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Martynas Pocius (born 28 April 1986) is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball player. He was also a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team.

Martynas Pocius
Martynas Pocius by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Martynas Pocius representing Lithuania national team
Denver Nuggets
PositionBasketball operations associate
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1986-04-28) 28 April 1986 (age 33)
Vilnius, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
NationalityLithuanian
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolHolderness School
(Holderness, New Hampshire)
CollegeDuke (2005–2009)
NBA draft2009 / Undrafted
Playing career2009–2017
PositionShooting guard / Small forward
Career history
2009–2011Žalgiris
2011–2013Real Madrid
2013–2014Žalgiris
2014–2015Galatasaray
2015–2017Žalgiris
2016–2017Murcia
Career highlights and awards

Early life and high schoolEdit

Martynas Pocius was born in Vilnius to Gintaras, a basketball coach, and Jūratė, a physical education teacher.

At age 13, he suffered a serious left hand injury, partially cutting three fingers with grinder while being in a school, of which two were re-attached, while one had to be partially amputated.[1]

Pocius attended the prestigious Holderness School in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where he played on the basketball team in his last two years, leading the team to back-to-back New England Prep School Class C titles. In his first title run, during the 2003–04 season, Pocius averaged 18 points and 4,5 rebounds, and led the team to a 17–7 record. In the 2004–05 season, Pocius averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and led the team to a 19–10 record.

As a senior, he was ranked 40th overall and 12th among shooting guards by Rivals.com and rated the 55th-top prospect (16th among shooting guards) by Scout.com. Pocius was also named to the World Select team for the 2005 Nike Hoops Summit, where he scored a game high 20 points in a 98–106 loss to the USA.

College careerEdit

After graduating from high school, Pocius committed to Duke University, where he played on the university's basketball team, coached by Mike Krzyzewski.

As a freshman, Pocius appeared in 28 games, averaging 1.5 points and 0.3 rebounds in 6.1 minutes. In his sophomore year, Pocius increased his stats, averaging 1.9 points and 0.6 rebounds in 7.1 minutes in 27 games. Throughout the season he was battling an ankle injury, for which he missed four games. Pocius underwent a season-ending surgery on his left ankle on 8 January 2008, during his junior year. Due to the surgery he only played 4 games in which he averaged 4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 8 minutes. In his final season at Duke, Pocius played 22 games, averaging 1.5 points.

He graduated from Duke in 2009 with a degree in international comparative studies.

Professional careerEdit

Žalgiris Kaunas (2009–2011)Edit

 
Pocius with Žalgiris jersey

After graduating from Duke, Pocius chose to continue his basketball career in Europe. He went back to his home country, Lithuania, and signed a multi-year contract with Žalgiris Kaunas.

In his debut season, Pocius averaged 8.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 16 games in the EuroLeague. Although Žalgiris Kaunas did not pass the Top 16 round, the team did perform better in their national and regional championships. Pocius led the team to the Baltic Basketball League (BBL) title, averaging 10.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists. He also led the team to a second place in Lietuvos krepšinio lyga (LKL), after losing the final's best-of-seven series 4–3. Pocius averaged 18.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in the season. Pocius also helped Žalgiris Kaunas win second place in the LKF Cup tournament and third place in the VTB United League.

During his second season with the team, Pocius led Žalgiris Kaunas to the Top 16 once more, but the team did move to the next round. Pocius averaged 10.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 16 games during his second Euroleague season, improving every individual stat. Though, Žalgiris Kaunas went on to win the LKF Cup, the BBL title, and the LKL championship. Pocius missed the LKL finals due to a season-ending injury. He averaged 10.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists throughout the season.

Real Madrid (2011–2013)Edit

On 27 July 2011 it was announced that Pocius signed a contract with Real Madrid.[2] Despite solid play in the first season with Real Madrid, his game declined in the second season, due to numerous injuries. He won the Copa del Rey de Baloncesto in 2012, and the Liga ACB in 2013. Pocius left Real Madrid in July 2013.

Žalgiris Kaunas (2013–2014)Edit

Pocius returned to Žalgiris Kaunas in August 2013, signing a one-year deal. Pocius played solidly in the EuroLeague, helping the team reach the Top 16 stage despite suffering from injuries in the Top 16. Pocius finished the EuroLeague season averaging 10.8 points per game and helped Žalgiris Kaunas win the LKL championship, beating Lietuvos rytas Vilnius in the semifinals, and Neptūnas Klaipėda in the finals. Pocius left Žalgiris Kaunas in July 2014.

Galatasaray (2014–2015)Edit

On 20 August 2014, Pocius officially signed a 1+1 contract with the Turkish team Galatasaray Istanbul.[3] He averaged 6,2 points in the Euroleague competition.

Žalgiris Kaunas (2015–2017)Edit

On 29 July 2015, Pocius returned to Žalgiris Kaunas, signing a 1+1 contract.[4] After a difficult season where Pocius struggled with injuries and playing, and helping Žalgiris Kaunas to another LKL championship, he was loaned to UCAM Murcia.

On 16 June 2017, Pocius announced his retirement from professional basketball being just 31 years old due to injuries and pain he suffered while exercising.[5][6][7]

Post-playing careerEdit

Shortly after retiring Pocius joined the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a basketball operations associate in August 2017.[8][9] On 15 February 2019, Pocius signed a multi-year contract extension with the Nuggets.[10][11]

National team careerEdit

Pocius has played for Lithuania national teams in several tournaments. He played in the 2004 European U-18 Championship in Spain, where he showed himself as a team leader, averaging 26 points, 3 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Pocius also represented Lithuania at the 2006 European U-20 Championship in Turkey, where he led the team to a seventh place finish, averaging 20 points per game. After his senior year at Duke, Pocius represented Lithuania at the 2009 Summer Universiade in Belgrade, Serbia, where he led the team to a fifth place finish, averaging 13.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists.

In 2010, Pocius made his debut with the Lithuanian men's national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey, where he was one of the leaders of the team and helped lead them to the bronze medals.

Career statisticsEdit

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

EuroleagueEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2009–10 Žalgiris 16 2 19.3 .417 .383 .727 2.1 1.4 .6 .3 8.1 6.3
2010–11 16 8 23.9 .396 .300 .708 2.7 2.3 .4 .1 10.9 8.3
2011–12 Real Madrid 14 1 15.2 .400 .250 .903 1.6 .9 .2 .1 7.4 5.5
2012–13 12 0 10.2 .371 .211 1.000 .8 .3 .3 .0 3.2 2.2
2013–14 Žalgiris 20 17 23.2 .416 .358 .780 2.9 2.5 .4 .1 10.8 9.3
2014–15 Galatasaray 19 7 20.6 .376 .317 .767 1.7 1.4 .3 .1 6.2 4.3
2015–16 Žalgiris 19 5 14.1 .343 .192 .667 1.8 .8 .1 .0 3.4 1.8
Career 116 40 18.5 .395 .313 .764 2.0 1.4 .3 .1 7.3 5.5

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Colton, Booby (5 June 2013). ""Where are they now?" Duke basketball edition: Martynas Pocius". dukechronicle.com. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Real Madrid lands Pocius". Euroleague.net. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Galatasaray signs swingman Pocius". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Zalgiris brings back swingman Pocius". Euroleague.net. 29 July 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Martynas Pocius pranešė apie netikėtą karjeros pabaigą". lrytas.lt (in Lithuanian). 16 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Martynas Pocius retires at 31". Sportando.com. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  7. ^ Stalgaitis, Vilius. "Nepalaužiamas karys: kaip „amerikonas" iš Djuko užkariavo sirgalių širdis". BasketNews.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Naujas gyvenimo etapas: Martynas Pocius darbuosis NBA". BasketNews.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Naują karjeros etapą NBA pradedantis Martynas Pocius: „Pagaliau esu čia"". BasketNews.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Denver Nuggets Agree to Contract Extensions With Front Office". NBA.com. 15 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Rezultatais patenkinti "Nuggets" pratęsė sutartis su Karnišovu, Balčėčiu ir Pociumi". DELFI (in Lithuanian). 16 February 2019. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

External linksEdit