Frank Lubin

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Frank Lubin
Frank Lubin EuroBasket 1939.jpg
Frank Lubin during EuroBasket 1939
Personal information
Born (1910-01-07)January 7, 1910
Los Angeles, California
Died July 8, 1999(1999-07-08) (aged 89)
Glendale, California
Nationality American / Lithuanian
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 232 lb (105 kg)
Career information
High school Lincoln (Los Angeles, California)
College UCLA (1928–1931)
Position Center

Frank John Lubin (Lithuanian: Pranas Jonas Lubinas; January 7, 1910 – July 8, 1999) was an American-Lithuanian basketball player.

Lubin was born on the east side of Los Angeles, California, to a family of Lithuanian immigrants and died in Glendale, California. A veteran with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, Lubin was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.[1] His father Konstantinas Lubinas was from Vilkaviškis, while his mother Paulina Vasiliauskaitė was from Vabalninkas.[2]

Playing for the UCLA Bruins from 1928 to 1931, Lubin, a 6-foot 7-inch center, earned All-Pacific Coast Conference honors in his senior season. Following his college career, he joined the Twentieth Century Fox AAU team, which earned the right to represent the US as part of the first Olympic basketball tournament in 1936 in Berlin, winning the gold.[3]

During the Olympics, Lubin was invited to come to Lithuania and became their first national coach. They won the EuroBasket title in 1937, using American-born players of Lithuanian heritage.[4] When the team hosted the tournament in 1939, they again won the title, this time with Lubin playing and coaching. Lubin undoubtedly was the MVP of EuroBasket 1939, however he was unable to receive this award because he was taller than 1.90 meter. At that time, FIBA had a rule which prohibited from giving the MVP or the All-Tournament Team award to players taller than 1.90 meter. His participation in the competition was also questioned because the same rule also prohibited taller than 1.90 meter players to compete. Though, the rule was remade just one day before the tournament start and never was used practically.[5]

Lubin fled Lithuania to California with his family in the face of the Russian invasion in 1939.[4]

Lubin continued to play for the Twentieth Century Fox team until he was 54 years old.[6]

For his contributions and for introducing the now basketball-mad country to the sport, Lubin is often called the "grandfather of Lithuanian basketball".

In 1997, Lubin was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Helms Sports Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ Frank John Lubin at Find a Grave
  2. ^ Stanislovas Stonkus "Krepšinio kelias į Lietuvą" (page: 42)
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Stanislovas Stonkus "Krepšinio kelias į Lietuvą" (page: 39)
  6. ^
  • Vidas Mačiulis, Vytautas Gudelis. Halė, kurioje žaidė Lubinas ir Sabonis. 1939–1989 – Respublikinis sporto kombinatas, Kaunas, 1989

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