List of famous Lithuanian NBA players

Basketball is the national sport of Lithuania. The average height of men is 177cm, and the average height of women is 167cm.


Lithuania is a three-time European champion and three-time Olympic bronze medalist. In fact, there is an episode that the Soviet Union's leading player who won the gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics just before independence was a Lithuanian player, and after independence in 1991, he played for the Lithuania national team.


Some famous Lithuanian players have their names inscribed in the NBA. We will introduce the legends of each generation, old and new.


"Frank Lubin"

As an American, he once won a gold medal at the Olympics, but he is the originator of Lithuanian basketball, having made a major contribution to the development of basketball after becoming a naturalized Lithuanian.


Šarūnas Marčiulionis

A key figure in winning gold medals during the Soviet era. After becoming independent, he played an active part in the NBA as a Lithuanian. A hero who financially saved Lithuania, which was short of funds immediately after independence, due to his friendship with the rock band Grateful Dead. Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.


If you don't know Lithuania but you know Marciulionis, you're quite a basketball maniac. Well, there should be many people who know from around here.


Arvydas Sabonis

Contributed to the gold medal acquisition with Marcullionis. After independence, he played an active part in the 90's as a large center of 221 cm 126 kg of NBA Trail Blazers. A legend admired by many Lithuanians with uniform number 11. Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.


Žydrūnas Ilgauskas

Played as a center for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2000s. The jersey number 11, which he admired for Sabonis, became a permanent number after his retirement. Active in a style that makes use of high shooting skills.


Šarūnas Jasikevičius

In the 2000s, he has experience as a point guard in European powerhouse teams and the NBA (Indiana Pacers). Taking advantage of his diverse career, he is currently the head coach of Zalgiris Kaunas, a winning team in the Lithuanian domestic league.


Paulius Jankūnas

A veteran player who has been active for a long time in the Lithuanian domestic league powerhouse Zalgiris Kaunas. Won many titles, including individual titles. In 2005, when he was U-21, he won the World Cup.


"Jonas Valanciūnas"

Entered the NBA in 2011. Joined the Memphis Grizzlies after the Toronto Raptors. Together with Domantas Sabonis (described later), he is expected to play an active role in the Olympics as the two pillars of the Lithuanian national team.


Domantas Sabonis

Entered the NBA in 2016. He currently plays for the Indiana Pacers and wears the same number 11 as his father Arvidas Sabonis. Born when his father was active, he has witnessed the highest level of play from an early age. A promising young talent and a hope for the new generation of Lithuania.


Well, how many people did you know? If you knew more than 4 people, you'd be a pretty basketball freak. If you knew everything, you would be Lithuanian. Here are the results of the Lithuania national team.


"Men's Lithuanian National Team"


・Olympics (after independence in 1991)

Bronze medal 3 times (1992/1996/2000)

4th place 2 times (2004/2008)

・FIBA World Cup (after independence in 1991)

Bronze medal once (2010)

・European Championship (after independence in 1991)

1 gold medal (2003)

3 times silver medal (1995/2013/2015)

Bronze medal once (2007)


・FIBA World Rank

1 America

2 Spain

3 Australia

4 Argentina

5 Serbia

6 France

7 Greece

8 Lithuania

9 Czech Republic

10 Brazil


40 Japan

(As of July 2020)