Biography of Arvydas Sabonis (1964-VVVV)

Sabonis with the Trail Blazers Jersey.

Lithuanian basketball player, born on December 19, 1964 in Kaunas (Lithuania). Affectionately called the giant in the East, by its 2.20 meters in height and its 117 kilos in weight, he/she has participated in three Olympic events with Lithuania, the Soviet Union, and two teams, and all of them went up to the podium.

His professional career began in 1982, with his debut with the senior team of the USSR, in Colombia, which was proclaimed champion of the world in that tournament. In 1983 he/she managed to be champion of the world junior and the following year won with his team, Zhalguiris Kaunas, the European Cup, which won, others, three leagues from the Soviet Union and an Intercontinental Cup. In 1984 became runner-up in the Cup Winners Cup and won the title of European champion with his team in Stuttgart (Germany). The brilliant career of the young Sabonis in the 1980s drew attention to the American professional League, the NBA, which began to follow in his footsteps closely. Finally, that same year 1986, the Portland Trail Blazers selected him to play in the NBA.

However, his brilliant career was truncated in 1987 by a serious Achilles tendon injury, which inevitably conditioned his career. To compensate for this medical condition and its subsequent sequels, Sabonis developed to maximize their intelligence on the track. After staying away from the courts for a few months he/she returned to play with his team, and with the Soviet national team. In 1988 was proclaimed with the USSR, Olympic champion at the games in Seoul. Political changes in his country led, one year later, his move to the Spanish basketball, while their physical problems are militant party after party. The Forum Valladolid bet on it and the operation could not be more profitable. In his first season (1989-1990) with the team from Valladolid, Sabonis got the best average of defensive rebounds and be the NBA of the ACB League. During season 1990-1991 achieved that the Forum finished seventh in the League and that it should be classified for the Korac Cup.

After three years in the equipment of the Pisuerga, Real Madrid claimed him with the intention of ending the hegemony of Barcelona in the sport of basket. Although physical problems were manifesting, Sabonis fulfilled its mission and gave all what was expected of him. A month before his debut in his new club, he/she returned to attend an Olympics of Barcelona 92, this time with the selection of Lithuania, where he/she won the bronze medal.

With the team from Madrid stayed three seasons in which twice won the League (1993 and 1994), a Copa del Rey (1993) and a European Cup, in addition to being named best player of Europe in 1995. With 30 years of age, the Trail Blazers came back to knock on the door and it finished stamping your signature on the team from Portland (Oregon, USA.UU) on 30 September 1995, since, according to his own words, it was not him "nothing done in European basketball". In 1995 he/she was elected as a member of the dream team of the NBA rookies.

In 1996, he/she went to his third Olympics with the Lithuanian team in Atlanta 96, where he/she won his second bronze medal in an Olympics. In addition to the Olympic medals (one gold and two bronze) won numerous victories in other international competitions, such as gold in the Colombia World Cup 1982, the silver medal at the 1986 World Cup Spain, gold at Stuttgart in 1985, the silver in the 1995 with the Lithuanian national team Athens Europeantwo bronze medals in the Europeans in Nantes in 1983 and Zagreb in 1989, among many others.

In the summer of 2002 and with 37 years of age, the Lithuanian pivot signed again by the Portland Trail Blazers for a season. A year later he/she returned to Zalgiris Kaunas, club life, not only as a player but also as a shareholder.