Euroleague Basketball is pleased to announce Kristaps Porzingis of Baloncesto Seville as the winner of the 2014-15 Eurocup Rising Star Trophy. The 19-year-old Latvian big man comes off a strong season - his second in the competition - for Seville, which he led to the Eurocup Last 32. 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. Porzingis, who will turn 20 in August, surprised a lot of Eurocup fans with his combination of shooting ability, quickness and athleticism. Despite coming off the bench for all but three games this season and averaging less than 21 minutes per night, Porzingis led his team in scoring (186 points in 16 games, 11.6 ppg.) and index rating (13.1), while adding 4.1 rebounds and a team-best 1.2 blocks. He also shot 45.9% from behind the arc. Porzingis shined throughout the season, which made him a great choice as the 2014-15 Eurocup Rising Star!
The Rising Star Trophy is part of an expanded awards structure launched before the 2008-09 season to enhance the recognition of the finest Eurocup players for their efforts on the basketball court throughout the season. Apart from the Eurocup Rising Star, Euroleague Basketball and its in-house experts also select the Eurocup Coach of the Year, the All-Eurocup First and Second Teams and the Eurocup MVP. The Eurocup Finals MVP will be announced following Game 2 of the finals. Porzingis joins a select list of Rising Star trophy winners that also includes Victor Claver of Power Electronics Valencia, Milan Macvan of Hemofarm Vrsac, Donatas Motiejunas of Benetton Basket Bwin, Jonas Valanciunas of Lietuvos Rytas and Bojan Dubljevic of Valencia Basket, who over the previous two seasons became the first player to win the trophy twice.
Porzingis did not have a good start to the season but picked things up quickly; he scored 10 points in his team's home win against Belgacom Spirou Charleroi and recorded Eurocup career-highs of 18 points, 4 assists, 4 steals and a performance index rating of 26 in Seville's road loss at Virtus Rome in Regular Season Game 3. Porzingis drew attention from many basketball fans due to his combination of height (2.12 meters), speed and ball-handling ability. It was commonplace to see Porzingis knock down jumpers off the dribble and ignite the Seville faithful with outstanding dunks. Porzingis not only provided highlights, but was the most important player on a team full of young talents, such as Willy Hernangomez, Pierre Oriola and Nikola Radicevic, all of whom were eligible for the Rising Star award. Porzingis scored in double figures six times during the regular season, when he averaging 10.2 points on 50% three-point shooting and 4.1 rebounds. However, Porzingis did even better in the Last 32 despite facing better opponents! He had team-highs of 14 points against Telenet Ostend at home, 18 against Lietuvos Rytas in Vilnius and 19 against PGE Turow Zgorzelec in Seville. Porzingis also scored 16 in his team's home win against Rytas. He boosted his numbers to 14 points and a 14.7 index rating in the Last 32. Porzingis led all Rising Star eligible players in performance index rating (13.1) this season, too.