Euroleague Basketball is proud to announce that Martynas Echodas of Rytas Vilnius has been chosen as the 2018-19 7DAYS EuroCup Rising Star Trophy recipient. Widely regarded as one of the top prospects in Europe at age 21, the Rytas big man was a big contributor in the club's solid EuroCup season. The EuroCup Rising Star Trophy recognizes the most outstanding player in the competition who was younger than 22 years of age on July 1 of the summer before the season started. Echodas, who will turn 22 next July 7, helped Rytas reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2012. Despite coming off the bench in 16 of his team's 18 EuroCup games this season, Echodas was the second-best rebounder on his team, ranked third in scoring and third in performance index rating. On a per-minute basis, Echodas ranked 28th among all EuroCup players in scoring, 14th in rebounds and 18th in PIR.
The Rising Star Trophy is part of an expanded end-of-season awards structure launched before the 2008-09 season to enhance the recognition of the finest EuroCup players for their efforts on the basketball court. Apart from the EuroCup Rising Star, Euroleague Basketball and its in-house experts also select the EuroCup Coach of the Year, while fans add their help by voting for the All-EuroCup First and Second Teams and the EuroCup MVP. The EuroCup Finals MVP will be announced following the completion of the finals series.
Echodas, a 2.04-meter center, averaged 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds in 18 EuroCup games this season. He hit 62.6% of his two-point shots, ranking 17th overall. He had a strong start to the season, scoring in double digits in six regular season games, including his second career double-double – 14 points, 11 rebounds – on the road against Fiat Turin for a PIR of 24. In Round 10, Echodas posted career highs of 24 points and 31 PIR, hitting 11-of-14 two-point shots to go with 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. Only one EuroCup player this season made more two-pointers than Echodas on that night. Once in the Top 16, he kept rolling, averaging 11.3 points in the first three games despite averaging under 17 minutes in those games. His next double-digit scoring came in Game 2 of the best-of-three playoffs against Valencia Basket, when he had 11 points. Echodas has shown great aggressiveness, ranking fifth overall (4.6) in offensive rebounds per 40 minutes and 16th in blocks (1.3) per 40 minutes.