A point guard whose tenacity marked his rise from relative obscurity, Anton Gavel announced his retirement from basketball on Wednesday after having spent the last decade participating in Euroleague Basketball competitions. Gavel, 34, played last for FC Bayern Munich, where he was team captain during half of his four seasons with the club. Gavel had a solid Turkish Airlines EuroLeague career, averaging 9.4 points and 2.9 assists in 70 games with Bayern and Brose Bamberg. He played parts of six EuroLeague and seven 7DAYS EuroCup seasons altogether, reaching the semifinals of the latter last spring. Born in Slovakia, Gavel played in Germany for much of his career and eventually earned German citizenship. That allowed him to appear in more than 100 games with two different national teams -- 89 with Slovakia and 12 with Germany.
Born in Kosice, Slovakia, Gavel started his professional career with German side Karlsruhe and also played for Giessen 46ers, averaging 16 points in 30 German League games in the 2005-06 season. He went on to play for Polaris World Murcia of Spain, Aris Thessaloniki of Greece -- where he made his EuroCup debut in the 2008-09 season -- and Svit of Slovakia for just a couple of games before joining Bamberg in November 2009. Once he returned to German basketball, Gavel never left and was incredibly successful. He helped Bamberg win four consecutive German League titles from 2010 to 2013 and to lift the German Cup trophy three times in that period. Gavel joined Bayern before the start of the 2014-15 season, eventually becoming the team's captain. He lifted both the German League and the German Cup trophies last season.
"I was never a great talent, and I'm not that athletic. I am not the super-skilled either, but I worked hard for everything," Gavel said upon retiring. "Last year, as the team's captain, lifting the trophies was something special. We could have fetched one or two more titles in the last four years, but overall that was a very good time. I wanted to get the title again, and now my job is done."