stowarzyszenie Gornik Walbrzych, Balcerowski was only 14 years of age when he moved to Spain as a youth player with Herbalife Gran Canaria. He is the youngest player to play for the first team, having made his debut when he was 17 years and 14 days old.
3. Balcerowski in Polish National Team
In addition, Balcerowski was the youngest player at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, where he represented Poland. He averaged 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in the tournament.
Despite things not working out in the 2021 NBA draft having withdrawn his name, Balcerowski has plenty of time on his side and could go on to become a great player in the NBA and for his country.