Lietuvos Rytas and Lithuania center Jonas Valanciunas has won the FIBA Europe Player of the Year award for 2011.
The seven-foot Valanciunas topped U20 European Championship MVP Nikola Mirotic of Spain who finished second, Turkey’s Enes Kanter grabbed third.
The Lithuanian came into the spotlight by being drafted number five in the first round by the Toronto Raptors, but chose to stay in Vilnius and play for Lietuvos Rytas.
He was named tournament MVP at the U19 world championship where he averaged 23 points and 13.9 rebounds, as he led the Baltic nation to the top of the podium.
His most memorable performance came in the final against Serbia where he exploded for 36 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocks which condemned the Serbs to second place.
He starred for Lithuania at Eurobasket 2011 also, coming off the bench to help the hosts finish fifth overall.