We’ve had an excellent snapshot of Jonas Valanciunas thanks to the NBA TV Canada special “Centred” (which you can still see online ), but the big man is still finishing off regular-season play overseas and recently received some recognition from a couple of the leagues where his club team, Lietuvos Rytas, competes.
First up, is a poll on the official site of the VTB United League, where Lietuvos Rytas plays against some of the other top teams from Eastern and Northern Europe. When fans were asked who their choice was for league MVP was this season, Valanciunas was the winner with 36 per cent of the vote.
Those results actually factor into the decision on who the league names as their official MVP in April, along with stats, monthly awards plus the opinions of league officials and Russian newspaper Sport-Express.
Valanciunas and Rytas will be fighting for a final four berth in the VTB United League later this month.
Next up is hardware from even stiffer competition, as Valanciunas became the youngest player to claim the 2011-12 Eurocup Rising Star Trophy on Tuesday.
It’s a relatively new award, as he’s just the fourth winner, but it’s no small feat to be named the most outstanding player under the age of 22 in a league that’s just below the highest tier of European basketball.
Valanciunas and Rytas head into the 2012 Eurocup Finals semi-final competition against Valencia Basket in Khimki, Russia on April 14.