Panko named Spanish league MVP
|Andy Panko's pro basketball
career has been long and successful.
Former Lebanon Valley star Andy Panko has been named the most
valuable player of Spain's Liga ACB, widely regarded as the world's
second-best professional league behind the NBA.
Panko has had a huge season for Lagun Aro, leading the Liga at age 34 with 18.9 points per game, and is in the league's top five in power rating, free throws, fouls drawn, minutes played, and field goals. He was a two-time league player of the week this season.
Panko is the first American to win the ACB's MVP award since
Tanoka Beard in 2002; since then, it's been a who's-who of
international stars who eventually landed in the NBA, including
Andrés Nocioni, Luis Scola, Marc Gasol, and Tiago
The former NCAA Division III player of the year remains LVC's all-time leading scorer with 2,515 points, and he was named to D3hoops.com's Team of the Decade in 2010 as one of D-III's all-time greats. After graduating, he had tryouts with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers, but caught on as a star with the minor league North Dakota Wizards, where he was named MVP of the CBA in 2003 before moving to Spain. In nine years there – with a brief stint in Greece – he has helped Lagun Aro achieve promotion to the top-level league, and was named MVP of the LEB Oro (Spain's second division) in 2008.