An early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft. Originally an early entry candidate for the 2004 NBA Draft before withdrawing his name from consideration. Spent the last two seasons under the tutelage of legendary Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis, who competes for the Zalgiris senior team.
Career Highlights: Spent the early part of his career playing with Zalgiris Kaunas youth teams. First played with Zalgiris II, the junior squad of Zalgiris Kaunas, in 2002-03. Made his debut in the LKAL league, Lithuania’s second division, during the 2003-04 season. Moved up to the senior team in 2004-05. A member of the Lithuanian Junior National Team.
2004-05: Averaged 4.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 9.6 minutes per game for Zalgiris in the LKL. Averaged 1.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 8.4 minutes per game in the Euroleague.
2003-04: In his first season in the LKAL, averaged 17.0 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks. Was briefly loaned in February to Conad Rimini for the Italian Under-20 Tournament, recording 20 points and 18 rebounds in the second game of the competition. Played in six games in the European Junior Championships Challenge Round with the Lithuanian Junior National Team in April. Averaged 14.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over four games. In three contests in the earlier Qualifying Round, contributed 21.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5.3 steals and 3.0 blocks per game, shooting 75.8 percent the field and 15-of-16 from the free throw line. Recorded 32 points, 16 rebounds, 11 steals and four blocks vs. Ireland, going 13-for-16 from the field.
2002-03: Participated in the El Corte Inglés Junior Tournament staged in Barcelona, Spain, during the 2003 Euroleague Final Four. Had 12 points, eight rebounds and six blocks in the title game, which Zalgiris II won 87-80 over Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Strengths: Has rare size and is surprisingly coordinated and mobile. Possesses good fundamentals and a nice shooting touch.