Credit: Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images
Credit Rodolfo Molina/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

Rokas Jokubaitis landed in FC Barcelona as a replacement for Leandro Bolmaro. At least if we compare both guys as youngsters guards. The Argentinian, who left Europe to play in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves, was loved in the Catalan city thanks to his activity and hunger on the court. 

Rokas Jokubaitis

Rokas  Jokubaitis
Team: FC Barcelona
Position: PG
Age: 21
Height: 192 cm
Weight: 88 kg
Birth place: Mažeikiai, Lithuania

The Lithuanian prospect has already gained Palau Blaugrana's heart. It took him less than three months. Barcelona's fans admire those players who fight for each ball and attack the rim aggressively. And Rokas does both pretty well. 

He also likes to encourage the stands to scream louder, a technique that never fails. This is what sport is about, connecting with the people.

On Thursday, after an emotional night at Palau Blaugrana, Rokas said what any youngster would have said after a memorable comeback. "I cannot stop smiling, it is an amazing feeling."

Rokas expresses his emotions naturally. He does not avoid talking to the media. Shyness is not in his DNA. Not even off the court. 

The Lithuanian guard was determinant in the overtime against UNICS, scoring 4 of his 15 points. He did not even tremble when he had two free throws with 12 seconds remaining. 

"He does not seem to be 21 years old. He is really consistent in the game", admitted his coach Sarunas Jasikevicius in the press conference. 

Barcelona's head coach had special words for him, highlighting his ability to be important in crucial moments. 

"It is not the first time he led us in tough games. I know him for a long time, so I know what he is capable of. I am not surprised by his consistency," he added. 

Saras is right. For instance, Jokubaitis played an excellent fourth quarter against CSKA Moscow. He came into the court with 5:34 minutes to the end with a tied game (64-64). He scored 5 points and dished one assist. 

Rokas Jokubaitis

Rokas  Jokubaitis
Rokas  Jokubaitis
MIN: 18.47
PTS: 7.59 (62.04%)
REB: 1.71
As: 3.41
ST: 0.41
BL: 0
TO: 1.88
GM: 17

Then, a few weeks ago, in Istanbul against Anadolu Efes, with less than a minute to go in the overtime and a thrilling 90-91 scoreboard, the Lithuanian guard made a 2+1 play to shush the Sinan Erdem Sports Hall. 

Two examples of a player who is not afraid of new challenges or playing in the clutch moments against the best European players. Someone who was born to shine. 

Taking a look at his EuroLeague season so far, Jokubaitis is averaging 7.6 points per game (career-high) with a remarkable 59.2% from 2-point field goals and over 50% from the 3-point line. 

Impressive stats for a young player who left his home to play in one of the most demanding teams in Europe. He is 21-year-old but looks older mentally. Despite some problems with turnovers (1.9 per game), his maturity is helping Barcelona not to miss Nick Calathes. 

Rokas is living a dream in Barcelona. He loves the city, the weather, and he likes to visit places like the Sagrada Familia. He has shared different moments around other touristic points on his Instagram, like Montserrat. 

In the locker room, he has a great relationship with Sergi Martinez, as well as with Michael Caicedo. He also likes to appear in Barcelona's social media videos.

Some Barcelona fans begin to express their fears about what could happen next summer. It happened with Bolmaro, Mario Hezonja, or Rodions Kurucs before.

The New York Knicks are following Rokas, and he has admitted several times that his dream is to play in the NBA. 

Until then, all of us should try to enjoy as much as possible a youngster who is stepping up week in, week out in currently the best team in Europe. Big words. 

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