Stojakovic takes second in voting

Updated: January 17, 2004, 9:23 AM ET news services

MILAN, Italy -- Dallas Mavericks star forward Dirk Nowitzki again was voted European Player of the Year on Friday by La Gazzetta dello Sport, a prestigious Italian newspaper.

Dirk Nowitzki

In 2003, Nowitzki was named to his second NBA All-Star team and led the Mavericks to their first appearance in the Western Conference finals in 15 years. However, he was unable to lift Germany to an Olympic berth in the European Championships in September.

The 2002 winner, Nowitzki received 132 points, outpolling Sacramento Kings forward Peja Stojakovic of Serbia and Montenegro, who received 103 points.

Stojakovic also played in his second NBA All-Star team and defended his title in the Shootout at All-Star Weekend. He played for Serbia in Eurobasket 2003 but sat out a portion of the tournament with an ankle injury.

Compatriot Dejan Bodiroga, who plays for FC Barcelona and is regarded as the best player in Europe, was third with 57 points.

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker of France was fifth with 33 points. Parker won an NBA championship with the Spurs but was part of a French squad that finished a disappointing fourth at Eurobasket 2003, missing out on an Olympic berth.