As a result of voting that included fans, media and, for the first time in EuroLeague history, head coaches and team captains, Walter Tavares has been selected to the 2020-21 All-EuroLeague First Team!

The Real Madrid center repeated as the EuroLeague Best Defender while producing the most offensive contributions in his four EuroLeague campaigns. Tavares led the league in blocked shots with 1.8 per game, ranked second in rebounding with 8.0 per game and was fifth in the league in performance index rating with 18.1 per game.

The 29-year-old’s 11.4 points per game set his career-high, while only one EuroLeague player made more two-point shots than Tavares’s fourth-ranked 168 at an accuracy rate higher than his 65.1%. With 37 steals in 36 games, Tavares was one of only three centers to average more than 1 steal per game.

Tavares was the MVP of the Week twice this season. The first came after he posted 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks for a PIR of 29 in a 91-84 victory over LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne. The second was two weeks later when Tavares led Los Blancos to a 93-97 road win at Panathinaikos OPAP Athens with 20 points and 14 boards for a PIR of 36. That game produced one of the eight double-doubles that he posted this season. He also had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a road win at Zalgiris Kaunas and tied his career high by blocking 5 shots in a road win at Olympiacos Piraeus.

This is the second All-EuroLeague selection for Tavares, whose first came as a member of the 2018-19 second team. A native of the African archipelago Cape Verde, he was just 17 years old when Herbalife Gran Canaria brought him to its academy. By the time he was 20, Tavares was playing for Gran Canaria’s first team. He broke out in 2014-15 when he earned All-EuroCup First Team honors and helped Gran Canaria reach that competition’s finals. Tavares spent two seasons in the NBA and the G-League before returning to Spain with Real in November 2017. He became a EuroLeague champion in their first season together and has also won two Spanish league championships and the 2019 Copa del Rey with Los Blancos.

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