Lietuvos Rytas brings home Jasikevicius

Nov 16, 2010 by Print
Sarunas Jasikevicius returns to Lietuvos RytasA Euroleague legend is going home to his first pro team with the announcement Tuesday that Lietuvos Rytas has signed point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius to a one-year contract. Jasikevicius (34, 192) was due to arrive in Vilnius on Tuesday and could play as soon as Wednesday's Group C home game against Cibona, the club said. "Saras" has won four Euroleague titles, the most of any active player and the fourth-most, tied with seven other players, in European basketball history. Jasikevicius started his professional career with Lietuvos Rytas in his native Lithuania in 1998-99, for one season, after which he played another with Union Olimpija of Slovenia in 1999-2000. His next stop was Barcelona, with whom Jasikevicius won his and the club's first Euroleague title in 2003. Jasikevicius moved the next season 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 in 2009 with Panathinaikos as the team's second leading scorer and top assist-giver. Last season, he averaged 4.4 points and 2.1 assists per game in a reserve role with the Greens.

For his career, Jasikevicius ranks among the all-time Euroleague statistical leaders. He is 12th on the all-time scoring list with 1,832 points, eighth with 255 three-pointer made, fifth with 471 free throws made and fourth with 543 assists. Jasikevicius enters his ninth Euroleague season as the competition's all-time most-accurate free-throw shooter, at 92.2%. 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. Last year, he was named to the Euroleague All-Decade Team. He has won a total of seven domestic championships in Spain, Israel and Greece and seven more national cups in Slovenia, Spain, Israel 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.