Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius centre Marek Blazevic says that playing for EuroCup team Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius is as much of an honour as representing his country Lithuania.
Blazevic was born and raised in Vilinus, where Rytas is based, giving him an emotional connection to the club, which will hope to work its way into the top-tier EuroLeague in the future.
The teenager has already played for both Rytas and Lithuania, having represented his country at last year’s FIBA U16 European Championship last summer and the U18 Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius team at the EuroLeague Basketball ADIDAS NEXT GENERATION TOURNAMENT Kaunas.
"It’s an amazing feeling to be born in Vilnius and play for Rytas. That’s like playing for the Lithuanian national team," said Blazevic, whose team is looking to claim a second U18 continental title following the club’s previous success in 2012.
"We have to play with the atmosphere of a team and that passion of basketball. Not every time will talent win. You have to want to grab the rebound, to box out your man,” the 17-year-old said.
Blazevic names Dario Saric and Anthony Davis as his basketball role models: "I like those types of guys and how they play.
"They play fast. They are not slow big men. They can shoot, they can switch to the four spot. I like that type of game, and I am trying to copy it."