Paulius Jankūnas

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Paulius Jankūnas
Paulius Jankūnas 13 BC Žalgiris EuroLeague 20180223.jpg
Jankūnas, as a member of Žalgiris Kaunas, in 2018.
No. 13 – Žalgiris Kaunas
PositionPower forward / Center
LeagueLKL
EuroLeague
Personal information
Born (1984-04-29) 29 April 1984 (age 36)
Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
NationalityLithuanian
Listed height6 ft 8.75 in (2.05 m)
Listed weight250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2006 / Undrafted
Playing career2002–present
Career history
2002–2003LKKA-Žalgiris Kaunas
2003–2009Žalgiris Kaunas
2009–2010Khimki Moscow
2010–presentŽalgiris Kaunas
Career highlights and awards
When asked about playing with European basketball legend Arvydas Sabonis, in his rookie season, Jankūnas responded: "No doubt it was the most remarkable season. It was fantastic to play with Arvydas Sabonis. I was very young, and it was very exciting. In the beginning, I was a little bit afraid and uncomfortable, but later things got easy, and I learned a lot from him. When I was a kid, I used to watch him playing on TV, and never dared to dream that I would be playing with Arvydas Sabonis. One day I woke up, and Sabonis was my teammate. It was great. He had huge experience, and gave a lot of advice to me. It was a big honor to play with him, and I hope I learned something from Sabonis."

- Paulius Jankūnas[1]

Paulius Jankūnas (born 29 April 1984) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player for Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) and the EuroLeague. He is also a member of the senior Lithuanian national team. Jankūnas can play at either center or power forward, with power forward being his main position. He earned an All-EuroLeague Second Team selection in 2018.

Early years[edit]

Jankūnas played two seasons with the LKKA-Žalgiris, he and led them to a LKAL (Lithuanian League 2nd Division) title in 2003. He was named the Lithuanian 2nd Division's league MVP, after averaging 20.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.

He competed at the Reebok Eurocamp in Treviso, in 2003.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Žalgiris Kaunas[edit]

Jankūnas with Žalgiris Kaunas, in 2014.

After playing in the Lithuanian 2nd Division with LKKA-Žalgiris, during the 2002–03 season, Jankūnas made his debut with the Lithuanian EuroLeague club Žalgiris Kaunas, in the 2003–04 season. He was originally an early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA draft, before withdrawing his name from consideration.

Jankūnas averaged 13.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, in the 2008–09 EuroLeague season, and scored a season-high 23 points, in a win against the Polish League club Asseco Prokom Sopot, on 18 December 2008.[3] However, Žalgiris Kaunas finished the season with a 2–8 record, and did not qualify to the competition's Top 16 stage.[4] Jankūnas was named the 2008–09 season's Baltic League MVP, after averaging 15.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.[5]

Khimki Moscow Region[edit]

On 14 August 2009, Jankūnas signed a two-year contract with the Russian EuroLeague club Khimki Moscow Region.[6] Jankunas only played one season with Khimki Moscow Region (2009–10), and competed with them in three leagues that season (2009–10 EuroLeague, 2009–10 VTB United League, and 2009–10 Russian Super League A).

Return to Žalgiris Kaunas[edit]

On 24 July 2010, it was announced that Jankūnas was coming back to Žalgiris Kaunas.[7] In May 2018, he was named to the All-EuroLeague Second Team, of the 2017–18 season.[8]

During his time with Žalgiris Kaunas, Jankūnas helped the club to win thirteen Lithuanian League championships (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011–2019), and seven Lithuanian Cups, as he won five Lithuanian LKF Cups (2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2015), and two Lithuanian King Mindaugas Cups (2017, 2018). With Žalgiris Kaunas, he also won the Lithuanian Super Cup in 2012, and four Baltic League championships (2005, 2008, 2011, 2012).

National team career[edit]

Jankūnas (right), as a member of Lithuania's national team, fighting for positioning with Argentina's Luis Scola (left), in 2010.

Lithuanian junior national team[edit]

Jankūnas was a member of the Lithuanian junior national teams. He played at the 2002 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship, and at the 2003 FIBA Under-19 World Cup, where the Lithuanians won silver medals. Jankūnas also won a bronze medal at the 2004 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, which he led in rebounding (12.3 rebounds per game), in addition to posting 12.5 points per game.

He also helped Lithuania win the gold medal at the 2005 FIBA Under-21 World Cup.[9] He averaged 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during the tournament.

Lithuanian senior national team[edit]

Jankūnas was a member of the senior Lithuanian national team, for the first time at a major FIBA tournament, at the 2005 EuroBasket, where Lithuania finished in fifth place. During that tournament, he averaged 8.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He also helped the Lithuanians win a bronze medal at the 2007 EuroBasket, and another bronze medal, at the 2010 FIBA World Championship. He won a silver medal with Lithuania at the 2015 EuroBasket.

Jankūnas also competed with Lithuania at the following tournaments: the 2006 FIBA World Championship, the 2011 EuroBasket, the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament, the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Player profile[edit]

A well built 2.05 m (6 ft. 8 ​34 in.) tall power forward, Jankūnas is a very good rebounder, and is also a good scorer. He prefers to score on the inside, and he often draws fouls from opposing team's players. He can also play as a stretch four, due to his consistent mid-range and three point shot.

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  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

EuroLeague[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG PIR
2003–04 Žalgiris Kaunas 16 5 13.6 .526 .000 .636 2.9 .6 .5 .3 4.6 5.1
2004–05 20 12 18.8 .544 .143 .581 4.2 .6 .7 .1 6.2 7.7
2005–06 20 10 24.5 .468 .250 .714 6.8 1.1 .4 .3 10.8 12.3
2006–07 13 8 27.0 .483 .208 .673 4.2 1.0 1.3 .2 9.5 12.1
2007–08 20 19 21.6 .469 .324 .771 4.8 .8 .9 .4 8.6 9.4
2008–09 9 9 31.1 .440 .296 .778 8.0 1.2 1.0 .6 13.8 14.8
2009–10 Khimki Moscow 16 16 25.0 .475 .377 .773 4.9 .8 .8 .3 8.2 9.6
2010–11 Žalgiris Kaunas 16 8 26.3 .476 .152 .818 6.9 .9 .6 .4 9.4 11.7
2011–12 16 16 23.4 .447 .333 .727 5.6 .8 .8 .3 7.8 8.8
2012–13 17 16 24.8 .465 .292 .844 4.8 1.2 .8 .2 8.2 9.2
2013–14 21 21 26.2 .465 .257 .771 6.5 1.9 1.1 .3 8.8 12.0
2014–15 24 23 24.2 .480 .300 .800 6.5 1.1 .6 .5 9.1 12.0
2015–16 24 23 25.3 .540 .310 .838 6.2 1.5 .9 .2 12.3 15.5
2016–17 30 30 23.4 .548 .396 .868 6.1 1.5 .6 .4 13.0 16.8
2017–18 35 34 22.1 .576 .375 .833 4.9 1.4 .5 .3 11.3 13.7
2018–19 17 9 16.0 .500 .250 .892 3.1 .9 .2 .2 6.2 7.5
Career 314 259 23.2 .497 .300 .787 5.5 1.1 .7 .3 9.4 11.5

Personal life[edit]

Jankūnas married his wife, Ieva, in the summer of 2007.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paulius Jankunas, Zalgiris Kaunas.
  2. ^ Paulius Jankunas Prospect Profile.
  3. ^ Paulius Jank8nas: Sezono lygos statistika.
  4. ^ Euroleague Regular Season 2008-09 Standings.
  5. ^ Paulius Jankunas – The regular season MVP of the SEB BBL Elite Division. Archived 2 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Thank you, Jorge! Hello, Paulius!
  7. ^ Zalgiris brings back Jankunas. Euroleague.net
  8. ^ "2017-18 All-EuroLeague Second Team presented by 7DAYS". euroleague.net. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  9. ^ Euroleague.net interview: Paulius Jankunas, Zalgiris.
  10. ^ Jankūnas šeštadienį veda mokyklos laikų meilę.

External links[edit]