2017-09-03 Back to list

How Much Kaunas is There in FIBA EuroBasket 2017?

All of the kaunastic members of the Lithuanian national team have been part of Žalgiris Kaunas at some point in their careers.

Together with numerous city-wide events in Kaunas these days, including the Sugihara Week and Kaunas Photo festival exhibition openings, many residents immerse into TV screens for a few hours every now and then, as the games of EuroBasket 2017 are taking place in four locations across Europe. The Lithuania men's national basketball team is in Group B which is based in Israel and have already played against Georgia (77:79) and Israel (88:73). Matches against Italy, Ukraine and Germany are scheduled for the upcoming days.

Despite our country’s small size, the Lithuanian devotion to basketball is something that makes us stand out from the crowd. It all started almost 100 years ago when the sport was successfully imported from the US. In 1937 and 1939, our national team became the European Champions and the 1939 games were held in the brand new Kaunas Sports Hall designed by Anatolijus Rozenbliumas.

There’s a lot to tell about the Lithuanian history of basketball but let’s agree we’ll do this some time later (maybe when we know more about the soon-to-be-built Basketball Palace in Kaunas?). For now, let’s focus on the current squad. 7 of the 12 players in the national team of 2017 are from Kaunas, and we’ve decided to list ‘em all together with their most impressive achievements so you know whom to cheer for the most when watching a game. The next one, a match against Italy, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept 3rd, 6:30PM Lithuanian time.

All of the 7 kaunastic players have been part of Žalgiris Kaunas at some point of their careers; the fact definitely tells something about the club, right? Here are 10 reasons why a Žalgiris game should be on your bucket list. But first, EuroBasket.

MARIUS GRIGONIS, 23, Alba Berlin


Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) champion (2013)
LKL All-Star (2015)
King Mindaugas Cup champion (2016)
Champions League champion (2017)
Champions League Final Four MVP (2017)
All LEB Oro team (2014)
Silver in FIBA European U-16 Championship 2010
Silver in FIBA European U-18 Championship 2012
Bronze in FIBA World U-19 Championship 2013

ADAS JUŠKEVIČIUS, 28, Lietkabelis Panevėžys


LKL champion (2013)
LKL All-Star (2015)
King Mindaugas Cup champion (2016)
Silver in FIBA European U-20 Championship, 2008

MANTAS KALNIETIS, 30, EA7 Emporio Armani Milano


Captain of the team
EuroCup champion (2013)
4× Baltic Basketball League (BBL) champion (2008, 2010–2012)
BBL Finals MVP (2012)
4× LKL champion (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012)
5× LKL All-Star (2007, 2009–2012)
2× LKF Cup (2007, 2008)
Italian Cup winner (2016)
Italian Supercup winner (2016)
BBL Slam Dunk Champion (2007)
LKL Slam Dunk champion (2008)
Lithuanian League assists leader (2012)
Lithuanian Basketball Player of the Year (2013)
Silver in FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship 2005
Bronze in FIBA World Cup 2010 Turkey
Silver in EuroBasket 2013
Silver in EuroBasket 2015

JONAS MAČIULIS, 32, Real Madrid

462 1

Lithuanian Player of the Year (2015)
Triple Crown champion (2015)
EuroLeague champion (2015)
FIBA Intercontinental Cup champion (2015)
2× Spanish League champion (2015, 2016)
2× Spanish King's Cup winner (2015, 2016)
Spanish Supercup winner (2014)
2× Greek League champion (2013, 2014)
Italian League champion (2012)
3× LKL champion (2006–2008)
2× Greek Cup winner (2013, 2014)
2× LKF Cup winner (2007, 2008)
2× BBL champion (2006, 2008)
LKAL champion (2003)
Greek League Best Five (2014)
3× LKL All-Star (2007–2009)
LKL All-Star Game MVP (2007)
BBL All-Star (2008)
Silver in FIBA Under-19 World Cup 2003
Bronze in FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship 2004
Silver in FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship 2005
Gold in FIBA Under-21 World Cup 2005
Gold in Summer Universiade 2007
Bronze in FIBA Basketball World Cup 2010
Bronze in EuroBasket 2007
Silver in EuroBasket 2013
Silver in EuroBasket 2015

ARTŪRAS MILAKNIS, 31, Žalgiris Kaunas

462 3

King Mindaugas Cup winner (2017)
6× LKL champion (2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017)
5× LKF Cup (2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2015)
3× BBL champion (2008, 2010, 2011)
LKL All-Star (2015)
LKL Finals MVP (2015)
Silver in EuroBasket 2015

DONATAS MOTIEJŪNAS, 26, Shandong Golden Stars

462 2

PLK champion (2012)
NKL champion (2008)
LKF Cup champion (2008)
Baltic League champion (2008)
EuroCup Rising Star (2011)
LKL All-Star (2009)
FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship MVP (2008)
Nike International Junior Tournament MVP (2007)
Silver in FIBA European U-18 Championship 2008
Silver in FIBA European U-20 Championship 2008
Silver in EuroBasket 2013

EDGARAS ULANOVAS, 25, Žalgiris Kaunas

462 4

VTB United League Young Player of the Year (2014)
LKF Cup (2015)
LKF Cup Finals MVP (2015)
LKL All-Star (2015)
3× LKL champion (2015, 2016, 2017)
LKL Finals MVP (2017)
King Mindaugas Cup champion (2017)
King Mindaugas Cup MVP (2017)
Gold in FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship 2008
Gold in FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship 2010
Gold in FIBA World Under-19 Championship 2011
Gold in FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship 2012

FIBA EuroBasket 2017
Group Phase - Group B

Lithuania - Italy
Sunday, Sept 3rd, 6:30PM LT time

Lithuania - Ukraine
Tuesday, Sept 5th, 3:45PM LT time

Lithuania - Germany
Wednesday, Sept 6th, 2:45PM LT time

All photos  ©  EuroBasket 2017


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