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Greens land Jasikevicius, too
by: Vassilis Skountis, Athens
September 24, 2007
One of the Euroleague's iconic players is back in the competition as current champion Panathinaikos has announced the signing of point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius to a two-year contract on Tuesday. Jasikevicius (192, 31) is among a handful of players in European basketball history to have won three consecutive Euroleague titles and the only one to have done so with two different teams. Jasikevicius won his first title as a starter for FC Barcelona in 2003 and his next two with Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv in 2004 and 2005. He was voted the 2005 Final Four MVP in Moscow and was named to the all-Euroleague first team in 2004 and 2005. Jasikevicius moved to the NBA for the next two seasons, splitting his time between Indiana and Golden State. Jasikevicius, who is from Lithuania but spent his teen years at high school and university in the United States, made his pro debut in 1998 with Lietuvos Rytas of Vilnius. He played the next season with Union Olimpija of Slovenia, before moving to Barcelona for three seasons.
Despite playing only five Euroleague seasons, Jasikevicius ranks fourth over the decade in total assists and three-pointers made. "Saras" is also the alltime Euroleague leader in free-throw shooting percentage (92.82%). Among players who have appeared in more than 90 Euroleague games during this decade, Jasikevicius ranks fourth in scoring average (14.27 ppg.) and eighth in performance rating (13.74 ipg). No Euroleague player with more three-point attempts (489) than Jasikevicius has made them at a higher percentage (40.49%). Other highlights on his resume include leading Lithuania to the title at EuroBasket 2003, where he was named MVP, winning a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games, two Spanish League crowns, two Spanish King's Cups, two Israeli League crowns, two Israeli Cups and one Slovenian Cup. Jasikevicius joins another point guard, Vassilis Spanoulis, in joining Panathinaikos after playing in the NBA last season. Jasikevicius is expected to meet his new teammates this afternoon.
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