Final Four signature star: Malcolm Delaney, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar

Apr 30, 2016 by Print
Final Four signature star: Malcolm Delaney, Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar

The best word to describe Malcom Delaney may be "winner". In his first season as a professional basketball player, he led Elan Chalon to the 2012 French League title. One year later, he was selected to the All-Eurocup First Team and celebrated the Ukrainian League title with Budivelnik Kiev. In his third season, Delaney earned MVP honors as he conquered the German League crown with FC Bayern Munich. And even though last season, his first with Lokomotiv, did not produce a trophy, Delaney has more than made up for that by leading his team on a historic run to this season's Final Four.

Delaney has put together a monster season in which he has been the Euroleague's third-ranked performer overall based on his fourth-best scoring and sixth-best assist averages. Ready to sacrifice his body for wins, Delaney has already played more minutes this season and drawn more fouls than any player in competition history. One way or another, Delaney carried his team every night: indeed, in each of his two lowest-scoring games of the season, he dished 10 or more assists to his teammates.

After helping Lokomotiv to a perfect 3-0 start to the season, Delaney was named the Euroleague MVP for October. He remained his team's go-to guy as Lokomotiv went 8-2 to win its regular season group. Delaney then showed all of Europe that Lokomotiv was for real at the start of the Top 16 by winning back-to-back weekly MVP honors in victories over Cedevita Zagreb and Anadolu Efes Istanbul. His 31 points against Cedevita were the most scored by any player all season.

Delaney is the ideal modern combo-guard, a player who can handle the ball, distribute and score by either driving or making outside shots. He can play shooting guard alongside natural playmakers or play point guard alongside other scorers. Delaney brings valuable leadership skills both on the floor and in the locker room, too. Perhaps most importantly, Delaney's will to win games is second-to-none. That may be his most valuable weapon as he and Lokomotiv come to Berlin looking to make more history together.