An early entry candidate for the 2004 NBA Draft. One of the most promising young big men in Europe. Has drawn comparisons to Darko Milicic. Tried this summer to transfer to National Christian Academy in Washington D.C. and become a junior, but he was unable to resolve his eligibility issues and remained in Latvia.
Career Highlights: Competed in the 2004 Under-18 European Championship and averaged 21.8 points, 14.4 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 3.8 steals. Had 21 points and 16 rebounds against highly regarded French prospect Johan Petro. Tallied 28 points and 11 rebounds against the Republic of Georgia. Had 26 points and 20 rebounds against Italy. Averaged 14 free throw attempts per game.
2003-04: Appeared in 28 games for Skonto in the Latvian League, averaging 18.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. In the FIBA European League, averaged 18.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 11 games.
2002-03: Named Latvian League Newcomer of the Year. Averaged 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 41 games. In a game against Darko Milicic and Hemofarm Vrsac, tallied two points and four rebounds, while Milicic had 37 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. In the FIBA Champions Cup, averaged 2.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 11 games.
2001-02: Member of the Latvian National Team at the Euro Cadet Championship in 2001. Finished fourth in scoring (16.3 ppg) and third in rebounding (8.5 rpg). Also performed at the Euro Junior Championship in 2002, where he played against opponents who were two years older, but he still managed to average 6.6 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Strengths: According to scouting reports, he’s a good defender with the size and wingspan to develop into an excellent shotblocker. Not that polished yet on the offensive end, but scores consistently with both the drop-step and the turnaround jumper out to 10 feet.