|Jonas Valanciunas will recieve the FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year Award prior to Lithuania's opening tip-off against Serbia on Wednesday|
On Wednesday in Jesenice Jonas Valanciunas will be starting EuroBasket 2013 how he hopes to end it 18 days later in Ljubljana: by receiving an award.
Prior to Lithuania's opening tip-off in Jesenice against Serbia at 9pm CET, the 21-year-old will be presented with the trophy for 2012 FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year - the second consecutive year that the Utena native has been bestowed with the honour.
Valanciunas eclipsed other nominations in the field which was voted on by selected journalists and fans, easily seeing off Croatia's Dario Saric and France's Leo Westermann, who finished second and third respectively.
Following on from a breakthrough 2011 when the then 19-year-old led his country's U19 team to gold at the World Championship, got drafted fifth overall by the Toronto Raptors and made his senior debut for Lithuania, 2012 could be considered something of a quieter year for the center.
That is, if you consider four club finals with Lithuanian club Lietuvos Rytas, an appearance at the Olympics and an NBA debut with the Raptors, as being quiet.
Opting to stay in Europe during the NBA lockout, Valanciunas made a seamless transition to becoming a regular starter in senior men's basketball, being named as Eurocup Rising Star; earning a spot in the Lithuanian League All-Star Game; whilst also being announced as a member of the All-Eurocup squad.
He 21-year-old then capped his year off with a move to Toronto where he has been gaining regular minutes with the Raptors.
The award will be presented by FIBA Europe Seceretary General Kamil Novak.