BC Lietuvos rytas

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BC Lietuvos rytas
BC Lietuvos rytas logo
Nickname Rytas
Leagues LBL
Founded 1964 (as Statyba)
1997 (as Lietuvos Rytas)
History Statyba (1964–1997)
Statyba-Lietuvos rytas (1997–1998)
Lietuvos Rytas (1998–present)
Arena Siemens Arena
(capacity: 11,000)
Lietuvos rytas Arena
(capacity: 2,500)
Location Vilnius, Lithuania
Team colors Black, White and Red
President Lithuania Gedvydas Vainauskas
Team manager Lithuania Martynas Purlys
Head coach ArgentinaItaly Marcelo Nicola
Championships 2 Eurocup
5 Lithuanian Championships
3 LKF Cup
1 North European League
3 Baltic Championships
1 Baltic Presidents Cup
Website bc.lrytas.lt
Kit body tupa13a.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours
Kit body az0910a.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours

BC Lietuvos rytas, also known simply as Rytas, is a Lithuanian professional basketball club based in Vilnius, Lithuania. The club, founded in 1997 on the basis of another club, BC Statyba, is one of the most successful Lithuanian basketball clubs. Rytas, among other titles, have won two Eurocup titles, five Lithuanian League titles, three Lithuanian Cups and three Baltic Championships. Lietuvos Rytas plays their home games at 11,000-seat Siemens Arena and 2,500-seat Lietuvos rytas Arena. They also had a daughter club Perlas which was used for the development of young players, but after two seasons in LKL it was dissolved.

Lietuvos Rytas basketball club is connected with the Lietuvos rytas newspaper and owned by newspaper editor Gedvydas Vainauskas who is also the president of the club.

Some of the greatest Lithuanian basketball players have played for Lietuvos Rytas over the years including: Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Arvydas Macijauskas, Jonas Valančiūnas, Martynas Gecevičius, Renaldas Seibutis, Simas Jasaitis, Robertas Javtokas, Darius Songaila, Marijonas Petravičius, Rimantas Kaukėnas, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Gintaras Einikis.

Lietuvos Rytas currently plays in the Eurocup, Lithuanian Basketball League, and LKF Cup


The origins (1963–1997)[edit]

Main article: BC Statyba

In 1963 first basketball team from Vilnius, called Žalgiris, was formed. Next year it changed its name to Plastikas. The same year, 1964, Plastikas players joined a new team, called Statyba. This name was used for over 30 years.[1]

Jonas Kazlauskas, Rimas Girskis, and then head coach Rimantas Endrijaitis led Statyba to a third place in the 1979 Soviet Union Championship.[2] Three years later, Šarūnas Marčiulionis joined the team and became its leader. In 1987, Artūras Karnišovas joined the team at the age of 16. In 1994 Statyba won bronze medals in first LKL season.

In 1995 biggest Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos rytas started sponsoring Sūduva Marijampolė, a basketball club from Marijampolė, Lithuania. The partnership lasted for two seasons, during which the team was known as Lietuvos Rytas Marijampolė and played in the second-tier Lithuanian league, the LKAL. A notable player for the team was teenager Darius Songaila. However, after 1996–97 season partnership ended.[3]

At the same time Statyba faced with financial difficulties and was at the verge of bankruptcy. The team needed new investors and in 1997 Lietuvos rytas bought the club. However, new owners didn't want to continue Statyba history and started anew – the team was renamed to Statyba-Lietuvos rytas, then just Lietuvos rytas. The newspaper's investment helped the club to establish itself as one of two best in Lithuania, the other being BC Žalgiris from the country's second-largest city Kaunas.

First successes (1997–2004)[edit]

Lithuanian star Šarūnas Jasikevičius started his career in Lietuvos Rytas.
Lietuvos Rytas was one of the first professional clubs for Robertas Javtokas.

During its first season, Lietuvos Rytas managed to repeat Statyba's biggest achievement in LKL and won bronze. Next season was even better - Rytas won LKL silver, losing only to reigning Euroleague's champions BC Žalgiris.

However, the biggest success at that time came in 2000, when Vilnius' side, led by the so-called "big three" — Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Andrius Giedraitis and Eric Elliott, also combined with youngsters Arvydas Macijauskas and Robertas Javtokas, managed to win LKL. The team was coached by Šarūnas Sakalauskas. It was the first time in the history of the Lithuanian Basketball League when Žalgiris did not win the LKL title. Also, Rytas reached the Saporta Cup semifinal, where they met last season Euroleague runner-up Kinder. After an upsetting home win 70–60, Lietuvos rytas lost in Italy 71–83, with Šiškauskas missing a three-pointer which would've won the two-game series for his team.

The next season, due to the split between the FIBA and ULEB, Rytas played in the FIBA Suproleague, making to the, but losing in quarterfinals to Anadolu Efes S.K.. The team won third place in the NEBL, a step down from the previous seasons second place. In the LKL finals, Žalgiris defeated Lietuvos rytas in tough five game series 3:2.

In 2002 Lietuvos rytas repeated their triumph, this time in a dramatic seven-game final series with the last game decided in overtime. The team played without center Robertas Javtokas, who was seriously injured in a motorbike crash.[4] Lietuvos rytas also won the NEBL title in 2002, becoming the last team winning the tournament. The team held first place in the group stage of the Saporta Cup, but lost in the quarter-finals to Hapoel Jerusalem B.C..

Over the next two seasons, Lietuvos rytas lost both times in the LKL finals to Žalgiris. They had more success in Europe, though, finishing in second place in the FIBA Eurocup regional stage (though losing to KK Hemofarm in the final stage). The team also succsefully debuted in the ULEB Cup, making to the quarterfinals, but losing to Hapoel Jerusalem B.C..

Foreign coaches era (2004–2008)[edit]

Lietuvos Rytas and Siemens arenas, opened 2004.
Neven Spahija, coach for the 2005-06 season.
Kareem Rush, leader for the second half of 2006-07 season.
The Lietuvos Rytas' lineup in 2007.

2004–05 - ULEB Cup Champions[edit]

After not winning any title in the past two seasons Lietuvos Rytas decided that change was needed and started recruiting foreign coaches, first of them being Serbian Vlade Đurović. Midway through the season, team leader Frederick House suffered a season-ending injury,[5] head coach Đurović resigned and was replaced by Slovenian Tomo Mahorič. Despite this, newcomer Tyrone Nesby, Latvian playmaker Roberts Štelmahers and an inspirational Lithuanian trio: Robertas Javtokas, Simas Jasaitis and Tomas Delininkaitis led the team to the victory of 2005 ULEB Cup, beating Pamesa Valencia in the semifinals and Makedonikos in the final. This victory granted them a place in the Euroleague, the continent's primary basketball club tournament. Lietuvos Rytas won second place in both the LKL and BBL finals.

2005–06 - Euroleague debut[edit]

Before the 2005–06 season, Croatian specialist Neven Spahija became the head coach of the team. Lietuvos rytas started the 2005-06 Euroleague season well. After losing their first two matches, Rytas matched the Euroleague record by winning seven consecutive Euroleague fixtures, defeating such teams as Winterthur FCB, champions Maccabi (twice) and Efes Pilsen. Those wins allowed Rytas to advance to Top 16 phase, where they won three times out of six, beating Tau Ceramica once and Brose Baskets twice. However, that was not enough and Lietuvos rytas was eliminated from that year's Euroleague.

After winning the Baltic Basketball League title, Lietuvos rytas won their easiest finals series, crushing Žalgiris 4–0. Despite winning the Lithuanian title, Lietuvos rytas did not acquire the country's spot for 2006–07 that was reserved to the archrival Žalgiris.


Although the coach and three leading players: Robertas Javtokas, Simas Jasaitis and Fred House had left the team during the interseason, the 2006–07 ULEB Cup season was rather successful for Lietuvos rytas as well, despite that two coaches were replaced during the season: Sharon Drucker from Israel was replaced by Slovenian Zmago Sagadin and the latter to his assistant coach Aleksandar Trifunović from Serbia. The roster was strengthened during the season when promising NBA player Kareem Rush arrived to lead the team to the ULEB Cup final where Lietuvos rytas was defeated by Real Madrid. However, Real Madrid's victory at the ACB semifinals and of one of four spots reserved for Spain allowed Lietuvos rytas to take part in the Euroleague 2007-08 season as the ULEB Cup finalist. On April 27, 2007, Lietuvos rytas won their second consecutive BBL title, Kareem Rush was named the Final Four MVP. The LKL finals and LKF Cup finals were both unsuccessful, though, as Žalgiris won them both.


Lietuvos Rytas was very successful in the regular season of 2007–08 Euroleague, beating teams like Unicaja Málaga or Armani Jeans Milano. Very notable victories were achieved against future Euroleague finalists of that season, Maccabi Tel Aviv. On November 1, Lietuvos rytas defeated Maccabi by 18 points at home for a third time in a row as Artūras Jomantas led the team with 19 points and became the week's co-MVP with Erazem Lorbek, both having performance index ratings of 29. The fourth victory in a row over Maccabi (away, by 5 points) was due to spectacular performances by Hollis Price (19 points) and Chuck Eidson (28 points).

A road victory against Cibona Zagreb on January 31, 2008 completed the Euroleague regular season for Lietuvos rytas and allowed them to remain at the first spot in the Group B securing a favorable position in the first pool before the Top 16 draw together with CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid and Panathinaikos Athens. Their 11–3 record was the team's best regular-season performance ever, and the best by a Lithuanian team in Euroleague at the time. However, the team wasn't as successful in the Top 16 and with record of 2–4 did not advance to playoffs.

Lietuvos rytas were the runner-up at all: the Lithuanian Basketball League, the Baltic Basketball League and the Lithuanian Cup.

Rimas Kurtinaitis era (2008–2010)[edit]

LKL trophy in Vilnius
Chuck Eidson, the leader of the team for the '08–09 season

The 2008–2009 season was met by the team with a significantly reduced budget, putting a greater emphasis on young and perspective local players. Nevertheless, Lietuvos rytas managed to win the first Baltic Basketball Presidents Cup. In October 21, 2008, Lietuvos Rytas had a first chance ever to play against NBA basketball club Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. Lietuvos Rytas lost that game with result 106:126.[6]

However, as many other Baltic professional sports clubs, Lietuvos rytas had to face the blow of financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009. Having lost two of its foreign leaders [7] Lietuvos rytas still managed to reach the second phase of Eurocup finishing second in their group with three home wins and three away losses. Head coach Antanas Sireika resigned and was replaced by a former Lietuvos rytas' player Rimas Kurtinaitis for the second half of the season. The team has started second phase of the Eurocup with only two foreign players, Chuck Eidson (a teammate of Petravičius at South Carolina) and Milko Bjelica on its roster which had been refreshed with promising Lithuanians. However, that was enough and Rytas successfully advanced to Final 8. Chuck Eidson was named the regular season MVP.

The Final 8 started with a victory against Benetton Treviso in quarterfinal on April 2, 2009. Two days later the team won semifinal against Hemofarm Vršac and made the third consecutive appearance in the ULEB Eurocup finals. Mindaugas Lukauskis has made a decisive three-pointer and that allowed him to become the only player to participate in the final three times in total and, later, the only two-times ULEB Cup champion. Going into finals, Rytas was considered underdog against rich Russian team BC Khimki. However, terrific performances of Steponas Babrauskas (18 points) and Marijonas Petravičius (20 points) allowed the team to overcome the odds and win the final. Lietuvos rytas made an outstanding 15:0 run, having left their rivals empty for 6 straight minutes in the third and fourth quarters. Rytas became the first team to reclaim the Eurocup title, while Marijonas Petravičius became the Final 8 MVP.

Lietuvos rytas was very successful in matches against archrival Žalgiris too. Firstly, it won the 2009 LKF Cup, with Mindaugas Lukauskis scoring the game-winning three pointer with 2 seconds left.[8] Next was the Baltic Basketball League final game - it was won by Lietuvos rytas on April 25, 2009 over Žalgiris, 97 to 74. Chuck Eidson scored 41 points and was announced the MVP.[9] It was the third BBL title for the club, compared to Žalgiris' two. The final trophy of the season was the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL). Lietuvos rytas swept past all the teams in the playoffs and qualified to the finals. There Vilnius team confronted their rival Žalgiris Kaunas and won the series 4 to 1, the final match taking place on May 18. This was the 4th time Lietuvos rytas became the LKL champion. It was the 5th trophy of the season for the team from 5 possible ones.

After the season team leaders Marijonas Petravičius, Mindaugas Lukauskis and Chuck Eidson left the team and Lietuvos rytas acquired new perspective players to replace them. The team began their 2009-2010 season with a dramatic loss to their rivals BC Žalgiris 78 to 83 in BBL Cup finals. Lietuvos rytas also participated in the 2009 Gomelsky Cup, in which the team claimed third place after a near-loss game against Triumph Lyubertsy 94 to 90.

Lietuvos rytas was not successful in Euroleague – they lost the deciding game against Unicaja Málaga, took the 5th place in Group B and did not advance to the Top 16. However, their fierce battles with BC Žalgiris continued. After winning the LKF Cup by the score of 77:65, Lietuvos rytas, having problems with players injuries,[10] suffered a loss in the BBL Finals to their rivals from Kaunas, 66 to 73. However, Lietuvos rytas took revenge and won the LKL trophy, beating Žalgiris after a thrilling series 4–3. It was the second consecutive LKL title of Vilnius' team. After the conclusion of the season, head coach Rimas Kurtinaitis left the club to be replaced by Croatian Dražen Anzulović.

Big dreams, small achievements (2010-2014)[edit]


Martynas Gecevičius was the team leader for the 2010-11 season.

The Euroleague 2010–2011 season was the fourth one for Lietuvos rytas. After an unsuccessful start of the season, Dražen Anzulović was replaced by the team's former coach Aleksandar Trifunović. The result being 0-4 in their Group C, the team signed free agent Lithuanian star and a former team member Šarūnas Jasikevičius. After winning 3 of 3 last Euroleague group phase games, Rytas qualified for the Top 16 stage in the fourth berth during their last games. At the New Year's Eve Jasikevičius was replaced by a former member of the team Simas Jasaitis, also a free agent.

The Top 16 phase was the most successful for the team from all its 3 attempts. Playing in the Group E Lietuvos rytas defeated Caja Laboral at home, Panathinaikos Athens and Unicaja Málaga on the road. The last round remaining, the team had a chance to finish first in their Top 16 E group. However, Lietuvos rytas lost to Caja Laboral and took the third place in the group. The 9th place in Euroleague is the highest achievement for Lietuvos Rytas in this tournament in whole club history.

However, the remaining part of the season was unsuccessful for the club as Lietuvos Rytas lost in the semi-final at the Baltic Basketball League and finished only in 3rd place for the first time in club history. The Coach Trifunović was replaced by assistant coach Darius Maskoliūnas. The game improved, but the team ended up losing to Žalgiris in the LKL finals, 4 games to 1.


Renaldas Seibutis became new team leader in the 2011-12 season.

After dismissing Milko Bjelica, Kenan Bajramović, D.J. Strawberry, Cemal Nalga and losing team leader Martynas Gecevičius, Lietuvos Rytas replaced 8 players and opened a new page in club history. The beginning of the season was not very successful as Lietuvos Rytas didn't win Euroleague's qualification tournament which was organized in Vilnius. Lietuvos Rytas won their first two matches against Budućnost and Cibona Zagreb, but lost the final game against Galatasaray with a score of 63:71. Because of that, Lietuvos Rytas had to play at the second-tier European competition - EuroCup. The team, led by Renaldas Seibutis, Jonas Valančiūnas and Tyrese Rice, made it to the EuroCup quarterfinal round for the fifth time in a row and defeated BC Donetsk there, but lost to Valencia Basket in the semifinals. Rytas finished third after defeating Spartak 71:62.

Lietuvos rytas finished 3rd in the regular season round of VTB United League and qualified for the eighth-final. They defeated BC Nizhny Novgorod there and advanced to quarterfinals where they met BC Khimki. Khimki were reigning Eurocup and VTB league champions and they were considered heavy favorites, but, unexpectedly, Rytas won the series 2:1. The Final Four tournament was organized at Siemens Arena. After a tense semifinal Lietuvos Rytas lost to CSKA and went on to win 3rd place against Lokomotiv-Kuban.

Despite two 3rd places in international competitions, Rytas lost the LKL final series to Žalgiris 0:3. This was the worst domestic season in team's history - Rytas lost all 6 of its matches (5 in LKL and 1 in BBL) to its rival. Following the conclusion of the season, Tyrese Rice, Lawrence Roberts, Aleksandar Rašić and Jonas Valančiūnas left the team.


After losing most of their leaders during the summer, Rytas formed a younger squad. Players like Nemanja Nedović were expected to be the future of the team. However, the season was not very successful. It started with loss of Lithuanian Supercup to BC Žalgiris. After struggling to find rhythm in the opening months, Lietuvos Rytas released coach Aleksandar Džikić, promoting Maskoliūnas as head coach. Though the game has improved, thanks to the solid play of Leon Radošević, Renaldas Seibutis and Nemanja Nedović, the Euroleague season was finished only with a 2-8 record. The team did not fare much better in the VTB United League. After Leon Radošević and Predrag Samardžiski were released, Rytas signed Milt Palacio, Tomislav Zubčić and Patrick O'Bryant. However, the rookies didn't help much and Rytas still missed the VTB playoffs, with BC Donetsk defeating Rytas in the deciding game. Coach Maskoliūnas was fired then and replaced with Dirk Bauermann. Rytas started to play much better then, and in April scored a shocking away win over BC Žalgiris (first one in almost 2 years). Rytas made the LKL finals for the 15th time in a row. However, BC Žalgiris easily swept Lietuvos Rytas 4-0 in the final.


Rytas became the first club in Lithuania for veteran Darius Songaila.

Due to the unsuccessful past season, the manager decided to almost completely rebuild the team: eight players left after the team lost LKL finals to the rival Žalgiris. Former team leader Martynas Gecevičius was recalled after two seasons break and a notable point guard Omar Cook was signed.[11] Because the team was second in the domestic league, it had to hope for a Euroleague wild card. The team did not receive it, and had to participate in Euroleague's qualification tournament once again, which was held in Vilnius.

Notable point guard Omar Cook was signed for the 2013-14 season.

This time, Rytas, led by Renaldas Seibutis and Martynas Gecevičius, was successful: it won three games in a row (against VEF Rīga, EWE Oldenburg and Telenet Oostende), and qualified for the Euroleague.[12] To strengthen the team roster before Euroleague games, Lietuvos rytas signed former NBA and Lithuania national team player Darius Songaila.[13] On October 18, 2013, Lietuvos rytas started 13/14 Euroleague season with a tremendous victory against Panathinaikos Athens with the result 84–83[14] after Renaldas Seibutis winning shot in OT.[15] The game was named as the Euroleague's Game of the Week and re-broadcast in over 150 countries worldwide.[16] However, after this, the level of play for the Lithuanian team dropped significantly and Rytas was not able to win any more games. 6 games were lost by 10 points or more and it turned out to be worst Lietuvos rytas season ever in Euroleague. Following the fiasco, coach Dirk Bauermann was replaced by Croat Aleksandar Petrović.[17] The change helped and on December 22, 2013, Rytas crushed its rival Žalgiris with the result 90–58.[18] After being eliminated in the Eurocup playoffs by KK Crvena zvezda, Lietuvos rytas also sufered a shocking defeat in the LKF Cup finals, losing to BC Prienai 91:92, leading to the firing of coach Aleksandar Petrović, who was replaced by Dainius Adomaitis.

Juan Palacios was one of the team leaders in the 2013-14 season.

Despite two victories against biggest Rytas rival Žalgiris during regular season, the LKL playoffs were an disaster for Lietuvos rytas. Due to rare situation in LKL standings, Rytas and Žalgiris met in the semi-finals and not in the finals for the second time since 1998. Darius Songaila 28 points led Rytas to first series victory in Vilnius with result 90:85,[19] however then Rytas lost to Žalgiris in Kaunas with result 57:72 and series tied at 1-1.[20] Third crucial game was played in Vilnius, however it was not successful for the home team. Despite having 7 points lead multiple times, Rytas lost to Žalgiris with result 71:73 and did not qualified to the LKL Finals for the second time in club history.[21] Team captain Steponas Babrauskas described it as an tragedy,[22] moreover one of team leaders Renaldas Seibutis injured his eye after contact with Vytenis Lipkevičius and due to required surgery missed the rest of the season.[23] The disastrous season continued for Rytas in the VTB playoffs-after defeating BC Triumph in the first round, Rytas lost to BC Nizhny Novgorod in the semifinal round, losing a chance to play in the 2014-2015 Euroleague season. Rytas finished in 3rd place in the LKL, winning the series against BC Prienai 3:0 and winning the bronze medals-this was the team's worst season since the 1998-1999 season.

Restart (2014-present)[edit]


Lithuania national team member Adas Juškevičius joined Rytas in 2014.

After terrible LKL season last year, taking only 3rd place, Rytas lost all chances of qualifying into the Euroleague that year. He was not even invited to the qualifying tournament as before and had to return to the second-tier European league EuroCup. As a result of this, the club changed firmly. Firstly, club biggest stars Renaldas Seibutis, Omar Cook and Darius Songaila left the team. Secondly, the team played most of its games in the newly reconstructed Lietuvos rytas Arena instead of the Siemens Arena. Thirdly, Rytas withdrew from Russian VTB League. Virginijus Šeškus, a former multiple LKL bronze medalist with BC Prienai, was signed as a head coach of the team, along with his past team members Artūras Valeika and Mindaugas Lukauskis, who played six seasons in Rytas previously. Club owner Gedvydas Vainauskas shortly afterward said that enthusiastic V.Šeškus reminds him former team coach Rimas Kurtinaitis, who has lead Rytas to the biggest victories in the club history.[24] Lithuania national team member Adas Juškevičius and former NBA player Travis Leslie was signed as well.

On October 15, 2014, Rytas powerfully started the EuroCup season by 92:65 crushing Serbian powerhouse Partizan Belgrade.[25] They have finished first round with 8-2 record and took first place in the group. On December 16, 2014, team roster was strengthened with addition of Kšyštof Lavrinovič, who has signed two-year deal with Rytas.[26] Later, on January 5, 2014, another Lithuania national team member Simas Jasaitis signed with Rytas for the third time in his career.[27] Lietuvos Rytas started the LAST-32 stage in Eurocup by winning against the best team in Poland, Turów Zgorzelec which was relegated to Eurocup after winning only one game in Euroleague's regular season.[28] Despite successful start, Rytas lost three games of six in the second stage and qualified into the next round by taking 2nd place in the group only after the crucial smash-up of Telenet Oostende 111:83 at the last game in Vilnius. Due to questionable shape of the team, Virginijus Šeškus was fired as head coach. [29] Despite fired as head coach, Šeškus stayed in Rytas as an assistant of the new head coach Marcelo Nicola.[30][31]

On February 20-22, Rytas participated in 2015 LKF Cup. They defeated Dzūkija 78–63 in the quarter-finals and Šiauliai 71–61 in the semi-finals, however at the finals Rytas lost season's first trophy to principal rival Žalgiris 76-82 and extended trophies drought.[32]


Current roster[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Lietuvos rytas roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
SG 1 United States Leslie, Travis Injured 70001930000000000001.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 700193000000000000093 kg (205 lb) 24 – (1990-03-29)29 March 1990
SF 3 Lithuania Jasaitis, Simas 70002000000000000002.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 700188000000000000088 kg (194 lb) 32 – (1982-03-26)26 March 1982
PG 7 Lithuania Juškevičius, Adas 70001940000000000001.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 700190000000000000090 kg (198 lb) 26 – (1989-01-03)3 January 1989
G/F 8 Lithuania Lukauskis, Mindaugas 70001980000000000001.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 700190000000000000090 kg (198 lb) 35 – (1979-05-19)19 May 1979
PG 9 United States Baron, Billy 70001880000000000001.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 700188000000000000088 kg (194 lb) 24 – (1990-12-11)11 December 1990
SG 10 Lithuania Šeškus, Edvinas 70001940000000000001.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 700180000000000000080 kg (176 lb) 19 – (1995-03-10)10 March 1995
F/C 11 Lithuania Valeika, Artūras 70002069999999999992.07 m (6 ft 9 in) 7002100000000000000100 kg (220 lb) 29 – (1985-08-11)11 August 1985
SG 13 Lithuania Gecevičius, Martynas 70001930000000000001.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 700193000000000000093 kg (205 lb) 26 – (1988-05-16)16 May 1988
SF 14 Lithuania Orelik, Gediminas 70002000000000000002.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 7002105000000000000105 kg (231 lb) 24 – (1990-05-14)14 May 1990
PG 19 Lithuania Janavičius, Žygimantas 70001930000000000001.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 700185000000000000085 kg (187 lb) 26 – (1989-02-20)20 February 1989
C 21 Lithuania Kavaliauskas, Antanas 70002090000000000002.09 m (6 ft 10 in) 7002114000000000000114 kg (251 lb) 30 – (1984-09-19)19 September 1984
F 43 United States Moser, Mike 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 700196000000000000096 kg (212 lb) 24 – (1990-11-08)8 November 1990
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Athletic trainer(s)

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: February 12, 2015

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Antanas Kavaliauskas Kšyštof Lavrinovič
PF Gediminas Orelikas Mike Moser Arturas Valeika
SF Simas Jasaitis Mindaugas Lukauskis
SG Martynas Gecevičius Travis Leslie Edvinas Šeškus
PG Adas Juškevičius Billy Baron Žygimantas Janavičius

Squad changes for/during the 2014/15 season[edit]

Note: exact date is listed for players who joined or left during season.


Lietuvos Rytas warming-up before the game
Lietuvos Rytas fans during LKL game
Lietuvos Rytas versus Žalgiris in Vilnius
No. Position Player

Lithuania PG Adas Juškevičius (from Germany Eisbären Bremerhaven,June 19)
Ukraine C Kyryl Natyazhko (from Ukraine BC Azovmash,June 20)
Lithuania PF Artūras Valeika (from Lithuania BC Prienai,June 21)
Lithuania G/F Mindaugas Lukauskis (from Lithuania BC Prienai,June 23)
United States PG Billy Baron (from United States Golden Griffins,July 22)
United States SG Travis Leslie (from Lithuania BC Siauliai,July 23)
United States PF Mike Moser (from United States Oregon Ducks)
Lithuania F/C Kšyštof Lavrinovič (from Italy Pallacanestro Reggiana)
Lithuania SF Simas Jasaitis (from Russia PBC Lokomotiv-Kuban)


No. Position Player

5 Lithuania G/F Steponas Babrauskas (to Turkey Istanbul BB,August 21)
9 Colombia PF Juan Palacios (to Turkey Pınar Karşıyaka,August 20)
10 Lithuania SG Renaldas Seibutis (to Turkey Darüşşafaka S.K.,July 09)
15 United States PG Zabian Dowdell (to Belgium Spirou Charleroi,August 19)
16 Lithuania C Tautvydas Lydeka (to Lithuania BC Lietkabelis,July 17)
20 United States PG Omar Cook (to Montenegro KK Budućnost Podgorica,September 30)
22 Lithuania F Eimantas Bendzius (to Poland Trefl Sopot,August 18)
25 Lithuania PF Darius Songaila (to Lithuania Zalgiris Kaunas,July 23)
31 Serbia PF Stevan Jelovac (to Spain CAI Zaragoza,July 04)
4 Lithuania PG Paulius Dambrauskas (to Lithuania BC Dzūkija,January 2)

Out on Loan[edit]


Total titles: 14

Domestic competitions[edit]

European competitions[edit]

Regional competitions[edit]

Preseason competitions[edit]

Season by season[edit]

Season LKL LKF Cup Regional Competitions Europe Roster
For more detailed information see Former Lietuvos rytas rosters
Head Coach
1997–98 3rd place Champion Korać Cup
Top 32
Marius Janišius, Arnas Kazlauskas, Egidijus Mikalajūnas, Aurimas Palšis, Martynas Purlys, Virginijus Sirvydis, Rolandas Skaisgirys, Gintaras Stulga, Andrius Šakalys, Andrius Šležas, Rolandas Vaičiūnas Paulauskas,
1998–99 Finalist NEBL
3rd place
Saporta Cup
Top 32
Darius Dimavičius, Andrius Giedraitis, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Arnas Kazlauskas, Kęstutis Kemzūra, Rimas Kurtinaitis, Egidijus Mikalajūnas, Makhtar N'Diaye, Aurimas Palšis, Martynas Purlys, Roman Safronov, Virginijus Sirvydis, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Singaras Tribė, Andrius Vyšniauskas Alfredas Vainauskas,
Šarūnas Sakalauskas
1999–00 Champion NEBL
Saporta Cup
Giedrius Aidietis, Mantas Česnauskis, Valerij Četovič, Eric Elliot, Andrius Giedraitis, Rolandas Jarutis, Robertas Javtokas, Gintaras Kadžiulis, Arnas Kazlauskas, Arvydas Macijauskas, Oleksandr Okunsky, Mlađan Šilobad, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Andrius Šležas, Andrius Vyšniauskas Alfredas Vainauskas,
Šarūnas Sakalauskas
2000–01 Finalist NEBL
3rd place
Top 16
Valerij Četovič, Eric Elliot, Andrius Giedraitis, Greg Grant, Rolandas Jarutis, Artūras Javtokas, Robertas Javtokas, Gintaras Kadžiulis, Arnas Kazlauskas, Arvydas Macijauskas, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Andrius Šležas Sakalauskas,
2001–02 Champion NEBL
Saporta Cup
Vedran Bosnić, Mantas Česnauskis, Simas Jasaitis, Artūras Javtokas, Robertas Javtokas, Walsh Jordan, Rimantas Kaukėnas, Aivaras Kiaušas, Arvydas Macijauskas, Kęstutis Marčiulionis, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Andrius Šležas, Andrius Vyšniauskas Vainauskas,
2002–03 Finalist NEBL
Champions Cup
Group stage
Povilas Čukinas, Tomas Delininkaitis, Simas Jasaitis, Artūras Javtokas, Aaron Lucas, Aivaras Kiaušas, Vladimir Krstić, Arvydas Macijauskas, Oleksandr Okunsky, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Andrius Šležas, Steve Woodberry Jonas Kazlauskas
2003–04 Finalist ULEB Cup
Steponas Babrauskas, Povilas Čukinas, Tomas Delininkaitis, Miljan Goljović, Simas Jasaitis, Robertas Javtokas, Saulius Kuzminskas, Aaron Lucas, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Dickey Simpkins, Ramūnas Šiškauskas, Andrius Šležas Kazlauskas,
2004–05 Finalist BBL Elite Division
Povilas Čukinas, Tomas Delininkaitis, Gintaras Einikis, Fred House, Rolandas Jarutis, Simas Jasaitis, Robertas Javtokas, Saulius Kuzminskas, Aaron Lucas, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Haris Mujezinović, Tyrone Nesby, Kęstutis Šeštokas, Andrius Šležas, Roberts Štelmahers Vlade Đurović,
Tomo Mahorič
2005–06 Champion BBL Elite Division
Top 16
Steponas Babrauskas, Maurice Baker, Sandis Buškevics, Povilas Čukinas, Tomas Delininkaitis, Ernestas Ežerskis, Fred House, Simas Jasaitis, Robertas Javtokas, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Haris Mujezinović, Matthew Nielsen, Ivan Tomas, Andrius Šležas, Roberts Štelmahers Neven Spahija
2006–07 Finalist Finalist BBL Elite Division
J. P. Batista, Jānis Blūms, Tomas Delininkaitis, Andre Emmett, Martynas Gecevičius, Titus Ivory, Artūras Jomantas, Evaldas Kairys, Ivan Koljević, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Matthew Nielsen, Darius Pakamanis, Marijonas Petravičius, Kareem Rush, Andrius Šležas, Roberts Štelmahers, Eurelijus Žukauskas Drucker,
2007–08 Finalist Finalist BBL Elite Division
Top 16
Michailas Anisimovas, Kenan Bajramović, J. P. Batista, Lukas Brazdauskis, Simas Buterlevičius, Chuck Eidson, Martynas Gecevičius, Artūras Jomantas, Jared Jordan, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Darrel Mitchell, Matthew Nielsen, Marijonas Petravičius, Hollis Price, Jackson Vroman, Andrius Šležas, Roberts Štelmahers Aleksandar Trifunović
2008–09 Champion Champion BBL Elite Division
Michailas Anisimovas, Steponas Babrauskas, Milko Bjelica, Lukas Brazdauskis, Simas Buterlevičius, Evaldas Dainys, Chuck Eidson, Martynas Gecevičius, Artūras Jomantas, Mindaugas Lukauskis, Branko Milisavljević, Matthew Nielsen, Marijonas Petravičius, Marius Prekevičius, Justas Sinica, Tautvydas Šležas, Donatas Zavackas Antanas Sireika,
Rimas Kurtinaitis
2009–10 Champion Champion BBL Elite Division
Group stage
Steponas Babrauskas, Kenan Bajramović, Aron Baynes, Milko Bjelica, Dejan Borovnjak, Lukas Brazdauskis, Simas Buterlevičius, Evaldas Dainys, Martynas Gecevičius, Vidas Ginevičius, Artūras Jomantas, Igor Milošević, Bojan Popović, Justas Sinica, Jonas Valančiūnas, Donatas Zavackas Rimas Kurtinaitis
2010–11 Finalist Finalist BBL Elite Division
3rd place
Top 16
Steponas Babrauskas, Kenan Bajramović, Petras Baločka, Milko Bjelica, Simas Buterlevičius, Khalid El-Amin, Martynas Gecevičius, Simas Jasaitis, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Jerry Johnson, Artūras Jomantas, Žydrūnas Kelys, Igor Milošević, Cemal Nalga, Brad Newley, Karolis Petrukonis, Aleksandar Rašić, D. J. Strawberry, Arvydas Šikšnius, Jonas Valančiūnas Anzulović,
Group Stage
2011–12 Finalist BBL Elite Division
Euroleague qualifying
Steponas Babrauskas, Paulius Dambrauskas, Vilmantas Dilys, Goran Jeretin, Artūras Jomantas, Mindaugas Katelynas, Brad Newley, Aleksandar Rašić, Dovydas Redikas, Tyrese Rice, Lawrence Roberts, Predrag Samardžiski, Renaldas Seibutis, Jonas Valančiūnas Aleksandar Džikić
3rd place
3rd place
2012–13 Finalist VTB
Group Stage
Group Stage
Steponas Babrauskas, Eimantas Bendžius, Jānis Blūms, Simas Buterlevičius, Vilmantas Dilys, Deividas Dulkys, Dejan Ivanov, Artūras Jomantas, Mindaugas Katelynas, Tautvydas Lydeka, Nemanja Nedović, Patrick O'Bryant, Milt Palacio, Leon Radošević, Dovydas Redikas, Predrag Samardžiski, Renaldas Seibutis, Tomislav Zubčić Džikić,
2013–14 3rd Place Finalist VTB
Qualified For Euroleague Steponas Babrauskas, Eimantas Bendžius, Omar Cook, Paulius Dambrauskas, Zabian Dowdell, Deividas Dulkys, Martynas Gecevičius, Andreas Glyniadakis, Stevan Jelovac, Antanas Kavaliauskas, Tautvydas Lydeka, Gediminas Orelik, Juan Palacios, Dovydas Redikas, Renaldas Seibutis, Darius Songaila, Edvinas Šeškus, Milenko Tepić Dirk Bauermann,
Aleksandar Petrović,
Dainius Adomaitis
Group Stage

Important people and venues[edit]


Venue Capacity Notes
1997–1998 Ekinsta Sports Hall 1,000
1998–2004 Lietuvos rytas Sports Arena
(Olimpiečių street)
At first capacity of 2000, later expanded to 3500.
2004–present Siemens Arena 11,000 Used for all Euroleague/Eurocup/VTB games and some LKL games
2004–present Lietuvos rytas Arena 1,700
At first capacity of 1700, later expanded to 2500

Used for most LKL games and practices.

Notable players[edit]

In Statyba[edit]

In Lietuvos rytas[edit]

To appear in this section a player must be either:

  • A player who has played at least 3 seasons (if foreign player) or 4 seasons (if Lithuanian player) for the club.
  • A player who has won individual award.
  • A Lithuanian player who has played for the Lithuanian national basketball team.
  • A foreign international player who had significant impact (was a leader) in the club.

Notable coaches[edit]

The following head coaches won at least one major trophy when in charge of Rytas:

Name Period Trophies
Lithuania Alfredas Vainauskas 1997–2001 LKF Cup
Lithuania Šarūnas Sakalauskas 1998–2001 Lithuanian Basketball League
Lithuania Jonas Kazlauskas 2001–2004 Lithuanian Basketball League, North European Basketball League
Slovenia Tomo Mahorić 2005 ULEB Cup
Croatia Neven Spahija 2005–2006 Lithuanian Basketball League, Baltic Basketball League
Serbia Aleksandar Trifunović 2007–2008
Baltic Basketball League
Lithuania Rimas Kurtinaitis 2008–2010 2 Lithuanian Basketball Leagues, 2 LKF Cups, Baltic Basketball League, ULEB Eurocup

Individual awards[edit]



Matches against NBA teams[edit]

21 October 2008
Golden State Warriors United States 126–106 Lithuania Lietuvos rytas

Sponsorships and partners[edit]

As of January 2014:

Video game[edit]

Lietuvos rytas basketball club will be featured in the upcoming NBA 2K15 video game.[34]


  1. ^ Statyba history, bcstatyba.lt (Lithuanian)
  2. ^ Lietuvos rytas Euroleague page, euroleague.net, accessed 31 December 2010. (English)
  3. ^ Jonas Vainauskas about beginnings of Lietuvos rytas, krepsinis.net (Lithuanian)
  4. ^ Javtokas injured, delfi.lt (Lithuanian)
  5. ^ Fred House about his injury, eurocupbasketball.com, (English)
  6. ^ Lietuvos Rytas - Golden State Warriors game at Oracle Arena, ESPN (English)
  7. ^ Nielsen leaves Lietuvos Rytas, basketnews.lt (Lithuanian)
  8. ^ Lukauskis three-pointer won the cup for Rytas, basketnews.lt (Lithuanian)
  9. ^ Lietuvos Rytas wins 2009 BBL, lrytas.lt (Lithuanian)
  10. ^ Lietuvos Rytas has problems with players injuries, sportas.info (Lithuanian)
  11. ^ Lietuvos Rytas adds floor general Cook, euroleague.net (English)
  12. ^ 2013 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Rounds, euroleague.net (English)
  13. ^ LIETUVOS RYTAS adds veteran forward Songaila, Euroleague.net (English)
  14. ^ Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius vs. Panathinaikos Athens, Euroleague.net (English)
  15. ^ Play of the Night: Renaldas Seibutis, Lietuvos Rytas (video) (English)
  16. ^ Euroleague named Lietuvos rytas and Panathinaikos game as the game of the week, lrytas.lt (Lithuanian)
  17. ^ Lietuvos Rytas hires Petrović, basketnews.lt (Lithuanian)
  18. ^ Lietuvos Rytas beats Žalgiris, delfi.lt (Lithuanian)
  19. ^ D.Songailos šou priartino „Lietuvos rytą“ prie LKL finalo (Lithuanian)
  20. ^ „Žalgiris“ atstatė lygybę LKL pusfinalyje (5 video, foto, komentarai, statistika) (Lithuanian)
  21. ^ Po įspūdingos kovos „Žalgiris“ žengė į LKL finalą (6 video, foto, komentarai, statistika) (Lithuanian)
  22. ^ Babrauskas: „Tai yra tragedija“ (Lithuanian)
  23. ^ Seibučiui sezonas veikiausiai baigtas – jo laukia akies operacija (Lithuanian)
  24. ^ Virginijus Šeškus tapo biudžetą mažinančio „Lietuvos ryto“ treneriu (Lithuanian)
  25. ^ Ant bangos: „Lietuvos rytas“ galingai startavo Europos taurėje (video, foto, komentarai, statistika) (Lithuanian)
  26. ^ Kšištofas jau Vilniuje: „Man patinka Šeškaus stilius – greitas krepšinis“ (foto) (Lithuanian)
  27. ^ Jasaitis papildė „Lietuvos ryto“ komandą (Lithuanian)
  28. ^ Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius vs. PGE Turow Zgorzelec - Game - Welcome to Eurocup (English)
  29. ^ Net ir po svarbios pergalės V. Šeškus neišsaugojo darbo „Lietuvos ryto“ klube (Lithuanian)
  30. ^ Šeškų „Lietuvos ryte“ pakeis Motiejūną treniravęs argentinietis (Lithuanian)
  31. ^ V.Šeškus lieka „Lietuvos ryto" trenerių štabe (Lithuanian)
  32. ^ „Žalgiris“ susigrąžino LKF taurę (2 video, foto, komentarai, statistika) (Lithuanian)
  33. ^ Rimas Kurtinaitis chosen as best Eurocup coach of all time, eurocupbasketball.com (English)
  34. ^ „NBA 2K15“ žaidime – „Žalgiris“, „Lietuvos rytas“ ir daugybė lietuvių (Lithuanian)

External links[edit]