Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal
Credit: BasketNews/Begum Unal

New York Knicks draftee and FC Barcelona's point guard Rokas Jokubaitis received recognition on the European basketball stage.

2-pointers this season

55%
20,0
Points made: 20,0
Accuracy: 54,6%
Place in standings: 5
Record max: 27
Record min: 9
Most made 2FGs: Brandon Davies

The 21-year-old won the EuroLeague Rising Star award, becoming the first Lithuanian ever to achieve such a feat.

"It's a really tiresome experience," Jokubaitis shared the experience of being in the award ceremony. "Despite that, I really enjoyed it. There were many legends, and such great players were sitting next to me. I was really impressed. Only positive vibes."

This season, including the regular season and playoffs, Jokubaitis averaged 7.2 points, 2.8 assists, and 7.6 PIR. In the Rising Star award competition, Jokubaitis beat a projected no. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama and Zalgiris Kaunas youngster Marek Blazevic.

Out of thirteen Rising Star award winners, eleven of them made it to the NBA. Jokubaitis admitted that such an achievement could help him to fulfill his NBA dream.

"It's true that all those individual awards bring the attention over there," Jokubaitis told BasketNews. "I think [Knicks] people seeing me winning the Rising Star award gives them more excitement than just simple highlights from the games. This award won't make things worse, that's for sure."

Jokubaitis was selected with the 34th pick in the last year's draft, but he almost confirmed the recent rumors about him staying in Europe for one more year.

"It's very likely that I'll stay in Barcelona for one more year, so I will try to impress them [Knicks] even more," he added.

Moreover, the young Lithuanian also received praise from his teammates Brandon Davies and one of the best European point guards Nick Calathes.

Rokas Jokubaitis

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

"It's no surprise to me," Davies answered BasketNews' question on Jokubaitis progress. "When I was at Zalgiris, Rokas was one of the hardest working people out there. He worked on his game every single day."

"What stood out for me is that he's like a sponge – he's trying to learn from everyone. So it's not a surprise he's turning into a player he is today," added Davies.

Meanwhile, Calathes was flattered by his reserve's maturity on the court.

"I think he really took his game to the next level from Zalgiris to here," Calathes told BasketNews. "I think he surprised everybody. He's been huge for us all season long, and we needed that this season. He works really hard on the court, and he's a great guy."

"We love having him here, and we love playing with him. For me, especially in every game and practice. The maturity stands out for me the most. He plays like he's 30 years old. That's how much he knows the game, and his mentality at such age is very impressive," added the former Memphis Grizzlies point guard.

Now, Jokubaitis and Barcelona have their eyes set on the EuroLeague Final Four, where the Spanish powerhouse will face Real Madrid in the semifinal.

"I don't know, it's hard to understand everything now," Jokubaitis said about his feelings before the upcoming game. "I think tomorrow everything will be completely different. Now I'm feeling excited, but a little bit of stress will probably kick in tomorrow. Overall, it's a great feeling."

"However, if I feel a little bit of stress, it means everything is going to be alright. Because if I don't feel any stress, I might be out of place on the court, so if I feel that stress or excitement throughout the day, it means I'll be more focused and composed," he concluded.

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FC Barcelona
Real Madrid
49%
1 Position
Field goals
46%
9 Position
34,22
5 Position
Rebounds
38,31
1 Position
18,22
2 Position
Assists
18,28
1 Position
5,89
14 Position
Steals
6,42
8 Position

Teams leaders

Nikola  Mirotic
16,6 PTS
66% 2P%
45% 3P%
Guerschon  Yabusele
11,9 PTS
57% 2P%
41% 3P%
Nikola  Mirotic
5,1 REB
4,3 DREB
0,8 OREB
Walter  Tavares
7,5 REB
4,6 DREB
2,9 OREB
Nick  Calathes
6,0 As
2,0 TO
24 MIN
Thomas  Heurtel
4,6 As
1,9 TO
19 MIN