The Euroleague's winningest active player returned to the club where he won his first continental crown almost a decade ago. FC Barcelona Regal announced Wednesday that legendary point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius signed a one-year contract. "Saras" (1.93 meters, 36 years old), a four-time Euroleague champ, played three seasons for Barcelona between 2000 and 2003 and helped the club to win its first-ever Euroleague title in 2003. He also led Barcelona to win Spanish League and Spanish King's Cup doubles in 2001 and 2003. Jasikevicius arrives from Panathinaikos, which he helped win the Greek Cup and reach the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four last season. He averaged 7.2 points and 2.5 assists in 21 Euroleague games in his second stint with the Greens. Jasikevicius previously played three seasons for the Greens between 2007 and 2010 and helped the club win the 2009 Euroleague title. Panathinaikos also collected three Greek League and two other Greek Cup crowns during his time there.
Jasikevicius started his professional career with Lietuvos Rytas in 1998-99, after which he played one season for Union Olimpija of Slovenia. His next stop was Barcelona and then he jumped to Maccabi Tel Aviv, where in 2004 and 2005 he was part of the only back-to-back championship team in the Euroleague since 1991. Jasikevicius was MVP of that 2005 Final Four, which made him the only player in European history to three-peat while playing for two clubs. He later added his fourth title with Panathinaikos as the team's second leading scorer and top assist-giver. Saras began the 2010-11 campaign with Rytas in his native Lithuania before joining Fenerbahce Ulker, which he helped win the Turkish League and Turkish Cup titles in 2011.
For his career, Jasikevicius ranks among the all-time Euroleague statistical leaders in several categories. He is ranked fourth in assists (630), seventh in three-pointers made (279) and 11th on the all-time scoring list (2,056). Moreover, he enters his 11th Euroleague season as the competition's all-time most-accurate free-throw shooter, at 91.9%, and has made the sixth-most free throws (499). Jasikevicius is a two-time All-Euroleague first team selection. In 2008, he was honored as one of the 50 legends of the past 50 years of European club basketball. In 2010, he was named to the Euroleague All-Decade Team. Saras has won a total of eight domestic championships in Spain, Israel, Greece and Turkey and nine more national cups in Slovenia, Spain, Israel, Turkey and Greece. As a member of the Lithuanian national team, Jasikevicius won the gold medal at EuroBasket 2003, a bronze at EuroBasket 2007 and a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia. Jasikevicius is currently getting ready to play at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.