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Paulius Jankūnas (born 29 April 1984) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player for Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League and the EuroLeague. He is also a member of the senior Lithuanian national team. Jankūnas can play at either center or power forward, with power forward being his main position. He earned an All-EuroLeague Second Team selection in 2018.

Paulius Jankūnas
Paulius Jankūnas 13 BC Žalgiris EuroLeague 20180223.jpg
Jankūnas, in 2018.
No. 13 – Žalgiris Kaunas
PositionPower forward / Center
LeagueLithuanian Basketball League
EuroLeague
Personal information
Born (1984-04-29) 29 April 1984 (age 35)
Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
NationalityLithuanian
Listed height6 ft 8.75 in (2.05 m)
Listed weight236 lb (107 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2006 / Undrafted
Playing career2003–present
Career history
2002–2003LKKA-Žalgiris Kaunas
2003–2009Žalgiris Kaunas
2009–2010Khimki
2010–presentŽalgiris Kaunas
Career highlights and awards

Early yearsEdit

Jankūnas played two seasons with the LKKA-Žalgiris, he and led them to a LKAL (Lithuanian League 2nd Division) title in 2003. He was named the MVP, after averaging 20.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.

He competed at the Reebok Eurocamp in Treviso, in 2003.[1]

Professional careerEdit

 
Jankūnas with Žalgiris Kaunas, in 2014.

Jankūnas made his pro debut with the Lithuanian club Žalgiris, in the 2003–04 season. When asked about playing with European basketball legend Arvydas Sabonis, in his rookie season, Jankūnas responded: "No doubt it was the most remarkable season. It was fantastic to play with Arvydas Sabonis. I was very young, and it was very exciting. In the beginning, I was a little bit afraid and uncomfortable, but later things got easy, and I learned a lot from him. When I was a kid, I used to watch him playing on TV, and never dared to dream that I would be playing with Arvydas Sabonis. One day I woke up, and Sabonis was my teammate. It was great. He had huge experience, and gave a lot of advice to me. It was a big honor to play with him, and I hope I learned something from Sabonis."[2]

He was originally an early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA draft, before withdrawing his name from consideration. Jankūnas helped Žalgiris win three Baltic League titles, in 2005, 2008, and 2011, six Lithuanian League titles, in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012, and four Lithuanian Cups, in 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012.

He averaged 13.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, in the 2008–09 EuroLeague season, and scored a season-high 23 points, in a win against Asseco Prokom Sopot, on 18 December 2008.[3] However, Žalgiris finished with a 2-8 record, and did not qualify to the competition's Top 16.[4] Jankūnas was named the 2009 Baltic League MVP, after averaging 15.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.[5]

On 14 August 2009, he signed a two-year contract with the Russian club BC Khimki.[6]

On 24 July 2010, it was announced that Jankūnas was coming back to Žalgiris Kaunas.[7] In May 2018, he was named the All-EuroLeague Second Team for the 2017–18 season.[8]

National team careerEdit

 
Jankūnas (right), as a member of Lithuania's national team, in 2010.

Lithuanian junior national teamEdit

Jankūnas was a member of the Lithuanian junior national teams. He played at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Cup, where the Lithuanians won silver medals. Jankūnas led the 2004 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship in rebounding (12.3 rebounds per game), in addition to posting 12.5 points per game.

He also led Lithuania to a 2005 FIBA Under-21 World Cup title.[9] He averaged 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during the tournament.

Lithuanian senior national teamEdit

Jankūnas was a member of the senior Lithuania national team that finished in fifth place at the EuroBasket 2005. He averaged 8.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, during the tournament. He also helped the Lithuanians win a bronze medal at the EuroBasket 2007, and another bronze medal, at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Player profileEdit

A well built 2.05 m (6 ft. 8 ​34 in.) tall power forward, Jankūnas is a very good rebounder, and is also a good scorer. He prefers to score on the inside, and he often draws fouls from opposing team's players. He can also play as a stretch four, due to his consistent mid-range and three point shot.

Career statisticsEdit

Legend
  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
 Bold  Career high

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.

EuroLeagueEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2003–04 Žalgiris Kaunas 16 5 13.6 .526 .000 .636 2.9 .6 .5 .3 4.6 5.1
2004–05 20 12 18.8 .544 .143 .581 4.2 .6 .7 .1 6.2 7.7
2005–06 20 10 24.5 .468 .250 .714 6.8 1.1 .4 .3 10.8 12.3
2006–07 13 8 27.0 .483 .208 .673 4.2 1.0 1.3 .2 9.5 12.1
2007–08 20 19 21.6 .469 .324 .771 4.8 .8 .9 .4 8.6 9.4
2008–09 9 9 31.1 .440 .296 .778 8.0 1.2 1.0 .6 13.8 14.8
2009–10 Khimki Moscow 16 16 25.0 .475 .377 .773 4.9 .8 .8 .3 8.2 9.6
2010–11 Žalgiris Kaunas 16 8 26.3 .476 .152 .818 6.9 .9 .6 .4 9.4 11.7
2011–12 16 16 23.4 .447 .333 .727 5.6 .8 .8 .3 7.8 8.8
2012–13 17 16 24.8 .465 .292 .844 4.8 1.2 .8 .2 8.2 9.2
2013–14 21 21 26.2 .465 .257 .771 6.5 1.9 1.1 .3 8.8 12.0
2014–15 24 23 24.2 .480 .300 .800 6.5 1.1 .6 .5 9.1 12.0
2015–16 24 23 25.3 .540 .310 .838 6.2 1.5 .9 .2 12.3 15.5
2016–17 30 30 23.4 .548 .396 .868 6.1 1.5 .6 .4 13.0 16.8
2017–18 35 34 22.1 .576 .375 .833 4.9 1.4 .5 .3 11.3 13.7
2018–19 17 9 16.0 .500 .250 .892 3.1 .9 .2 .2 6.2 7.5
Career 314 259 23.2 .497 .300 .787 5.5 1.1 .7 .3 9.4 11.5

PersonalEdit

Jankūnas married his wife, Ieva, in the summer of 2007.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Paulius Jankunas Prospect Profile
  2. ^ Paulius Jankunas, Zalgiris Kaunas
  3. ^ Paulius Jank8nas: Sezono lygos statistika
  4. ^ Euroleague Regular Season 2008-09 Standings
  5. ^ Paulius Jankunas – The regular season MVP of the SEB BBL Elite Division Archived 2 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Thank you, Jorge! Hello, Paulius!
  7. ^ Zalgiris brings back Jankunas Euroleague.net
  8. ^ "2017-18 All-EuroLeague Second Team presented by 7DAYS". euroleague.net. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  9. ^ Euroleague.net interview: Paulius Jankunas, Zalgiris
  10. ^ Jankūnas šeštadienį veda mokyklos laikų meilę

External linksEdit