Lithuania women's national basketball team
|FIBA ranking||15 2|
|FIBA zone||FIBA Europe|
|National federation||Lithuanian Basketball Federation|
|Nickname(s)||Basketball: The Second Religion, Game of the Nation|
|Women's World Cup|
|Medals|| Gold 1997
The Lithuania national women's basketball team represents Lithuania in international basketball matches.
The roster for the EuroBasket Women 2013.
|Lithuania women's national basketball team roster|
The first basketball repercussions reached Lithuania when the game was already 30 years old. It wasn't Naismith's basketball, but the German (Dutch) variant. The baskets were fastened to the poles without boards, and the game was played in a huge court. One of the Lithuanian sport pioneers, Steponas Garbačiauskas, wrote: "In 1919 Lithuanian women athletes started organizing, but they showed up publicly only in 1920-1921 and started playing basketball. They played not by the USA rules, but by the German ones (with smaller ball, without boards)". Despite the fact that women started playing basketball in Lithuania, the first official game was played by men. It happened on April 23, 1922 when Lietuvos Fizinio Lavinimo Sąjunga (English: Lithuanian Physical Education Union) played game against Kaunas team. LFLS won the game with result 8–6. This day is regarded as the beginning of the basketball in Lithuania. The first official women's basketball game in Lithuania took place only on September 10, 1922.
The first European women's basketball championship was organized in 1938. It was held in Rome, Italy. The Lithuanian women's squad participated in it as well and became European vice-champions that time. The team's head coach was Feliksas Kriaučiūnas, already well known for his achievements with the Lithuanian men basketball team.
The best Lithuanian players, playing for the Soviet Union national basketball team, won several titles with it. As members of Soviet Union team, Lithuanians (men and women) in total won 17 Olympic medals (8 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze), 17 World championship medals (11 gold, 5 silver and one bronze), and 51 EuroBasket medals (36 gold, 4 silver and 11 bronze). Yet the occupation left many painful marks in Lithuania and Lithuanians' memories.
The team's biggest success was achieved two years later in EuroBasket 1997 when the national team, coached by Vydas Gedvilas, became the European champions in Budapest. It was the first and the only European title for the Lithuanian women's basketball squad.
Year later, Lithuanians participated in the 1998 FIBA World Championship. Despite successful European competition, Lithuanians lost the quarter-finals game to 1994's World champions, Brazil's national team, 70–72 and had to play for fifth place. There they lost to Spain's national team 59–70 and took only 8th place.
In EuroBasket 2001, Lithuanians qualified for four best tournament's teams, though losing the bronze medals game to Spain 74–89. Yet the team qualified for the 2002 FIBA World Championship, held in China.
In the World Championship, Lithuanians played eight games and won only three matches against Taiwan, Cuba and Yugoslavia. They took 11th place. As a consequence, Lithuanian Basketball Federation decided to end collaboration with Vydas Gedvilas. In 2003, LKF Executive Committee decided to chose Algirdas Paulauskas as the new Lithuania women‘s national basketball team coach. He was working previously as an assistant coach in the national team until the 1996 World Championship when he decided to leave the squad due to poor performance.
At the third World Championship, Lithuanians lost 5th place game to the French national team and took 6th place, repeating the best performance achieved back in 1998.
In EuroBasket 2007, Lithuanians were crushed in the 5th place game against Czech women‘s national team with result 54–93 and lost all chances of competing for the ticket to the 2008 Summer Olympics, held in Beijing. Algirdas Paulauskas left the squad for the second time that year.
In 2007, a sculpture dedicated to the Lithuanian basketball was introduced in Vilnius, near the Siemens Arena. It has carved names of Elena Kubiliūnaitė-Garbačiauskienė, Ona Bartkevičiūtė-Butautienė, Jūratė Daktaraitė, Angelė Jankūnaitė-Rupšienė, Vida Šulskytė-Beselienė, Jurgita Štreimikytė-Virbickienė, Lina Dambrauskaitė and Irena Baranauskaitė.
In EuroBasket 2009, the Lithuanian women's basketball squad suffered a fiasco, just like the men's squad. The Lithuanian national team took 9–12 place after not reaching the knockout stage for the first time. After the terrible European championship Algirdas Paulauskas returned to the Lithuanian squad once again.
In EuroBasket 2011, Lithuanians showed signs of hope again, reaching the knockout stage, however there they were eliminated by the French national team 58–66 and took 7th place. Because of that, Lithuania lost all the possibilities to qualify into the 2012 Summer Olympics, held in London. To this day, Lithuania women's national basketball team never participated in the Olympic Games, despite the several appearances in the World championships and successful European championships.
Tough times returned to the Lithuanian squad in EuroBasket 2013 where they took only 14th place and were unable to participate in the 2014 FIBA World Championship, held in Turkey. By far, it is the worst performance for the national team.
European Championship record
EuroBasket Women (2015) – Qualified
EuroBasket Women (2013) – 14th place
EuroBasket Women (2011) – 7th place
EuroBasket Women (2009) – 9–12 place
EuroBasket Women (2007) – 6th place
EuroBasket Women (2005) – 4th place
European Championship for Women (2001) – 4th place
European Championship for Women (1999) – 6th place
European Championship for Women (1997) – 1st place
European Championship for Women (1995) – 5th place
European Championship for Women (1938) – 2nd place
FIBA World Championship record
FIBA World Championship for Women (2006) – 6th place
FIBA World Championship for Women (2002) – 11th place
FIBA World Championship for Women (1998) – 6th place
- Stanislovas Stonkus "Krepšinio kelias į Lietuvą" (page: 1)
- Stanislovas Stonkus "Krepšinio kelias į Lietuvą" (page: 4)
- A.Paulauskas viliojamas sugrįžti į moterų rinktinę (Lithuanian)
- Lietuvos moterų rinktinė iškovojo kelialapį į Europos čempionatą (statistika) (Lithuanian)