List of NBA players from Lithuania that have played in the league (Some players signed by teams may appear in the list although they have not played in the NBA). [117] Not surprisingly, he was the best tournament rebounder as in almost all previous youth competitions, with 13.2 per game this time. He is extremely aggressive, plays with a motor, is always going hard. Lithuania has a pretty good pipeline of NBA talent, and there are currently 4 NBA players that hail from Lithuania. [62] He made his debut for the Thunder in their season opener as their starting power forward on October 26, recording five points and four rebounds in 16 minutes as a starter in a 103–97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. [123], Sabonis with the Thunder in February 2017. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. Home > Players > International International NBA players Lithuania. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker. What is a heat check in basketball? In 1936  Lithuania became a member of FIBA and began to take part in international basketball competitions. The first official basketball match in Lithuania occurred on 23 April 1922 which marks the beginning of the sport in the country. Needless to say, the event led to a dramatic rise in the number of basketball court across the country as people quickly embrace the sport. From there on, Lithuania earned its third EuroBasket title at FIBA EuroBasket 2003 in addition to 3 bronze medals in the Olympics and various club-level achievements. Domantas Sabonis (born May 3, 1996) is a Lithuanian-American[1][2] professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). [111] In 2014, coach Jonas Kazlauskas included Sabonis into preliminary 24 players list for main Lithuania men's national basketball team. Overall, basketball is more than a sport to the Lithuanian, it’s a cultural phenomenon. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. After Lithuania gained its independence from the Soviet Union, Lithuanian basketball players had the opportunities to sign with foreign clubs. If that is so, you come to the right place. Martynas Andriuskevicius. [87] On October 31, he was 12-for-12 shooting while matching his career high with 30 points in a 107–101 win over the New York Knicks. On 7 February 2019, the Raptors decided to trade him along with C. J. In January this year Motiejūnas signed a minimum one year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. On the other hand, with basketball being the rage in Lithuania, native Lithuanian could refine their techniques with relative ease. Players respect me now, players depend on me", "My teammates, when the game is tough they tell me, 'C'mon Domas, we need you,' and I like that, I like taking that responsibility. Domantas Sabonis (born May 3, 1996) is a Lithuanian-American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. The Lithuanian basketball team received a warm welcome with thousands waiting at the train station. [47] Following it, Sabonis was the most efficient post-up player left in the NCAA tournament. Down below, you would be provided with everything that basketball enthusiasts need to remember regarding basketball in Lithuania and Lithuanian NBA basketballers in the NBA. [5] When Arvydas was once asked if any of his sons will follow his footsteps in basketball – he distinguished Domantas due to his stubbornness and because he is left handed. [52] Sabonis also was one of the finalists in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award. On April 2018, Laurynas Birutis submitted paperwork to make himself eligible for the year draft but unfortunately, no club picked him. [76] Due to the unexpected trade, he not only missed the 2017 NBA Summer League, but was also ruled out from representing the Lithuanian national team during EuroBasket 2017. After playing in the under 16 and under 19 National teams Jonas Valančiūnas started playing professional basketball at the age of 19. [72] The Thunder qualified for the NBA Playoffs as the sixth seed, but they were eliminated 4–1 by the Houston Rockets in the first round; Sabonis played just six minutes in the series, as he managed court time in just two of the five games. Donatas started his career playing for the junior team of BC Žalgiris in the Lithuanian National Basketball League in 2005. In the NBA. And although not commonly known, the Philadelphia 76ers' Nick Stauskas actually holds a Lithuanian passport. Such consistency, it's amazing". That said, given that the lefty big man hasn’t played organized, competitive basketball since March, it seems reasonable that the Pacers might have some concerns about him returning to action abroad in the absence of the team’s medical and training staff. [74], —Domantas Sabonis, about his third season in the NBA. [51] On March 29, Sabonis was named to the CBS College Basketball All-America Third-team, along with Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray and Yogi Ferrell. [36] On January 9, Sabonis once again improved his rebounds record by grabbing 17 rebounds, and adding 28 points, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 4 assists, his team won 85–74. Miles, Delon Wright and a second-round draft pick in 2024 NBA draft to Memphis Grizzlies for Marc Gasol. [48] Despite his yet another monster performance of 19 points, 17 rebounds (7 offensive) and 5 blocks on March 25, his journey was stopped by the Syracuse Orange during the final match moments, losing 60–63. [69] On February 18, he scored 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting in only 12 minutes to help Team World defeat Team USA 150–141 in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend. During the Soviet occupation athletes were only able to show their prowess by helping the National team win many medals, often with Lithuanian players forming the core of the Soviet squads. Lithuanian NBA Players. Sabonis participated in the NBA 2K Players Tournament during the coronavirus pandemic, playing against Montrezl Harrell, a center for the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA 2K20 basketball game as their respective basketball teams. Join our linker program. He continues to play for the Raptors today. [18] On February 3, 2015, after averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per 26 minutes he was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week. Find out more. All logos are the trademark & property of their owners and not Sports Reference LLC. Take a look at the following information and you would see why people called basketball the second religion of Lithuania. [79] Two days later, he recorded a career-high 16 rebounds in addition to 12 points and five assists in a 101–83 win over the Sacramento Kings. Taking part in shooting competitions on the practice court and spending time with the players it was inevitable he would gravitate towards professional basketball. Once Lithuania declared its independence on March 11, 1990 the Lithuanians set up their own national basketball teams as with other countries in the former Soviet Union. Correct through 2019-20, active players in bold. After debuting for Baloncesto Málaga at 16 and outstanding freshman and sophomore performances he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016. From 2008 to 2012, Valančiūnas played professionally in Lithuania before he got drafted by Toronto Raptors in the 2011 NBA draft. [57], Sabonis was selected 11th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2016 NBA draft. Back in the old days, many players in the NBA had to deal with various harassments due to their skin, ethic, religion and so on. 3PT. [95] In December 2019, he was chosen as the Lithuanian Player of the Year for a second consecutive year. Watch our How-To Videos to Become a Stathead, Subscribe to Stathead and get access to more data than you can imagine. Sabonis scored 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds during that game. Pearl Jam: Facts Behind The Original Name Of The Band, Best Ultralight Spinning Reel For Angling – 2020, Best Spinning Reel Under $100 In 2020 & Durable & Affordable, Best In-Ground Basketball Hoop: Reviews Of Top Rated Models. [27] In his first NCAA season, Sabonis averaged 9.7 points, along with Gonzaga team highs of 66.8% field-goal percentage and 7.1 rebounds. [86], On September 26, 2018, the Pacers picked up the team option on Sabonis' contract. Born in the Soviet Union, represents Lithuania internationally. ", "Domas Sabonis Signs Men's Basketball Letter-Of-Intent", NCAA starte – puikus Sabonio pasirodymas (video), "Gonzaga's Domantas Sabonis Named WCC Men's Basketball Player of the Week", "WCC Announces 2015 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team", MBB Grabs Third Straight WCC Tournament Title, Highlights - Gonzaga vs BYU (WCC Championship 2015) - VIDEO, Solidžiai rungtyniavusio Sabonio komanda triumfavo Vakarų pakrantės konferencijoje, D.Sabonis svariai prisidėjo prie „Bulldogs“ triumfo Vakarų pakrantės konferencijos finale, MBB Sweeps Past Iowa for Trip to Sweet 16, „Bulldogs“ su Saboniu po 16 metų pertraukos pateko tarp 8 geriausių NCAA komandų (video), NCAA lietuviai: nuo debiutavusio Sabonio iki prestižinį universitetą baigiančio Maldūno, "Upperclassmen dominate Goodman's midseason All-Americans", "No. [19] After a stellar regular season with Gonzaga, Sabonis was named to the All-WCC Second team, as well as to the WCC All-Freshman team.

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