A historic campaign from Darussafaka Istanbul guard Scottie Wilbekin has earned him the title of 7DAYS EuroCup MVP for the 2017-18 season. Wilbekin was the overwhelming choice after the results, which combined fan voting and a panel of Euroleague Basketball's in-house experts, were tallied. The MVP trophy is the fourth significant award for Wilbekin this season after he was named EuroCup Regular Season MVP, EuroCup Semifinals MVP and to the All-EuroCup First Team. His credentials include leading the competition in performance index rating with 20.7 per game and sitting atop the scoring charts with 18.9 points per game while leading Darussafaka to the EuroCup Finals, which begin next week. Wilbekin is also tied for second in the EuroCup with 1.6 steals per game and ranked fourth with 5.1 assists per game. He recorded one of the best games in competition history with 41 points on 10-of-15 three-point shooting in the clinching game of a semifinals sweep of FC Bayern Munich. In doing so, Wilbekin set EuroCup records for points and three-pointers in a non-overtime game.
Wilbekin is the 10th winner of the award, which was first introduced prior to the 2008-09 season. He succeeds last season's winner, Alexey Shved of Khimki Moscow Region. The list of previous EuroCup MVPs includes Errick McCollum of Galatasaray Odeabank Istanbul in 2016, Tyrese Rice of Khimki in 2015, Andrew Goudelock of UNICS Kazan in 2014, Nick Calathes of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar in 2013, Patrick Beverley of Spartak St. Petersburg in 2012, Dontaye Draper of Cedevita Zagreb in 2011, Marko Banic of Bizkaia Bilbao Basket in 2010 and Chuck Eidson of Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in 2009.
Despite dealing with nagging injuries that caused him to sit out three regular season games and another in the Top 16, Wilbekin has been consistently outstanding this season. He has scored in double figures in 14 of his 16 appearances and been among the most-dangerous three-point shooters in the EuroCup; Wilbekin has not only made a three-pointer in every game this season, he has made multiple threes 15 times and at least 3 triples 10 times. And the most telling stat of all, Darussafaka is 15-1 this season with Wilbekin in the lineup.
The list of Wilbekin's top performances this season includes 23 points with just 4 missed shots plus 5 assists in an 85-83 win over Cedevita Zagreb in Round 2 of the regular seasons; 24 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting, 6 assists and 5 steals in an 85-77 victory over MoraBanc Andorra in Round 5 of the regular season; 16 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute in 57-54 victory over Buducnost VOLI Podgorica in Game 1 of the EuroCup Quarterfinals and of course his record-setting effort in Game 2 of the semifinals.
Wilbekin, 25, first came to Darussafaka in October of 2015 and has been one of its most important players ever since. After a standout college basketball career at the University of Florida, Wilbekin began his professional career with Cairns Taipans in Australia in 2014 and also played for AEK Athens in Greece before coming to Turkey.