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 was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.
|Born||August 4, 1957|
Riga, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
|Listed height||6 ft 4.75 in (1.95 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|Playing career||1976–1989, 1992–1997|
|Coaching career||1996–2003, 2006–2010|
|Career highlights and awards|
As head coach
|FIBA Hall of Fame as player|
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.
National team careerEdit
Soviet national teamEdit
Valters first made his name in European basketball when he was named the MVP of EuroBasket 1981, 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.
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, 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.
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.
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. He also helped to create the basketball league for Latvian youth players, the LJBL.
In 2013, Valters released his autobiographical book, called "Dumpinieks ar ideāliem" (Rebel with ideals). He is currently working as an analyst for the Latvian TV channel, TV6, as a host of the weekly sports show Overtime.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2014-09-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-03-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)