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Šarūnas Marčiulionis
Position(s) Shooting guard
Jersey #(s) 13
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 215 lb (98 kg)
Born June 13, 1964 (1964-06-13) (age 45)
Kaunas, Lithuania SSR, USSR
Career information
Year(s) 19831997
NBA Draft 1989 / Round: 6 / Pick: 127

Selected by Golden State Warriors

Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA)
Points     4,631
Points per game     12.8
Assists per game     2.2
Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Career highlights and awards

Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis (About this sound pronunciation ) (born June 13, 1964 in Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union) is a retired Lithuanian professional basketball player. He was one of the first Europeans to become a regular in the North American National Basketball Association (NBA). In the 1988 Seoul Olympics Basketball Tournament, together with teammate Arvydas Sabonis, he led the USSR national team to a gold medal in basketball.

Contents

Pro career

Marčiulionis started his pro basketball career with Statyba Vilnius in the USSR League, the forerunner of the VTB United League in 1981.

Marčiulionis was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in the 6th round of the 1987 NBA Draft. He moved to the NBA in 1989 and he played four years with the Warriors, finishing as the runner-up for the Sixth Man of the Year Award in both 1992 and 1993. Marčiulionis became one of the first Europeans to get significant playing time in the NBA, helping to lead the way for the internationalization of the league in the late 1990s. After missing a year and a half with a leg injury, he was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1994, then traded to the Sacramento Kings in 1995, and he finished his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets in the 1996-97 season.

Lithuanian national basketball team

Medal record
Men's Basketball
Competitor for  Soviet Union
Summer Olympics
Gold 1988 Seoul National Team
FIBA European Championship
Silver 1987 Greece National Team
Bronze 1989 Yugoslavia National Team
Competitor for  Lithuania
Summer Olympics
Bronze 1992 Barcelona National Team
Bronze 1996 Atlanta National Team
FIBA European Championship
Silver 1995 Greece National Team

Following the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1990, Marčiulionis almost single-handedly resurrected the Lithuanian national team. He contacted prospective players, encouraged several to join, selected the uniforms, negotiated a shoe deal, and arranged for sponsorships.[1][1] The trademarked 'Slam Dunking Skeleton, Skullman' t-shirt design was created by and is owned by N.Y. sports artist Greg Speirs[2] of skullman.com. Speirs became the major sponsor when he donated 100% of his profits from his design to fund the team and to Lithuanian children's charities amounting to at least $400,000. The team went on to win a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Marčiulionis was again a bronze medalist with Lithuania at the 1996 Athens Olympic Basketball Tournament. In 1995, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1995 FIBA European Championship, after leading Lithuania to a silver medal in the tournament. He also won the silver medal at the 1987 FIBA European Championship. In 1987, 1989, 1990, and 1991, he was voted as the best sportsman in Lithuania.

Personal

Despite a language barrier during his NBA career (Warriors coach Don Nelson hired his son Donn as an assistant chiefly to serve as an interpreter for Marčiulionis), Marčiulionis was a devoted teammate and active in the communities he played in. In the aftermath of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, Marčiulionis appeared at the site of a commuter train accident wearing his Warriors warm up outfit and helped by pulling out trapped passengers and administering first aid.

In addition, his wife Inga enrolled at Merritt College, a junior college in the Oakland hills, and she walked on to their women's basketball team and was a star player there for two seasons.[3] Inga became one of 147 women in women's college basketball history to score 50 or more points in a college game while at Merritt, and today is the head coach of Merritt's women's team.[4]

Marciulionis and Inga are divorced, but Inga still continues to live in the United States and continues her work at Merritt College[5].

Post playing career

In 1992, Marčiulionis opened the Šarūnas Hotel in Vilnius. In 1993, he founded the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) and also became its president. In 1999, Marčiulionis founded the North European Basketball League (NEBL) and also became its commissioner. The NEBL would later be absorbed into today's Baltic Basketball League. Today, he is one of the most successful businessmen in Lithuania.[6]

He is also currently the president of the Šarūnas Marčiulionis Basketball Academy.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Woolf, Alexander (2002). Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure. New York: Warner Books. pp. 20. ISBN 0-446-52601-0. 
  2. ^ "Dead head art scores". USA Today. June 23, 1993. 2C.
  3. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/04/sports/king-renegotiates-his-own-contract.html
  4. ^ http://www.merritt.edu/apps/comm.asp?$1=40486
  5. ^ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2001/12/27/SP153150.DTL
  6. ^ Woolf, Big Game, Small World, pp. 19-20.

External links

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