Valdis Valters

Valdis Valters (born August 4, 1957) is a retired Latvian professional basketball player. He played at the point guard position for the senior USSR national team. He is regarded as one of the greatest players to have played the game in Europe in the 1980s. Considering his lengthy work and deep connection to the sport, Valters has been one of the most influential people in Latvian basketball history. He became a FIBA Hall of Fame player in 2017.[1]

Valdis Valters
Personal information
Born (1957-08-04) August 4, 1957 (age 63)
Riga, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
Listed height6 ft 4.75 in (1.95 m)
Listed weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
Playing career1976–1989, 1992–1997
PositionPoint guard
Coaching career1996–2003, 2006–2010
Career history
As player:
1976–1989VEF Rīga
1992–1997BK Brocēni
As coach:
1996–2000BK Brocēni
2000–2003BK Skonto
2006–2007ASK Juniors
2007–2010VEF Rīga
Career highlights and awards
As player
  • EuroBasket MVP (1981)
  • 9× Latvian League champion (1974, 1979, 1982, 1984–1986, 1992, 1993, 1996)

As head coach

FIBA Hall of Fame as player

Club careerEdit

Valters spent most of his club career playing with the Latvian club VEF Rīga. In 1982, he set the USSR Premier League's all-time record for points scored in a single game, when he scored 69 points against Dynamo Moscow.[2]

National team careerEdit

Soviet national teamEdit

Valters first made his name in European basketball when he was named the MVP of EuroBasket 1981,[3] after he averaged 16.7 points per game, to lead his USSR national team to the gold medal. He was also on the All-Tournament Team of EuroBasket 1985.[4]

Valters also played a key role on the USSR national team that won the gold at the 1982 FIBA World Championship, in Colombia, where he was a starting point guard, and averaged 14.0 points per game.[5]

At the 1986 FIBA World Championship, Valters helped the Soviet Union to rally from a nine-point deficit, in the final minute of the game,[6] by hitting a three-pointer at the end of regulation, to send the semifinal game against Yugoslavia to overtime, and eventually earn a 91–90 win.[7]

Latvian national teamEdit

In 1992, after he had stopped playing basketball at the pro level, Valters returned to the court, and represented the senior Latvian national team at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament.[8]

Coaching careerEdit

After his basketball playing career ended, Valters also worked as a basketball coach and general manager. He founded his own basketball school, the Valtera Basketbola Skola (VBS), now known as Keizarmezs, whose alumni includes former NBA player Andris Biedriņš, as well as other top Latvian players.[9] He also helped to create the basketball league for Latvian youth players, the LJBL.

Other worksEdit

In 2013, Valters released his autobiographical book, called "Dumpinieks ar ideāliem" (Rebel with ideals).[10] He is currently working as an analyst for the Latvian TV channel, TV6, as a host of the weekly sports show Overtime.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Both of his sons, Kristaps and Sandis, are also professional basketball players.[12]


  1. ^ Dream Team, Shaq and Kukoc headline 2017 Class of FIBA Hall of Fame Inductees.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Latvia Workouts Underway 01 July 2010.
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ Vlade Divac, an icon without a ring.
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2014-09-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ [5]
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-03-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ [7]

External linksEdit