Euroleague Basketball is proud to announce that Chuck Eidson of Lietuvos Rytas has been chosen as the 2008-09 Eurocup MVP. In just his third season in European club competitions, Eidson simply dominated the Eurocup and led L. Rytas to the Final Eight despite changing position in midseason. Eidson was unstoppable in his normal role as small forward throughout the regular season. When the Last 16 loomed and the team was missing its previous starter at point guard, Eidson took up the rarely used point forward position and elevated his game to a new level. As an out-of-position playmaker, Eidson used his creativity and talent to finish the season as the Eurocup's leader both in performance index ranking, 21.9 per game, and in assists, with 5.3 on average. Eidson also ranked among the competition's best 10 players in several other statistic categories. He was second in steals (2 spg.), third in fouls drawn (5.3 per game), seventh in scoring (15.8 ppg.), sixth in defensive rebounds (4.8 rpg.) and tied for 10th in total rebounds (5.7 rpg.). Indeed, he was the only player to rank among the best 10 this season in points, rebounds and assists. Eidson was at his best when it mattered most, too, averaging 17 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists in the Last 16. His leadership, team-first mentality and ability to create shots for himself and teammates were some of the main reasons why Lietuvos Rytas qualified for the Final Eight. Take altogether, his second-to-none overall performance throughout the season cemented Chuck Eidson's status as an elite player worthy of being named the 2008-09 Eurocup MVP.
The Eurocup MVP is part of an expanded awards structure meant to enhance the recognition of the finest Eurocup players for their efforts on the basketball court throughout the season. The award was previously given to the performance index rating leader at the end of the regular season. Even though Eidson also led that category this season, his selection was made by a panel of Euroleague Basketball's in-house experts based on his and his team's performance during the Eurocup regular season and Last 16 rounds. Statistics and performance index ratings were taken into consideration for the award, but did not alone determine the winner. Eidson joins a list of 2008-09 award winners that includes some of the best players and coaches in the Eurocup this season. Milan Macvan of Hemofarm Stada was selected as the 2008-09 Eurocup Rising Star Trophy winner. Oktay Mahmuti was named Eurocup Coach of the Year. Eidson, Kelly McCarty of BC Khimki Moscow Region, Bostjan Nachbar of Dynamo Moscow, Marko Banic of iurbentia Bilbao Basket and Todor Gecevski of Zadar were selected as the 2008-09 All-Eurocup first team. The All-Eurocup second team features Khalid El-Amin of BC Azovmash, Travis Hansen of Dynamo Moscow, Gary Neal and Sandro Nicevic of Benetton Basket Tamoil and Matt Nielsen of Pamesa Valencia. The Eurocup Final Eight MVP award will go the best player at that event as voted by accredited journalists in attendance during the title game.