HARRISBURG - Bishop McDevitt grad and former Lebanon Valley College star Andy Panko has been named the most valuable player of Spain's Liga ACB, widely regarded as the world's second-best professional league behind the NBA.
At the age of 34, Panko, a member of Lagun Aro, lead the Liga with 18.9 points per game and is among the league's top-5 players in a number of other offensive categories; including free throws, fouls drawn, minutes played, and field goals.
Panko is the first American to win the ACB's MVP award since Tanoka Beard in 2002; since then, it's been a who's-who of international stars who eventually landed in the NBA, including Andrés Nocioni, Luis Scola, Marc Gasol, and Tiago Splitter.
Panko was twice this season named the league's player of the week.
The former NCAA Division III player of the year remains LVC's all-time leading scorer with 2,515 points.
After graduating, Panko had tryouts with the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers; and also played for the North Dakota Wizards, where he was named MVP of the Continental Basketball Association in 2003 before moving to Spain.
During his nine-year career in Europe – with a brief stint in Greece – Panko has helped Lagun Aro earn a promotion to the top-level league, and was named MVP of the LEB Oro (Spain's second division) in 2008.
Some information used in this story was provided by Lebanon Valley College.