Ignas Brazdeikis

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Ignas Brazdeikis
20181204 Iggy Brazdeikis at UM-NW game (3).jpg
Brazdeikis as a member of the 2018–19 Wolverines
No. 17 – New York Knicks
PositionSmall forward
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1999-01-08) January 8, 1999 (age 20)
Kaunas, Lithuania
NationalityCanadian
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High schoolHoly Trinity CSS (Oakville, Ontario) Orangeville Prep (Mono, Ontario)
CollegeMichigan (2018–2019)
NBA draft2019 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47th overall
Selected by the Sacramento Kings
Playing career2019–present
Career history
2019–presentNew York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Ignas "Iggy" Brazdeikis (born January 8, 1999) is a Lithuanian-born Canadian professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Michigan Wolverines. Brazdeikis is a right-handed athlete who shoots left-handed in basketball. He has represented the Canadian national teams in junior levels. During the season, he established a Michigan record by earning four Big Ten Freshmen of the week awards and was included on both the John Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 and Late Season Top 20 watchlists. As a freshman, he was a 2019 Second team All-Big Ten selection, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree. Brazdeikis was selected with the 47th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings, and was then traded to the New York Knicks.

Early life[edit]

Brazdeikis was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, to Diana and Sigitas "Sigis" Brazdeikis. He has an older sister, Ema. His second aunt, Lina Brazdeikytė, is a former professional basketball player who won the EuroBasket Women 1997 with the Lithuania women's national team.[1] His family emigrated to Chicago before moving to Winnipeg and Etobicoke before settling in Oakville, Ontario.[2]

High school career[edit]

Brazdeikis was the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association MVP in 2017 and 2018.[3][4][5] As a junior he led Orangeville to the 2017 OSBA championship and won the tournament MVP award.[6] Brazdeikis is generally right-handed, including his dribble, but shoots the basketball left-handed.[7] During Brazdeikis's high school years, he was mentored by former Wolverine Nik Stauskas.[8]

By May 2017 Brazdeikis was undecided between matriculating with the class of 2017 or 2018 and had taken unofficial visits to Michigan, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati.[9] After accumulating offers from several schools including Baylor, Cal, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and USC and rankings of number 66 overall and 16 small forward at 247sports.com, Brazdeikis announced that he would officially visit Michigan, Vanderbilt and Florida on September 8, 15 and 29, 2017, respectively.[10] He gave a Michigan a verbal commitment on September 22.[11] After he committed, Michigan stopped recruiting R. J. Barrett.[12] He signed a National Letter of Intent with Michigan on November 10, 2017 along with the 2018 class that included Colin Castleton, David DeJulius, Brandon Johns, and Adrien Nunez.[6]

Brazdeikis was expected to be Michigan's best incoming freshman according to Yahoo Sports and ESPN in 2018.[13][14]

College career[edit]

Brazdeikis debuted on November 6, 2018 with 12 points in head coach John Beilein's 800th career win. (pictured December 4)

In Michigan's November 6, 63–44 victory over Norfolk State, Brazdeikis debuted with 12 points in head coach John Beilein's 800th career win.[15][16] In his second game on November 10, during a 56–37 victory against Holy Cross, Brazdeikis added 19 points, including 15 points in the first five minutes to start the second half as well as seven rebounds.[17][18] On November 18, Brazdeikis helped Michigan defeat Providence 66–47 to win the Hall of Fame Tip Off tournament with a game-high 20 points and another 7 rebounds.[19][20] He repeated his 20-point, 7-rebound performance the next time out on November 23 against Chattanooga during their 83–55 victory.[21][22] Brazdeikis posted his third consecutive 20-point game on November 28, as Michigan defeated (#11 AP Poll/#13 Coaches Poll) North Carolina 84–67 in the ACC–Big Ten Challenge behind his career-high 24 points.[23][24]

Brazdeikis and Jon Teske on defense against the 2018–19 Northwestern Wildcats

On December 1, Michigan defeated (#19/#18) Purdue 76–57 in its Big Ten Conference season opener. Brazdeikis contributed 12 points.[25][26] On December 3, he was recognized as Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his performance against these two ranked teams.[27][28] Following a 23-point game against Northwestern[29][30] and a 17-point performance against South Carolina,[31][32] Brazdeikis was recognized as co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week on December 10.[33][34] On December 30, Michigan defeated Binghamton 74–52. Michigan was led by Brazdeikis with a game-high 21 points.[35][36] The following day, he earned Big Ten Freshman of the week recognition for the third time in December.[37][38] On January 3, Michigan returned to Big Ten play with a 68–55 victory over Penn State powered by Brazdeikis' first career double-double (16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds).[39][40] On January 9, Brazdeikis was one of 7 Big Ten athletes included on the John Wooden Award Men's Midseason Top 25 watchlist.[41] On January 13, the 2018–19 Wolverines team defeated Northwestern to establish a school record for best start at 17–0 and tied the school's record 17-game win streak.[42][43] On January 19, Michigan lost to Wisconsin 64–54, as Brazdeikis went scoreless.[44][45] On January 22, Michigan defeated Minnesota 59–57 after a buzzer beater by Matthews. Michigan was led by Brazdeikis with a game-high 18 points and career-tying 11 rebounds, for his second double-double of the season.[46][47] On January 25, Michigan defeated Indiana 69–46. Michigan was led by Brazdeikis with a game-high 20 points, while Matthews added 10 points and a career-tying 11 rebounds for his sixth career double-double. Michigan jumped out to a 17–0 lead and its defense allowed only 18 points in the first half, as Indiana shot a season-low 27.6% from the field during the game.[48][49] The 23-point victory marked the largest ever by Michigan on the road against Indiana.[50] On January 28, Brazdeikis earned his fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week recognition for his performances against Minnesota and Indiana. This surpassed Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas and established a new school record for most such awards.[51] On February 5, Brazdeikis was one of four Big Ten athletes named to the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List.[52] That night, he made a career-high five three-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points as Michigan defeated Rutgers 77–65 and head coach John Beilein passed Johnny Orr for the most Big Ten wins as Michigan head coach with 121.[53][54] On February 7, Brazdeikis was one of two Big Ten athletes (along with Jordan Murphy) named a Karl Malone Award Top 10 finalist.[55]

Following the season, he was a 2019 Second team All-Big Ten selection (coaches and media), the Big Ten Freshman of the Year (coaches and media) and a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree (coaches and media).[56][57] On March 12, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association named Brazdeikis to its 2018–19 Men's All-District V (OH, IN, IL, MI, MN, WI) Team, based upon voting from its national membership.[58] He was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I All‐District 7 second team on March 21, as selected and voted on by member coaches of the NABC, making him eligible for the 2019 NABC Coaches’ Division I All-America team.[59] He led Michigan in scoring (15.7 points per game) during its run to the March 17 championship game of the 2019 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament,[60] earning a spot on the All-tournament team.[61] On March 28, Michigan lost to (#9/#10) Texas Tech 44–63 in the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Brazdeikis led Michigan with 17 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, for his third career double-double. The Wolverines finished the season with a 30–7 record, for its second consecutive 30-win season.[62][63] Brazdeikis was an honorable mention Associated Press 2019 All-American team selection.[64] Following the season, on April 9, Brazdeikis, along with teammates Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews, declared for the 2019 NBA draft with the intention of hiring agents.[65]

Professional career[edit]

New York Knicks (2019–present)[edit]

On June 20, 2019, Brazdeikis was drafted 47th overall in the 2019 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings, who then traded him to the New York Knicks.[66][67] He was on the Knicks 2019 NBA Summer League roster.[68] On July 6, 2019, the Knicks signed Brazdeikis to a multi-year contract.[69] Brazdeikis was the first player to post a 30-point game at the 2019 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.[70][71]

National team career[edit]

Brazdeikis earned a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2015 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship, averaging 9.2 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. He also played for Canada at the 2016 FIBA Under-17 World Championship, averaging 14.7 points and 6.9 rebounds a game.[6] He was invited to participate in the April 13, 2018, Nike Hoop Summit[8] and posted 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 12:16 of playing time during the 89–76 World team victory.[72]

Despite playing for Canada's national teams in youth tournaments and not having the Lithuanian citizenship, Brazdeikis's father Sigitas noted that his son's priority was to represent the Lithuania men's national basketball team in international competitions.[73]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  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  Bold  Career high

College[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2018–19 Michigan 37 37 29.6 .462 .392 .773 5.4 .8 .7 .5 14.8

References[edit]

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External links[edit]