Euroleague Basketball
Photo: Euroleague Basketball

When Fenerbahce Istanbul needed him most, Ekpe Udoh was there. And then some.

The first-year center played some of his best basketball in the playoffs to lead his team to a second consecutive Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four appearance.

Despite missing star big man and Udoh’s frontcourt mate Jan Vesely to injury, Fenerbahce powered through defending Euroleague champion Real Madrid in the minimum three games. And no player had a bigger role in the triumph than Udoh, who was the playoffs leader in performance index rating and blocked shots and ranked second in rebounds.

Those outstanding efforts, which included Udoh claiming MVP honors for both Games 2 and 3 of the playoffs, led to the center being recognized as Euroleague Basketball’s MVP for the month of April. Udoh simply got stronger from game to game as his dominant display led Fenerbahce to an impressive series sweep.

His average performance index rating of 23.7 was not only the highest in the playoffs this season, but the highest average playoff index over the last four years. Udoh’s value to his team was also shown by the fact that he spent more time on the floor than any of his teammates in each of the three playoff games, and the newly crowned monthly MVP is one of the main reasons that Fenerbahce is headed back to the Final Four.