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FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup: Top 5 MVP Candidates

With the FIBA U17 World Cup’s seventh instalment just a few days away, we take a look at who we believe will be in the running for tournament MVP.

5. Gildas Gimenez – Spain           

[Credit: FIBA]

At five we’ve got Gildas Gimenez, the 2007 born forward is one of his country’s top prospects as Spain prepare to go one better than their second place finish in 2022.

Gimenez guided his nation to the final of the FIBA U16 European Championship last summer, but the Spaniards lost out to Italy in the final.

The 6’6 talent averaged a solid 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.6 assists while also being named to the All-Star Five of the tournament.

Gimenez was a member of the Real Madrid team that won the 2024 Adidas Next Generation Tournament finals back in May.

His perimeter defence is excellent and what he lacks in an outside shot, he more than makes up for with his elite athleticism.

With Spain sitting second in the power rankings, they will be looking to be the team to knock USA off the podium led by an ever-improving Gimenez.

4. Tyler Kropp – Argentina

[Credit: FIBA]

Next up is an Argentine who plays domestic basketball at Olentangy Liberty High School in the US, 6’8 sensation Tyler Kropp.

Kropp recently featured in Argentina’s deep run in the FIBA U18 Americup where he averaged tournament highs in points (22.0) and rebounds (11.3). He was also the most efficient player in the competition, with an average rating of 22.3.

He scored 20 points and grabbed nine boards in the final against USA, Argentina ultimately lost and will be seeking revenge next week.

Last summer, Kropp averaged a double double at the U16 Americup and the industrious power forward will continue to build his experience on the international stage.

3. Hugo Yimga – France

[Credit: FIBA]

As a second French star was drafted first overall into the NBA, France is quickly becoming the latest factory of elite basketball talent and Hugo Yimga is no exception.

Despite playing a year younger, Yimga will turn 16 during the tournament and this athletic, 6.8 powerhouse is ready to announce himself to the world.

Yimga played a key part in PFBB INSEP Paris’ run to the ANGT Finals where his PFBB INSEP Paris side narrowly lost out to Real Madrid. He averaged 14.5 points and six rebounds on the way to the final.

The youngster will look to show his defensive capabilities, his size and athleticism are key when it comes to dominating the glass.

2. Cameron Boozer – USA

[Credit: FIBA]

Having won all six previous instalments of this tournament, USA are once again looking to be a problem for the rest of the competitors and will be led by some future NBA level talent.

Arguably the biggest name at this year’s competition, the son of former a former NBA All-Star (Carlos Boozer) and accompanied on the roster by his brother is Cayden Boozer.

Boozer was 2023’s Mr. Basketball USA and attends Christopher Columbus High School where he averaged 21.1 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and two blocks per game as he led his side to a state championship in his sophomore year.

The 17-year-old has great range and playmaking capabilities and expectations are high as all eyes will be on him and his teammates.

The 6’9 forward was named MVP at the FIBA U16 Americas Championship and will be looking to emulate that great form alongside his twin brother Cayden in Turkey.

1. AJ Dybantsa – USA

[Credit: FIBA]

AJ Dybantsa is a scoring sensation and is number one in the ESPN rankings for the 2025 USA high school class, ahead of his incredibly talented USA teammate Cameron Boozer.

Dybantsa has an impressive highlight reel and will be certain to display his capabilities when it comes to attacking the rack at speed.

The 6’8 wing player has already received multiple offers to play at some of the most prestigious colleges at NCAA D1 level, having spent his final year of high school ball at Utah Prep.

This five-star recruit will set the stage alight alongside some of the best young basketball players on the planet as the US look to continue their 14 years of dominance in this competition.

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