Šarūnas "Šaras" Jasikevičius ([ʃɐˈrûːnɐs jɛsʲɪˈkʲæːvʲɪtɕʊs] (listen); born 5 March 1976) is a Lithuanian professional basketball coach and former professional player. He currently serves as the head coach for Žalgiris of the Lithuanian Basketball League. Standing at 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), he played the point guard position.
Jasikevičius as a head coach of Žalgiris Kaunas
|League||Lithuanian Basketball League|
|Born||March 5, 1976|
Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||202 lb (92 kg)|
|High school||Solanco (Quarryville, Pennsylvania)|
|NBA draft||1998 / Undrafted|
|Number||3, 13, 19, 33|
|2003–2005||Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv|
|2007||Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
As head coach:
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Often considered as one of the best Lithuanian and European point guard players Jasikevičius was a two-time All-EuroLeague First Team selection, the EuroLeague Final Four MVP in 2005 and a four-time triple crown winner. Moreover, he is the only player in EuroLeague history to win the competition with three different clubs. A former representative of the Lithuanian national team, he won the gold medal at the EuroBasket 2003, earning an All-EuroBasket Team selection and MVP honors in the process. He also won the bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the bronze medal at the EuroBasket 2007.
Šarūnas's mother Rita is a famous Lithuanian handball player, who won a silver medal with the Soviet Union women's national handball team during the 1975 World Women's Handball Championship. Following the success in the world championship, Rita was preparing for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. According to Rita: "Everything was calculated, planned: Olympic Games, then - the increase of family, one year break and then back to sports again. But everything happened differently" and she had to choose between her son and the Olympic Games. She decided to give birth to a child and give up the Olympic dream. Later on, the Soviet squad went on to win the Olympic gold medals in the Montreal Olympics and the national team's head coach shut the door for Rita Jasikevičienė to return into the national team in the future. However, Šarūnas's mother never regretted her decision. Šarūnas remembers that his mother constantly said: "My son will give me back the Olympics".
— Šarūnas Jasikevičius, describing his childhood.
In his childhood Šarūnas was a very agile child. His mother remembers that quickly after learning to walk, Šarūnas immediately began to run leaned by 45 degrees. Rita: "He was running and running everywhere and I had to constantly chase him". The biggest penalty for Šarūnas was to sit. His younger brother Vytenis was slightly different though. He was slower, but both brothers were unable to live without the ball in their childhood.
Jasikevičius's father Linas always was a sports lover and along with him, he followed practically everything, together they cheered for USSR national teams or any athlete who had USSR written across his or her chest. Not surprisingly, his dad took him to the first basketball workout when he was 6 years old. His first coach was Feliksas Mitkevičius in Kaunas basketball school, who was strict and not once was chasing Šarūnas when he was trying to run away from the workouts. According to Mitkevičius, when Šarūnas was 12 years old, he was so sick of basketball that he wished to drop it. He visited his parents, outlined the situation and stated that it would be a huge loss to Lithuania. Following it, his dad had a strong conversation with Šarūnas and forbade to drop basketball, which he wished to replace with tennis. In Kaunas basketball school he met with the future NBA star Žydrūnas Ilgauskas with which he was meeting practically every day, at school, in the gym or elsewhere for the next eleven years. Tomas Masiulis was another notable player in his team. Jasikevičius remembers that at first he was seen as the guy who was "talented but lazy" as he was no devotee of the gym; all he did was joke around and try to work as little as possible. Consequently, once his dad stopped him from going on a trip to Minsk with the team, a trip of kind which happens only once a year, as his marks were disastrous and it was a punishment: "No school? So no basketball". Though, his parents were happy to see him venting his hyperactivity in basketball, and this made them urge him on towards the sport, as it also helped him avoid bad company in the area. They played in the gym, and also in the street using scrap metal instead of real baskets, and their favorite pastime was called minus, a kind of forerunner of little game that can be seen today during the NBA All-Star Game called "horse". It was far from ideal, but his parents preferred to see him play with the scrap metal hoops in front of their home rather than down at the pitch, where it would have taken him less than five minutes to pick a fight with the wrong person. His childhood dream was to become a Žalgiris Kaunas player about which he was so crazy that he knew everything about every player, even the players’ shoe sizes. Following the Žalgiris' victory in 1986 Intercontinental Cup, he begged his father to take him to the airport to welcome home the players, where hundreds of people were waiting in the freezing cold. His father knew some of the players, and managed to get signed posters and photos that he used to decorate all the walls of his room.
Šarūnas Jasikevičius, about his first trip to Spain.
Šarūnas started going to school in Jonas Jablonskis Middle School in 1982 and attended it till 1987. He had to take the bus to go to school even though the thermometer outside read minus twenty and he knew that the most important thing for his parents was that he spent as little time as possible with the toughest people of Partizanai Street. From 1987 to 1993, he was studying at Kaunas 4th Middle School. His first trip destination was Moscow, which he visited before the tournament. Jasikevičius's greatest youth memory in the city was the opening of the first McDonald's in Russia. He remembers that his classmates were listening with their mouths gaping when he was narrating about the French fries, bread rolls with minced beef and fizzy drinks. One of his childhood passions was history, especially about the Native Americans, as well as books about basketball as he was capable of reading a book of more than four hundred pages on basketball in two days. He was also curious about politics, especially when Perestroika began, because of which he was able to travel to Berlin with his father and brother, and was amazed by the visit to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. His childhood favorite Lithuanian player was Arvydas Sabonis, which he admired more than other Lithuanian superstars, such as Rimas Kurtinaitis and Valdemaras Chomičius, due to his passing. However, his idol was Dražen Petrović, and he wished to be as good as him, watching matches of him over and over again, dozens of times, for hours and hours, and later started imitating him in workouts. After one of his trips, his dad came back with a videocassette recorder, using which he was able to record an NBA All-Star Game with Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, and later to watch it for couple of years, more than hundred times. Jasikevičius also started to record games of Žalgiris and Petrović every time he was able to. Thanks to the video recorder, he discovered the existence of a no-look pass of Magic Johnson. For him, he was the NBA, not Michael Jordan. His unselfishness, imagination and the way he dribbled, passed between his opponent's legs bewitched Jasikevičius. Consequently, his favorite element of basketball quickly became assisting his teammates, and he was trying to do it like Petrović or Johnson.
Later he continued his studies in the United States. In 1993–94 he attended the Solanco High School in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. That year his team won 25 of 27 games and was one of the contenders for the State Championship final, however they lost their first playoffs game and finished the season early. Although, he was noticed by Billy Hahn, who was working as University of Maryland assistant coach and invited Jasikevičius to join them.
Jasikevičius played NCAA Division I college basketball at the University of Maryland, with the Maryland Terrapins. He played as a wing, although he remade himself into a point guard in his pro career. He did not see much playing time in his first two years in college, with seniors Duane Simpkins, Johnny Rhodes, and Exree Hipp ahead of him at the wing positions. As a junior, he became a better passer and improved his defense. He averaged a shade under 13 points and 4 assists in his junior and senior years.
Jasikevičius made his pro debut in 1998 with Lietuvos rytas of Vilnius and averaged 18.0 points and 5.4 assists. He joined the Union Olimpija for the next season and won the Slovenian Cup. His season averages were down to 9.3 points and 3.4 assists per game.
Jasikevičius played the next three seasons with FC Barcelona, and won the EuroLeague with them in 2003. He started for the championship team, and averaged 13.4 points and 3.2 assists per game. He also led the team to two Spanish League titles, and two Spanish King's Cups.
Jasikevičius signed with the Indiana Pacers in July 2005. The deal was worth $12 million over three years. He played in the NBA in 112 games (16 starts) with the Pacers, in one and a half seasons, averaging 7.3 points and 3.0 assists per game.
On 17 January 2007, Jasikevičius was traded to the Golden State Warriors, along with Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, and Josh Powell, in exchange for Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Ike Diogu, and Keith McLeod. He did not become a part of the rotation in Golden State. He averaged 4.3 points and 2.3 assists per game, in 26 games (2 starts), in only 11.9 minutes per game. Jasikevičius was bought out by the Warriors on 20 September 2007.
On 25 September 2007, Jasikevičius signed with Panathinaikos. The deal reportedly was worth €7 million euros net income over two years (7.7 million including his buyout). With Panathinaikos, he won the EuroLeague again in 2009. Jasikevičius became the only player in basketball history to win the EuroLeague with three different teams. He also won three Greek League titles and three Greek Cups with Panathinaikos. In 2009, he signed a contract extension worth € 3.5 million euros net income with Panathinaikos. He underwent a knee surgery that same year, and after 5 months of rehabilitation, he returned to the court with limited playing time.
In November 2010, he signed a one-year contract with Lietuvos rytas of the Lithuanian Basketball League.
In January 2011, Fenerbahçe, bought-out his contract with Lietuvos Rytas, and he signed a one-year contract with them.
In September 2011, he signed a new contract with Panathinaikos. At age 36, he was named the Greek Cup Final MVP, as he helped Panathinaikos to victory against Olympiacos, in a game that finished with a score of 71–70. Despite rumors that he would join Žalgiris, in July 2012, Jasikevičius signed with his former team, FC Barcelona. During the fifth Liga ACB finals game against Real Madrid, Jasikevičius scored 23 points, and dished out 2 assists in 19 minutes of game action. However, it wasn't enough, as Real won the game 79 to 71.
On 1 July 2013, it was announced that Barcelona had parted ways with Jasikevičius. In September, he returned home to Kaunas, signing with Žalgiris. On September 30, 2013, he debuted with Žalgiris, during a game against Unics Kazan, scoring 6 points and dishing out 4 assists. He retired after the season, and joined the Žalgiris coaching staff.
National team careerEdit
He started his senior international career in 1997, when he played for Lithuania's senior national team at EuroBasket 1997. Jasikevičius was a member of the Lithuanian national team which won bronze medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics. He averaged 14.0 points and 5.1 assists, and scored a tournament-high 27 points, in a semi-finals loss to the United States.
Jasikevičius also helped Lithuania win bronze medals at the EuroBasket 2007. He averaged 10.4 points and 5.6 assists per game, and scored a tournament-high 18 points against Turkey, on 3 September 2007.
As of 2012, he was the only Lithuanian basketball player to participate in the Summer Olympics four times in a row. He retired from the Lithuanian national team following the 2012 Summer Olympics. In his whole career as a Lithuania national basketball team member, he averaged 10 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game.
On 29 July 2014, Jasikevičius announced his retirement from playing basketball, and was appointed to an assistant coach position with Žalgiris Kaunas. After the firing of head coach Gintaras Krapikas during the 2015–16 season, Jasikevičius became the team's interim head coach. On 13 January 2016, it was announced that he was appointed as their new head coach.
On 22 January 2016, he accomplished his first EuroLeague victory as a head coach, when Žalgiris shockingly crushed the previous season's runners-up, Olympiacos, by a score of 75–55, at Žalgiris Arena. On October 26, 2016, just before the first game versus his former long-time head coach Željko Obradović, Željko said: "I knew that he will be a good coach and in the future - one of the best in Europe". On June 13, 2017, he was named best coach of the 2016–17 LKL season. After the season, San Antonio Spurs and U.S. national team head coach Gregg Popovich, invited him to join his coaching staff during the 2017 NBA Summer League. However, Jasikevičius declined, due to his already early planned summer. Jasikevičius also took third place in the voting for the 2017 Alexander Gomelsky EuroLeague Coach of the Year award.
In the 2017–18 EuroLeague season, Jasikevičius and his Žalgiris surprised by ending in the sixth place in the regular season. On April 26, 2018, Žalgiris qualified for the 2018 EuroLeague Final Four by beating Olympiacos in game 4 to clinch a 3–1 series win. It was achieved by having a second lowest budget in the whole league. During the semi-final, Žalgiris played Fenerbahçe Doğuş, unfortunately losing 76–67. Two days lather they faced CSKA Moskow in the bronze medal game, winning that game 77–79 and finishing 3rd in the 2017-2018 EuroLeague season. On June 20, 2018, he was named best coach of the 2017–18 LKL season after coaching Žalgiris to yet another Lithuanian League title. On June 27, 2018, Jasikevičius signed one-season contract with Žalgiris. He was named as a LKL Coach of the Year for the third straight time in 2019.
|G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win-loss %|
Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the team played during the season. He also coached in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.
|Žalgiris Kaunas||2015–16||12||2||10||.167||Eliminated in Top 16 stage|
|2016–17||30||14||16||.467||Eliminated in regular season|
|2017–18||36||22||14||.611||Won in 3rd place game|
|2018–19||34||16||18||.471||Eliminated in quarterfinals|
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||PIR||Performance Index Rating|
Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.
|†||Denotes seasons in which Jasikevičius won the EuroLeague|
|Led the league|
|2003–04†||Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv||21||20||29.7||.477||.448||.925||1.6||4.8||.7||.0||16.0||16.3|
|2004–05†||Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv||24||23||31.7||.431||.399||.941||2.7||5.3||.9||.1||15.7||16.6|
In 2015, his biographical book Laimėti neužtenka (English: To win is not enough) was published in Italian, Greek and Lithuanian languages. An English version was also soon released. Later on, Spanish and Israeli publishing houses also showed interest.
On July 21, 2017, Jasikevičius married the mother of his two children, Anna Douka, after 8 years of relationship. The ceremony was held in Greece. Many famous basketball personalities attended the event, including Željko Obradović, Dimitris Itoudis, Mike Batiste, Paulius Jankūnas, Darius Songaila, and others.
Honors and awardsEdit
- Lietuvos Rytas (1998–99)
- Union Olimpija (1999–2000)
- Slovenian Cup: (2000)
- FC Barcelona (2000–03)
- Maccabi Tel Aviv (2003–05)
- Indiana Pacers (2005–07)
- Golden State Warriors (2007)
- Panathinaikos (2007–10)
- Lietuvos Rytas (2010)
- Fenerbahçe (2011)
- Panathinaikos (2011–12)
- Greek Cup: (2012)
- FC Barcelona (2012–2013)
- Spanish Cup: (2013)
- Žalgiris (2013–14)
- Lithuanian Championship: (2014)
- Spanish League Finals MVP: (2003)
- FIBA EuroBasket All-Tournament Team: (2003)
- FIBA EuroBasket MVP: (2003)
- Mr. Europa: (2003)
- 2× All-EuroLeague Team: (2004, 2005)
- 2× All-Europe Player of the Year: (2004, 2005)
- EuroLeague Final Four MVP: (2005)
- EuroLeague Finals Top Scorer: (2005)
- Israeli Super League MVP: (2005)
- 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors: (2008)
- Greek League Best Five: (2009)
- EuroLeague 2001–10 All-Decade Team: (2010)
- Greek Cup MVP: (2012)
- EuroLeague Basketball Legend: (2015)
- Sarunas Jasikevicius - Player profile.
- Sarunas Jasikevicius to be honored as Euroleague Basketball Legend ‹See Tfd›(in English)
- Real ruin Jasikevicius´ Euroleague legend induction, Barca bounce back.
- Š.Jasikevičius oficialiai pripažintas Eurolygos legenda (VIDEO) (in Lithuanian)
- "Biografija". Sarunas13lt.blogspot.lt. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- Jasikevičius & Scibetta 2015, p. 9.
- Jasikevičius & Scibetta 2015, p. 9-10.
- Jasikevičius & Scibetta 2015, p. 10.
- "Šarūnas Jasikevičius - LTOK". LTOK.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 7 April 2017.
- Jasikevičius & Scibetta 2015, p. 11-12.
- Jasikevičius & Scibetta 2015, p. 15.
- Jasikevičius & Scibetta 2015, p. 13-14.
- "#SavasTarpSvetimų. Jasikevičius "Tik būdamas JAV supratau, kad egzistuoja rasizmas"". YouTube.com (LKL Television). Retrieved 6 April 2016.
- Jasikevicius’ Quest
- http://www.interbasket.net/players/jasikevicius.htm Jasikevicius Has Continental Flair, Ex-Terp One of Europe's Best Guards By Tim Warren Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, 14 September 2003
- http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/college/events/1998/tournament/men/spotlight/jasikevicius.html Sarunas Jasikevicius, Maryland
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius gameplay as a member of Lietuvos Rytas in 1998 (until 3:40)
- http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/transactions?team=gsw&year=2007 Golden State Warriors Transactions 2006-07
- Warriors Request Waivers On Sarunas Jasikevicius.
- Greens land Jasikevicius, too.
- http://en.basketball.doudiz.com/competition-summary/788168.html Euroleague Summary
- Euroleague.net PANATHINAIKOS keeps Jasikevicius.
- Talkbasket.com Jasikevicius stays put at Panathinaikos.
- Lietuvos Rytas brings home Jasikevicius.
- FENERBAHCE ULKER: Saras agrees to terms.
- GREENS, Saras together again.
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius led Panathinaikos to victory against Olympiacos in Greek Cup (Lithuanian)
- Š.Jasikevičius: My biggest dream was to play in Žalgiris (Lithuanian)
- Euroleague.net FC BARCELONA, Saras together again.
- Best season game for Šarunas Jasikevičius wasn't enough to win ACB title
- "Barcelona part ways with Jasikevicius, Mavrokefalides, Wallace". Sportando. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "ZALGIRIS KAUNAS brings home Saras!". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 27 September 2013.
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius debuted in Žalgiris (in Lithuanian)
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius is retiring and will become G. Krapikas assistant (in Lithuanian)
- "Sarunas Jasikevicius". FIBAEurope.com. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius Biography and Statistics.
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius: 2002/2003 Europos vyrų čempionatas.
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius: 2006/2007 Europos vyrų čempionatas.
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius and Rimantas Kaukėnas retired from Lithuania national men's basketball team
- "'El Mago' Jasikevicius anuncia su retirada". marca.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Zalgiris and head coach Krapikas part ways". BC Žalgiris. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Sarunas Jasikevicius is the new Zalgiris head coach". BC Žalgiris. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Pirmoji Šaro pergalė Eurolygoje: nepasiduodantis "Žalgiris" patiesė "Olympiakos"". 24sek.lt. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
- Urbonas, Donatas. "Šarūnas Jasikevičius – kaip iš akies luptas krepšinio genijus". 24sek.lt. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
- Sarapas, Jaunius. "Kauniečių dominavimas: LKL metų treneris – Š. Jasikevičius, organizacija – "Žalgiris"". Krepsinis.lt. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
- "Š. Jasikevičiui – "Spurs" kvietimas prisijungti prie trenerių štabo". Krepsinis.lt. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- "Fenerbahce's Zeljko Obradovic is voted the Alexander Gomelsky Coach of the Year!". Euroleague.net. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- Augustis, Mindaugas. "Jasikevičius prisiekė meilę "Žalgiriui" ir pažadėjo klubui šviesią ateitį". DELFI.lt. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
- "Sezono uždarymo šventė: LKL titulai byrėjo žalgiriečiams". 15min.lt/24sek. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- ""Žalgiryje" liekantis Šaras: čia – mano namai". DELFI.lt. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
- "LKL sezono uždaryme – Š.Jasikevičiaus, E.Ulanovo ir „Žalgirio" triumfas". 15min.lt. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
- "Š.Jasikevičiui sukurti vardiniai krepšinio batai". Krepsinis.lt. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Saras, Baston Hope to Rekindle Title Chemistry. by Conrad Brunner, 6 October 2006.
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius became a dad
- Šarūnas Jasikevičius named his son Šarūnas
- ""Žalgiryje" – du Jasikevičiai: Šarūno brolis Vytenis atstovaus dublerių ekipai". DELFI.lt. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "SARUNAS JASIKEVICIUS-WIN NOT ENOUGH". Petrolioshop.com. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Šarūno Jasikevičiaus biografinė knyga – jau knygynuose: "Turėtų patikti ir nesidomintiems krepšiniu"". Žmonės.lt. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
- "Šarūnas Jasikevičius Graikijoje tuokiasi su Anna Douka: vestuvės – po 8 metų draugystės". 15min.lt. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
- "Paviešintos Šarūno Jasikevičiaus vestuvių nuotraukos". lrytas.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 22 July 2017.
- "Šarūno Jasikevičiaus vestuvių vakarėlyje – ir elitiniai Europos treneriai". BasketNews.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 22 July 2017.
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