FENERBAHCE ULKER inks former Ford Trophy winner Kleiza
by: Euroleague.net
July 26, 2013
Linas Kleiza, Best Scorer and First Team 2009-10 - Awards Ceremony at Hotel de Ville - Final Four Paris 2010Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul found its go-to scorer in signing forward Linas Kleiza to a two-year contract. Kleiza (2.03 meters, 28 years old) last played in the Euroleague for the 2009-10 season for Olympiacos Piraeus. He helped the team reach the title game in Paris and was the league’s top scorer with 17.1 points per game, which netted him the Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy. Kleiza also was second in the league with an average performance index rating of 17.9 and fourth with 6.5 rebounds per game as he earned All-Euroleague First Team honors. He helped the Reds win the Greek Cup that season. Kleiza arrives from Toronto of the NBA, where he has played the last three seasons. He averaged 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20 games last season after dealing with injuries.

A product of basketball schools on two continents, Kleiza grew up in Lithuania before leaving to study in the United States at age 16. He later played two years of college basketball at the University of Missouri, recording 16.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in his sophomore season. Kleiza began his professional career with Denver in the NBA, where he spent four seasons. He scored a career-high 41 points in in a January 2008 game. Kleiza has also become a regular for the Lithuanian national team and taken part in the Olympics, world and European championships. Kleiza helped Lithuania win bronze medals at EuroBasket 2007 and at the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
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