Domantas Sabonis (born May 3, 1996) is a Lithuanian-American professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously played in Spain for Unicaja Málaga's junior and senior teams before playing two seasons of college basketball for Gonzaga. He is the son of the Basketball Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, and was born in Portland, while his father was playing for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Sabonis with the Thunder in February 2017
|No. 11 – Indiana Pacers|
|Position||Center / Power forward|
|Born||May 3, 1996|
|Nationality||Lithuanian / American|
|Listed height||6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|NBA draft||2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall|
|Selected by the Orlando Magic|
|2016–2017||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Despite being only a 16-year-old, on September 5, 2012, Sabonis debuted for Unicaja Málaga against Cibona Zagreb. He was later loaned to Clínicas Rincón for the 2012–13 season. He returned to Málaga for the 2013–14 season and debuted in the Liga ACB on October 13, 2013, becoming the youngest Unicaja player to debut in the ACB (17 years, 5 months and 10 days). On October 18, Sabonis debuted in the EuroLeague against Olympiacos Piraeus. In February 2014, he finished in the top 10 for the 2013 FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year Award voting. His best ACB game came on May 3, when he scored 13 points on 100% shooting. On May 10, Sabonis helped Unicaja's junior team win the Spain Youth Basketball League silver medal. In the final game, he recorded 14 points and eight rebounds. In January 2015, he finished in the top 5 for the 2014 FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year Award voting. During his time with Unicaja, he never signed a professional contract with salary in order to remain eligible for the NCAA.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Portland, Oregon||Sunny View School / Unicaja Malaga||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)||210 lb (95 kg)||Apr 17, 2014|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: N/A Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN: N/A ESPN grade: NR|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: NR Rivals: NR 247Sports: #26 ESPN: NR|
Sabonis declined a Unicaja offer of a 3-year $630,000 contract in order to play in the NCAA. He committed to NCAA Division I squad Gonzaga University prior to the 2014–15 season. On November 14, 2014, Domantas Sabonis solidly debuted by scoring 14 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and dishing 2 assists, along with one steal and one block in 20 minutes. On February 3, 2015, after averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per 26 minutes he was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week. After a stellar regular season with Gonzaga, Sabonis was named to the All-WCC Second team, as well as to the WCC All-Freshman team. On March 10, the Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated the BYU Cougars 91–75 and won the WCC Tournament Title for the third straight time. Sabonis was one of the best players in the game with 15 points and 6 rebounds. During March Madness, Sabonis led Gonzaga to the Sweet 16 with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Gonzaga beat UCLA to make it to the Elite Eight, Gonzaga's first regional final with Mark Few as head coach and second overall. Sabonis scored 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds during that game. The season ended with a loss to the future champions Duke and Sabonis was named to the NCAA Tournament South Regional All-Tournament team. In his first NCAA season, Sabonis averaged 9.7 points, along with Gonzaga team highs of 66.8% field-goal percentage and 7.1 rebounds.
Sabonis began his second NCAA season with an outstanding career-high performance of 26 points (2FG: 12/13, FT: 2/2); he also added 7 rebounds in a 91–52 win over Northern Arizona. On December 19, Sabonis set a new career high in points and rebounds, scoring 36 points (FG: 12/16, FT: 12/15) and adding a 16 rebounds; his team won 86–79. The Zags' head coach Mark Few said that he never had seen a monster line like that for a Zag. Two days later, Sabonis improved on another career high by dishing out 6 assists; he also scored 23 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and led Gonzaga past the Pepperdine Waves 99-73. On January 2, 2016, he was just one point shy of his scoring record with 35 points; he also added 14 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks in a thrilling come-from-behind victory in OT versus the San Francisco Dons 102–94. On January 9, Sabonis once again improved his rebounds record by grabbing 17 rebounds, and adding 28 points, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 4 assists, his team won 85–74. After the game, the Bulldogs head coach Mark Few said: "Sabonis, none of us can take for granted the type of year he is having... Such consistency, it's amazing". On January 21, nearly posted a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and a career-high 7 assists. Two days later, Sabonis grabbed a new career high of 20 rebounds, as well as 12 points and 2 assists. He was named to the 35-man midseason watchlist for the Naismith Trophy on February 11. On March 1, he was included into the First-team All-WCC. Two days later, Sabonis received CoSIDA Academic All-American honors.
On March 17, Sabonis began his second March Madness appearance by leading his team past the Seton Hall Pirates 68-52 to the Round of 32, scoring 21 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and making 4 assists, despite having a flu. On March 19, he helped his team to advance into the Sweet 16 stage with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, crushing the third-seeded Utah Utes 82–59. Moreover, he limited his direct opponent and one of the top prospects Jakob Pöltl to just 5 points and 4 rebounds. Following it, Sabonis was the most efficient post-up player left in the NCAA tournament. Despite his yet another monster performance of 19 points, 17 rebounds (7 offensive) and 5 blocks on March 25, his journey was stopped by the Syracuse Orange during the final match moments, losing 60–63. In his second NCAA season Sabonis almost doubled his every single statistical line comparing with the previous season. During the March Madness, his averages were 19.6 points, 14.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 3.3 blocks. On March 29, Sabonis was named to the CBS College Basketball All-America Third-team, along with Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray and Yogi Ferrell. Sabonis also was one of the finalists in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.
NBA draft preparation
In early April 2016, several U.S. media reports indicated that he would declare himself eligible for the 2016 NBA draft and would hire an agent, marking the end of his career at Gonzaga. On April 20, he signed with Jason Ranne and Greg Lawrence of Wasserman Media Group for representation in the NBA draft. Prior to the draft, he rejected the offer to participate in NBA Draft Combine. Instead, he participated in four pre-draft workouts with the Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2016–2017)
Sabonis was selected 11th overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2016 NBA draft. He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with Ersan İlyasova and Victor Oladipo for Serge Ibaka on draft night. He did not participate in the 2016 NBA Summer League in order to join the Lithuania men's national basketball team training camp. On August 12, 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Thunder. He made his debut for the Thunder in their season opener as their starting power forward on October 26, recording five points and four rebounds in 16 minutes as a starter in a 103–97 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He became the first Thunder player to debut as a starting five member since Kevin Durant. On November 7, he recorded season highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds in a 97–85 win over the Miami Heat. On December 23, he set a new season high with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting in a 117–112 win over the Boston Celtics. On January 25, 2017, he was named in the World Team for the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge. Six days later, he matched his season high with 13 rebounds and had 13 points in a 108–94 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. On February 18, he scored 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting in only 12 minutes to help Team World defeat Team USA 150–141 in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend. Sabonis transitioned to a bench role in early March, following the acquisition of Taj Gibson at the trade deadline. In his debut season, he was a member of the starting five in 66 of 81 games. The Thunder qualified for the NBA Playoffs as the sixth seed, but they were eliminated 4–1 by the Houston Rockets in the first round; Sabonis played just six minutes in the series, as he managed court time in just two of the five games. Upon concluding his rookie season, Sabonis indicated that he would participate in the 2017 NBA Summer League in preparation for EuroBasket 2017.
Indiana Pacers (2017–present)
—Domantas Sabonis, about his third season in the NBA.
On July 6, 2017, Sabonis was traded, along with Victor Oladipo, to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Paul George. Due to the unexpected trade, he not only missed the 2017 NBA Summer League, but was also ruled out from representing the Lithuanian national team during EuroBasket 2017. In his debut for the Pacers in their season opener on October 18, Sabonis had 16 points and seven rebounds in a 140–131 win over the Brooklyn Nets. On October 29, he had 22 points and 12 rebounds, both career highs, while going 9 of 9 from the field in a 97–94 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Two days later, he recorded a career-high 16 rebounds in addition to 12 points and five assists in a 101–83 win over the Sacramento Kings. On November 2, he recorded a career-high six assists in addition to 15 points and 12 rebounds in a 124–107 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. On December 18, he had a career-high three blocked shots to go with 17 points and eight rebounds in a 109–97 win over the Nets. On January 3, 2018, he had a career-high 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting in a 122–101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. While participating in the 2018 NBA Rising Stars Challenge, Sabonis recorded 13 points, 11 rebounds and three assists to help Team World defeat Team USA 155–124. On April 8, he scored a career-high 30 points in a 123–117 win over the Charlotte Hornets. In Game 5 of the Pacers' first-round playoff series against the Cavaliers, Sabonis scored a playoff career-high 22 points in a 98–95 loss.
On September 26, 2018, the Pacers picked up the team option on Sabonis' contract. On October 31, he was 12-for-12 shooting while matching his career high with 30 points in a 107–101 win over the New York Knicks. On November 19, he had 19 points, nine rebounds and a career-high nine assists in a 121–94 win over the Utah Jazz. In December 2018, he was chosen as the Lithuanian Player of the Year by the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. On March 19, 2019, he tied a career high with 16 rebounds in a 115–109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
National team career
Sabonis made his international debut with the Lithuania U-16 national team at the 2012 FIBA U-16 European Championship, averaging 14.1 points, 14.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He grabbed a tournament-high 27 rebounds against Poland on July 27. In 2013, at 17 years of age, Domantas played for Lithuania U-18 team in 2013 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. He averaged 14 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game and was tournament leader in rebounds per game. His best game was against Serbia when he scored 22 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and dished out 3 assists. Lithuania won the game 74-70 in OT. In 2014, coach Jonas Kazlauskas included Sabonis into preliminary 24 players list for main Lithuania men's national basketball team. In 2014, D.Sabonis played in the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship for the second time. This time he averaged 15.9 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. He was once again one of the best tournament rebounders, this time outperformed only by Yankuba Sima, who had 12.1 rebounds per game. In 2015, Sabonis was once again included into the Lithuania men's national team extended candidates list. On July 9, 2015, he was invited to join the Lithuania men's national team training camp for the first time. On July 15, by participating in 2015 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, Sabonis achieved the youth tournaments rebounds record by grabbing 28 of them, by doing so he also led Lithuanians to victory versus Ukraine 70–57. Not surprisingly, he was the best tournament rebounder as in almost all previous youth competitions, with 13.2 per game this time. On July 29, Sabonis debuted in Lithuania men's national team during game versus Australia by scoring 4 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. By doing so, he immediately became the all-time youngest Lithuanian to debut in a game representing the primary men's national team. Previously, the record was held by the Lithuanian basketball star Jonas Valančiūnas, who did that when he was 19 years and 3 months old. Sabonis performed it being 19 years, 2 months and 26 days old. In total, he averaged 6 points and 5.9 rebounds during the preparation games phase, and was the team's second best rebounder after Jonas Valančiūnas. Following the solid performance at such age, Sabonis qualified into the Lithuania men's national basketball team and represented it at EuroBasket 2015, and won a silver medal during his debut year. He also was a member of the Lithuanian Olympic national team during the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he averaged 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.
|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||Bold||Career high|
- Domantas Sabonis Reportedly Commits to Gonzaga
- Katz, Fred. "Domantas Sabonis to play in Rising Stars Challenge". Norman Transcript.
- Sabonis debiutavo „Unicaja“ komandoje
- „Unicaja“ su D.Saboniu ir M.Kuzminsku pergale pradėjo Ispanijos čempionatą
- D.Sabonis tapo jauniausiu Ispanijos čempionate žaidusiu „Unicaja“ žaidėju
- SARIC IS 2013 YOUNG MEN'S POY
- Per 18–ąjį gimtadienį Sabonis sužaidė geriausias sezono rungtynes
- Sabonis su „Unicaja“ Ispanijos jaunimo pirmenybėse iškovojo sidabro medalius
- SARIC IS 2014 YOUNG MEN'S POY
- Domantas Sabonis prisijungs prie pagrindinės „Unicaja“ komandos
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- "Domas Sabonis Signs Men's Basketball Letter-Of-Intent". April 17, 2014.
- Interview of Domas Sabonis
- NCAA starte – puikus Sabonio pasirodymas (video)
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- "WCC Announces 2015 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team". Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- MBB Grabs Third Straight WCC Tournament Title Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- Highlights - Gonzaga vs BYU (WCC Championship 2015) - VIDEO
- Solidžiai rungtyniavusio Sabonio komanda triumfavo Vakarų pakrantės konferencijoje
- D.Sabonis svariai prisidėjo prie „Bulldogs“ triumfo Vakarų pakrantės konferencijos finale
- MBB Sweeps Past Iowa for Trip to Sweet 16 Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- „Bulldogs“ su Saboniu po 16 metų pertraukos pateko tarp 8 geriausių NCAA komandų (video)
- "Notebook: Zag seniors already missed". Retrieved March 29, 2015.
- NCAA lietuviai: nuo debiutavusio Sabonio iki prestižinį universitetą baigiančio Maldūno
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- "Updated top 25 players for 2015-2016". August 13, 2015.
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- "Bogdanovic leads Pacers to 101-83 rout of Kings". ESPN.com. October 31, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
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- "Sabonis, Oladipo lift Pacers over Knicks 107-101". ESPN.com. October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
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- Domantas Sabonis FIBAEurope.com
- Players - Statistical Leaders (Rebounds) | U18 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP MEN - DIVISION A
- Sabonio vedami lietuviai po pratęsimo parklupdė serbus (statistika)
- LTU - Numerous options as Kazlauskas announces list for Spain 2014
- Domantas Sabonis | U18 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP MEN - DIVISION A
- Domantas Sabonis |U18 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP MEN - DIVISION A
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