|No. 17 – Toronto Raptors|
6 May 1992 |
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|NBA draft||2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall|
|Selected by the Toronto Raptors|
|Pro playing career||2008–present|
|2010–2012||Vilnius Lietuvos Rytas|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Jonas Valančiūnas (IPA: [ˈjoːn̪ɐs̪ vɐɫɐn̪ʲˈt͡ʃʲûːn̪ɐs̪]; born 6 May 1992) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. Valančiūnas was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Valančiūnas started playing professionally for Perlas in 2008 and played there until December 2009. During the 2008–09 season the team played in the Lithuanian National Basketball League (NKL), Lithuania's second strongest league, but moved up to the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) the following season.
In January 2009 Valančiūnas signed a long-term contract with Lithuanian powerhouse Lietuvos Rytas, but, as Perlas was Lietuvos Rytas' daughter club, he didn't move to Lietuvos Rytas instantly and stayed in Perlas for the first half of the 2009–10 season. On 17 January 2010 he finally moved to Lietuvos Rytas. While playing there, Valančiūnas participated in two LKL All-Star Games, the 2010 and 2011 All-Star Games. During the 2011 All-Star Game Valančiūnas scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping the "Lithuanians" win the game. He was named as the 2011 LKL All-Star Game MVP. Outside of the entertainment events, Valančiūnas has led Lietuvos Rytas to the LKL Finals twice, in 2010 and 2011. The team won the 2010 series against Žalgiris 4–3, but lost to the same team the following year 1–4. In 2010, Lietuvos Rytas also won the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) Cup.
On 27 December 2011 Jonas Valančiūnas was named Lithuania Basketball Player of the Year.
On 3 March 2012, Valančiūnas participated in the LKL All-Star game. He led his team to victory, scoring 25 points including one three-pointer, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. He won the MVP award once again.
In April, Valančiūnas won the Eurocup Rising Star award and was named in the All-Eurocup squad. He averaged 10.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 1.6 bpg while shooting 63.4% from the field, leading Lietuvos Rytas to third place.
Valančiūnas was considered as a top prospect at the 2011 NBA Draft, held on 23 June 2011, and was drafted 5th overall by the Toronto Raptors, but had to wait one year until 2012–2013 NBA season to join the Raptors because of his $2.5 million contract buyout with Lietuvos Rytas. The Raptors could only pay $500,000 for his buyout because of NBA rules, but Valančiūnas promised that he would pay the rest of the buyout price so he could play in the NBA. Jonas made his regular season NBA debut on November 1, 2012, during a game against the Indiana Pacers. He scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked one shot in 23 minutes of game action. During March 2013, Valančiūnas averaged 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while playing 27 minutes per game, and was awarded the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award.
Valančiūnas made his debut for the junior national team of Lithuania in the 2008 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship in Italy. He dominated throughout the tournament, averaging 14.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 23.5 minutes of action. His team went on to win the gold medal and he was chosen as the MVP.
In the summer of 2009, Valančiūnas participated in the European Under-18 All-Star Game during EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. He dominated the game as he scored 18 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, blocked three shots and helped the "Blue Team" beat the "White Team" 77:75. Valančiūnas was later named the MVP of the All-Star game.
One year later, Valančiūnas led Lithuania to another gold medal. Lithuania dominated in the 2010 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship held in Lithuania. Valančiūnas averaged 19.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, and was voted as the MVP.
Valančiūnas was also a member of the Lithuanian Under-19 basketball team, which competed in the 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Latvia. He led his team to capture the gold medal, averaging 23.0 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 31 minutes of game action. He was later named the tournament MVP. Valančiūnas scored 36 points in the gold medal game against Serbia, which was the highest points scored in a game by any player in the tournament. To this date he is the only player to achieve an MVP and Gold Medal in all of his FIBA U-tournaments.
Valančiūnas was on the senior men's Lithuanian national basketball team roster for EuroBasket 2011, which took place in Lithuania. Valančiūnas debuted with Lithuania's senior men's national basketball team on 6 August 2011. In his debut match against Czech Republic, he scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. After a strong performance in friendly pre-EuroBasket'11 matches, Valančiūnas was leading the Lithuanian national team with 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Although Valančiūnas failed to be any kind of a leader in the first 4 games of EuroBasket 2011 (among them missing the game against Turkey), he then became one of the key players, averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in just 15.7 minutes of game action. He also helped Lithuania to claim the 5th spot, which guaranteed qualification for the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
In 2013, Valančiūnas won a silver medal at the EuroBasket tournament.
|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|
Jonas Valančiūnas appeared in the documentary The Other Dream Team (2012)
- Jonas Valančiūnas signed contract with Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuanian)
- Jonas Valančiūnas named Lithuania Player Of The Year (Lithuanian)
- Jonas Valančiūnas named FIBA European Young Player of the Year (English)
- Valančiūnas became the VTB United League player of the month (English)
- Valančiūnas named LKL All-Star Game MVP once again (Lithuanian)
- 23 thousands of fans decided: Valančiūnas is the best Lithuania basketball player in 2012 (Lithuanian)
- Jonas Valančiūnas named FIBA European Young Player of the Year (English)
- Jonas Valanciunas will land in NBA in 2012 (English)
- Jonas Valančiūnas is ready to pay the rest of buyout (Lithuanian)
- Jonas Valančiūnas debuted in NBA with double-double (Lithuanian)
- KIA Awards: Jonas Valančiūnas named Rookie Of The Month: March (Lithuanian)
- Valanciunas Named NBA Summer League MVP (English)
- Valančiūnas named Europe U-16 Championship MVP (Lithuanian)
- Valančiūnas named European Under-18 All-Star Game MVP (English)
- Valančiūnas named Europe U-18 Championship MVP (Lithuanian)
- Valančiūnas named World U-19 Championship MVP (English)
- Jonas Valančiūnas powerfully debuted in Lithuania national men's basketball team (Lithuanian)
- Valančiūnas – rezultatyviausias rinktinės žaidėjas pasiruošimo cikle (Lithuanian)
- Jonas Valanciunas profile (English)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jonas Valančiūnas.|
- Official website
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- Euroleague.net profile
- NBA Draft profile
|Awards and achievements|
|Toronto Raptors first round pick
|FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship MVP
|FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year