Signature Star: Cory Higgins, CSKA Moscow

May 07, 2018 by Print
Signature Star: Cory Higgins, CSKA Moscow

It is no coincidence that at the end of the first season in which Cory Higgins pulled on a CSKA uniform, the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague trophy returned to Moscow after an eight-year absence. Two years later, Higgins has only gotten better. And if he sometimes flies under the radar, that doesn't seem to bother him. In fact, the less attention paid to him the more damage Higgins does.

This season, Higgins is the second-best scorer on the fourth-best offense in the EuroLeague history. He was also ranked fourth in the playoffs with 18.8 points per game. What's more, Higgins goes about his business with minimum fuss and maximum efficiency; no EuroLeague player this season who attempted more shots had a better true-shooting percentage than his 50.7%.

Higgins's third EuroLeague season – all in a CSKA uniform – has been unquestionably his best. He played all 34 games to date and posted single-season career highs in scoring (14.2 ppg.), two-point shooting (58.3%), rebounds (2.4 rpg.), assists (1.9 apg.) and steals (1.0 spg.). He was able to rank ninth in scoring in the competition and 10th in average performance index rating.

Higgins was raised in a basketball environment and it shows in his consummate professionalism. His father, Rod Higgins, played in the NBA for 15 seasons, and his godfather is Michael Jordan, a family friend. In high school Higgins worked out with another original Dream Team member, Chris Mullin. He first came to Europe as a 24-year-old and promptly led the VTB League in scoring with 20.3 points per game for Triumph Lyubertsy. After one season in Turkey with Gaziantep, Higgins joined CSKA, where he has shined ever since.

Perhaps the best description of Higgins's game is "smooth". Whether pulling up for a jumper, slaloming through a defense for a layup or finishing a fastbreak with an authoritative slam, Higgins is a threat to score whenever the ball reaches his hands. Now, in Belgrade, this silky scorer gets a chance to win his second EuroLeague crown in three seasons, which would etch his name into history with many other CSKA greats.