Mantas Kalnietis received a nice new year's gift from his lifelong club by signing an extension to remain with Zalgiris for three more seasons. Kalnietis (195, 24) is having one of his best seasons and scored a Euroleague career-high 24 points in the regular season finale last week. Kalnietis averaged 9.2 points and 1.8 assists over 22 minutes in 10 games to help his team reach the Top 16. This is his sixth Euroleague season with Zalgiris and he has taken part in 69 Euroleague games to date in his career. Kalnietis has racked up two Lithuanian League titles, two Lithuanian Cups and a pair of Baltic League championships during his time with the club. He is also a member of the Lithuanian national team and won the bronze medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey.
"Zalgiris was always my first choice," Kalnietis said after the news was announced. "I am happy to stay in the place where I was born and grew up. Playing for this team was my dream. I am glad that it came true. The club is professional and here I have a lot of room for improvement. We have a capable team, good training conditions, a stable financial position and fantastic fans. This season, we can achieve many things. Why should I look for happiness elsewhere if it is here in my hometown? My family is also happy that we won't need to pack and leave our home."