The Most Famous

BASKETBALL PLAYERS from Lithuania

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This page contains a list of the greatest Lithuanian Basketball Players. The pantheon dataset contains 1,757 Basketball Players, 43 of which were born in Lithuania. This makes Lithuania the birth place of the 3rd most number of Basketball Players behind United States, and Serbia.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Lithuanian Basketball Players of all time. This list of famous Lithuanian Basketball Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Lithuanian Basketball Players.

Photo of Arvydas Sabonis

1. Arvydas Sabonis (b. 1964)

With an HPI of 57.85, Arvydas Sabonis is the most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 49 different languages on wikipedia.

Arvydas Romas Sabonis (Lithuanian pronunciation: [ˈaːrviːdaːs ˈsaːboːnʲɪs]; born 19 December 1964) is a Lithuanian former professional basketball player and businessman. Recognized as one of the best European players of all time and one of the best big-man passers in the history of the game, he won the Euroscar six times and the Mr. Europa Award twice. He played in a variety of leagues, including the Spanish ACB League, and spent seven seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Playing the center position, Sabonis won a gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics, in South Korea, for the Soviet Union, and later earned bronze medals at the 1992 Olympic Games and 1996 Olympic Games representing Lithuania. He retired from professional basketball in 2005. Sabonis was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 1986 NBA draft, but he did not play his first NBA game until 1995, at the age of 30. On 20 August 2010, Sabonis was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in recognition of his great play in international competition. On 4 April 2011, Sabonis was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and he was inducted on 12 August 2011. On 24 October 2011, Sabonis was voted as the next President of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, replacing Vladas Garastas, who had led the LBF since 1991. He resigned from the position on 2 October 2013, but he came back to it on 10 October 2013. His son, Domantas Sabonis, plays for the NBA's Sacramento Kings as of 2022.

Photo of Uljana Semjonova

2. Uljana Semjonova (b. 1952)

With an HPI of 55.89, Uljana Semjonova is the 2nd most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  Her biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Uļjana Larionovna Semjonova (Russian: Ульяна Ларионовна Семёнова, romanized: Ul'yana Larionovna Semyonova; born 9 March 1952) is a retired Latvian basketball player of Russian descent who competed for the Soviet Union.Standing at least 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in) Semjonova was the leading women's basketball player in the world in the 1970s and 1980s. Wearing a men's size 21 (US) / 58 (EU) shoe, she was known for having the largest feet ever in women's basketball. For almost all of her playing career, she played for TTT Riga, which was part of Daugava Voluntary Sports Society. With TTT, she won 15 championships in the Soviet Union and the European Champion's Cup 15 times. Semjonova was also very dominant in international play, winning two Olympic Gold medals while playing for the USSR in 1976 and 1980 and never lost a game in official international competition.She was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour in 1976, and in 1993 became the first non-US woman enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. She was an inaugural member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in the class of 1999. In 2007, she was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. During the 2007 Latvian sports personality of the year award ceremony, Semjonova received the Lifetime Contribution to Sport award.

Photo of Šarūnas Jasikevičius

3. Šarūnas Jasikevičius (b. 1976)

With an HPI of 52.90, Šarūnas Jasikevičius is the 3rd most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Šarūnas Jasikevičius ([ʃɐˈrûːnɐs jɛsʲɪˈkʲæːvʲɪtɕʊs] ; born 5 March 1976) is a Lithuanian professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach for Fenerbahçe Beko of the Turkish Basketbol Süper Ligi and the EuroLeague. During his playing career, standing at a height of 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall, he played at the point guard position. Often considered one of the best Lithuanian and European point guards ever, Jasikevičius was a two-time All-EuroLeague First Team selection, the EuroLeague Final Four MVP in 2005 and a four-time triple crown winner. He was named the 2005 Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP. Moreover, he is the only player in EuroLeague history to win the competition with three clubs. A former representative of the senior Lithuanian men's national team, he won the gold medal at 2003 EuroBasket, earning an All-EuroBasket Team selection and MVP honors in the process. He also won the bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, and the bronze medal at 2007 EuroBasket. On 9 February 2015, Jasikevičius was named a EuroLeague Basketball Legend, as a reward for his stunning playing career. He was then honored with a ceremony on 12 February.

Photo of Rimas Kurtinaitis

4. Rimas Kurtinaitis (b. 1960)

With an HPI of 51.27, Rimas Kurtinaitis is the 4th most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Rimas Kurtinaitis (born 15 May 1960) is a Lithuanian professional basketball coach who currently serves as the head coach of Sabah BC, and a retired professional basketball player, who was a member of the senior Soviet and Lithuanian national basketball teams during his playing career. He won a gold medal at 1988 Olympics in South Korea. He recently worked as the head coach for Khimki. At a height of 1.96 m (6'5") tall, during his playing career, he played at the shooting guard position. He is the only non-NBA player to ever participate at the NBA All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest, doing so in 1989, where he scored 9 points.

Photo of Modestas Paulauskas

5. Modestas Paulauskas (b. 1945)

With an HPI of 50.41, Modestas Paulauskas is the 5th most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Modestas Paulauskas (19 March 1945) is a former Lithuanian professional basketball coach and basketball player. As a player, he was the youngest EuroBasket MVP in history, being only 20 years old at the time he won the award. He is known for having been one of the best Lithuanian basketball players of all time, and for having excellent dribbling ability. He was selected as the Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year, a record seven times, in 1965–1967, and 1969–1972. He was a member of the Soviet team that achieved Olympic Gold in 1972 in Munich. In 1991, he was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players. In 2021, he was included into the FIBA Hall of Fame.

Photo of Jonas Kazlauskas

6. Jonas Kazlauskas (b. 1954)

With an HPI of 48.77, Jonas Kazlauskas is the 6th most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Jonas Kazlauskas (born 21 November 1954) is a Lithuanian professional basketball coach and former player. He was most recently the head coach of the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

Photo of Šarūnas Marčiulionis

7. Šarūnas Marčiulionis (b. 1964)

With an HPI of 48.64, Šarūnas Marčiulionis is the 7th most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis ([ˈrɐ̂ˑɪ̯mɔndɐs ʃɐˈrûːnɐs mɐrʲtɕʊˈlʲôːnʲɪs] ) (born June 13, 1964) is a Lithuanian former professional basketball player. Widely considered one of the greatest international players, he was one of the first Europeans to become a regular in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Marčiulionis was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014 and became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015. In the 1988 Summer Olympics, together with teammate Arvydas Sabonis, Marčiulionis led the senior USSR national team to the gold medal. With the senior Lithuanian national team, he won two Summer Olympics bronze medals, in 1992 and 1996. He was an All-Tournament Team member, the top scorer, and the MVP of the EuroBasket 1995, and he was also elected to the All-EuroBasket Team in 1987. Marčiulionis is also often remembered for and associated with the Euro step move during his seven seasons playing in the NBA, which was popularized by Manu Ginóbili in the mid-2000s.

Photo of Valdemaras Chomičius

8. Valdemaras Chomičius (b. 1959)

With an HPI of 47.49, Valdemaras Chomičius is the 8th most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Valdemaras Chomičius (also known as Valdemaras Homicius; born 4 May 1959) is a Lithuanian former professional basketball player for the Soviet and Lithuanian national basketball team, and an assistant coach for the Lithuanian national team. As a 192 cm (6 ft 3+1⁄2 in) tall point guard he is best remembered as the captain from the "golden years" of Žalgiris Kaunas by winning three consecutive USSR League championships against the rival CSKA Moscow in 1985–1987. His former teams include Žalgiris Kaunas, Forum Valladolid, CAI Zaragoza. He also has played in Italy for Aprimatic Bologna (Serie A2) in the 1990–1991 season. He last played for Olimpas Žemaitija during the 1996–1997 season. He served as player-coach for Kraitenė Marijampolė, was the assistant coach with PBC Ural Great Perm from 1999 to 2004, also serving as head coach for the team in the 2004-2005 season. He briefly coached PBC Dynamo Moscow in 2003, and was the assistant coach for BC UNICS, serving as the team's head coach in the 2009-2010 season. He was also the head coach for Triumph Lyubertsy from 2010 to 2012, BC Dnipro from 2012 to 2015, and worked as a coach for BC Parma in the 2016–17 season. In 2018–2020 he was head coach for BC Dzūkija. He head coached the Lithuania national team to win the FIBA Stanković Continental Champions' Cup in 2005 FIBA Stanković Continental Champions' Cup.

Photo of Stepas Butautas

9. Stepas Butautas (1925 - 2001)

With an HPI of 45.51, Stepas Butautas is the 9th most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Stepas Butautas (alternate spellings: Stiepas, Butaustas) (25 August 1925 – 22 March 2001 in Kaunas) was a Soviet and Lithuanian professional basketball player and coach. He trained at the VSS Žalgiris, in Kaunas. He played with the Soviet Union men's national basketball team at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games, where he won a silver medal. During the tournament, he played in all eight games.He was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991.

Photo of Sergejus Jovaiša

10. Sergejus Jovaiša (b. 1954)

With an HPI of 44.46, Sergejus Jovaiša is the 10th most famous Lithuanian Basketball Player.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Sergejus Jovaiša (born 17 December 1954 in Anykščiai) is a former basketball player from Soviet Union and Lithuania. He played at the shooting guard position and won the bronze medal with the Lithuania national basketball team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. In 1980 he was a member of the Soviet team that won the bronze medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics.

People

Pantheon has 47 people classified as Lithuanian basketball players born between 1925 and 1998. Of these 47, 46 (97.87%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Lithuanian basketball players include Arvydas Sabonis, Uljana Semjonova, and Šarūnas Jasikevičius. The most famous deceased Lithuanian basketball players include Stepas Butautas. As of April 2024, 4 new Lithuanian basketball players have been added to Pantheon including Gintaras Krapikas, Mindaugas Timinskas, and Marius Grigonis.

Living Lithuanian Basketball Players

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Deceased Lithuanian Basketball Players

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Newly Added Lithuanian Basketball Players (2024)

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