Lithuania the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is considered to be one of the Baltic states, it is situated to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019, its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Baltic people; the official language, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state personal union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighbouring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory. As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and by Nazi Germany; as World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania. Lithuania is a developed country, it is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It is a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries; the United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very high human development" country.
The first known record of the name of Lithuania is in a 9 March 1009 story of Saint Bruno in the Quedlinburg Chronicle. The Chronicle recorded a Latinized form of the name Lietuva: Litua. Due to the lack of reliable evidence, the true meaning of the name is unknown. Nowadays, scholars still debate the meaning of the word and there are a few plausible versions. Since Lietuva has a suffix, the original word should have no suffix. A candidate is Lietā; because many Baltic ethnonyms originated from hydronyms, linguists have searched for its origin among local hydronyms. Such names evolved through the following process: hydronym → toponym → ethnonym. Lietava, a small river not far from Kernavė, the core area of the early Lithuanian state and a possible first capital of the eventual Grand Duchy of Lithuania, is credited as the source of the name. However, the river is small and some find it improbable that such a small and local object could have lent its name to an entire nation. On the other hand, such a naming is not unprecedented in world history.
Artūras Dubonis proposed another hypothesis. From the middle of the 13th century, leičiai were a distinct warrior social group of the Lithuanian society subordinate to the Lithuanian ruler or the state itself; the word leičiai is used in the 14–16th-century historical sources as an ethnonym for Lithuanians and is still used poetically or in historical contexts, in the Latvian language, related to Lithuanian. The first people settled in the territory of Lithuania after the last glacial period in the 10th millennium BC: Kunda and Narva cultures, they did not form stable settlements. In the 8th millennium BC, the climate became much warmer, forests developed; the inhabitants of what is now Lithuania traveled less and engaged in local hunting and fresh-water fishing. Agriculture did not emerge until the 3rd millennium BC due to a harsh climate and terrain and a lack of suitable tools to cultivate the land. Crafts and trade started to form at this time. Over a millennium, the Indo-Europeans, who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed with the local population and formed various Baltic tribes.
The Baltic tribes did not maintain close cultural or political contacts with the Roman Empire, but they did maintain trade contacts. Tacitus, in his study Germania, described the Aesti people, inhabitants of the south-eastern Baltic Sea shores who were Balts, around the year 97 AD; the Western Balts became known to outside chroniclers first. Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD knew of the Galindians and Yotvingians, early medieval chroniclers mentioned Old Prussians and Semigallians; the Lithuanian language is considered to be conservative for its close connection to Indo-European roots. It is believed to have differentiated from the Latvian language, the most related existing language, around the 7th century. Traditional Lithuanian pagan customs and mythology, with many archaic elements, were long preserved. Rulers' bodies were cremated up until the conversion to Christianity: the descriptions of the cremation ceremonies of the grand d
Lietuvos krepšinio lyga
Lietuvos krepšinio lyga is the premier professional men's club basketball league in Lithuania. It is composed of 10 teams, it is a member of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation; the best LKL clubs are annual participants of the top European-wide basketball competitions, including the top-tier level EuroLeague. On April 22, 1993, the Lietuvos krepšinio asociacija was founded, it was the first professional sports organisation in Lithuania. Lietuvos krepšinio lyga was built on the foundation of the LKA; the league's headquarters is located in Vilnius. The Lithuanian Basketball Association was founded on 22 April 1993, when eight of the strongest Lithuanian basketball clubs' officials met with representatives of the Šarūnas Marčiulionis basketball fund in Vilnius; the original eight teams were: Žalgiris Kaunas, Atletas Kaunas, Drobė Kaunas, Statyba Vilnius, Olimpas Plungė, BC Šilutė, Lietkabelis Panevėžys and Neptūnas Klaipėda. This association would soon be renamed to Lietuvos krepšinio lyga due to legal issues announcing their that would start in the upcoming fall.
By the end of spring, before the season started, the LKA and their new league accepted two more teams – Lavera Kaunas and NECA Kaunas. Following the 1993–94 season, the finalists of last season's LKAL, Sakalai Vilnius & BC Šiauliai joined the league, while Drobė Kaunas decided to withdraw due to financial difficulties; the 1994–95 season saw the league's foreign players emerge as star power, before they were more known to be role players. In the 1995–96 season the league continued to accept the champions of the LKAL to the league, Savy Alytus joined the league. Sharpshooter Joe Vickery became the first foreigner to lead the LKL in scoring for Olimpas. League officials would start pressuring teams to play in better arenas by setting up certain criteria that were necessary to get accepted into the league. That's why no more teams were accepted until 1998 when Olimpas Plungė went bankrupt and was replaced by BC Kraitienė based in Marijampolė; some of the strongest teams like Šilutė and Atletas faded away to the bottom of the league and left the league.
During this time period, the league had been dominated by Žalgiris. They won the league's championship trophy for six consecutive years, from 1994 through 1999, their main rival during those years was Atletas Kaunas led by Saulius Štombergas and a young Žydrūnas Ilgauskas acquired from Žalgiris' youth team. Ilgauskas was selected 20th overall in the 1996 NBA draft, making him the first NBA player coming straight from the LKL. In 1999 Žalgiris, led by Tyus Edney, became the first Lithuanian team to win the top European basketball competition, the EuroLeague title. In the 1999–2000 season, Lietuvos rytas shocked defending EuroLeague champions Žalgiris by ending their dominant run; that sparked most the biggest rivalry in Lithuanian sports, the competitiveness has brought over to politics and society between the two biggest cities in Lithuania. The next season, the Green got their revenge by beating Vilnius in the finals, but in 2002, Lietuvos rytas, led by Ramūnas Šiškauskas and Arvydas Macijauskas, once again defeated Žalgiris.
However, Žalgiris fought back the subsequent season. In 2002–2003 Žalgiris attracted its well-acclaimmed former players Mindaugas Timinskas, Saulius Štombergas, Gintaras Einikis, who led the team to the championship trophy by beating Lietuvos Rytas 4–2. In 2006, Lietuvos rytas joined Žalgiris in the strongest European basketball competition, the EuroLeague; that season the Reds, led by Robertas Javtokas, Simas Jasaitis, Fred House, beat Žalgiris 4–0. But from on Žalgiris started winning once again – two titles in a row. In 2007 finals the Greens have won 4–2 led by all-around international players. In total, it was the final with most international players on both squads: both teams have 5 players from abroad each; the year after Žalgiris added Marcus Brown, who, at that time, had the most points in the history of EuroLeague. As a result, Žalgiris managed to win the trophy by downing Lietuvos Rytas 4–1. Marcus Brown was named the MVP of the finals averaging 15.6 points per game. In 2008–2009, led by Chuck Eidson, Artūras Jomantas and Marijonas Petravičius, Lietuvos rytas stopped the Greens from a three-peat, beating Žalgiris 4–1.
In this final Lietuvos Rytas managed to beat Žalgiris by 42 points in game two, lost by 26 points in game three. The swing of 68 points is the highest in the finals history of Lithuanian Basketball League. In the 2009–10 season, Vilnius claimed first back to back title, beating Žalgiris 4–3. 2010–11 saw Žalgiris reclaim the title, beating Lietuvos rytas 4–1. In the finals of 2012 Žalgiris was the winner again, by sweeping Lietuvos Rytas 3–0, it was the first final for Žalgiris in the brand new Žalgiris Arena. In the 2012–2013 season, a much more powerful Žalgiris dominated the league and Lietuvos Rytas, winning the series 4–0. During game two Žalgiris allowed only 45 points - the lowest in the history of the finals of LKL. During the 2013–14 season, Žalgiris, despite having reached the EuroLeague Top 16 phase, struggled in the national league, finishing 4th in the regular season, while Lietuvos rytas finished 1st; that led to a semifinal between the two teams that played in the last 15 finals of the competition.
After winning a dramatic series 2–1 in Vilnius, Žalgiris continued their run of having appeared in all of the finals since the league's foundation. Neptūnas would beat Tonybet in the second semifinal and appeared in their first LKL finals of club history. Though Žalgiris saw their three-peat after winning the series 4–2; this was the first LKL champions trophy for Šarūnas Jasikevičius who came back to his hometown team for the last season of his c
2017 Karaliaus Mindaugo taurė
The 2017 Karaliaus Mindaugo taurė known as KIDY Tour – Karaliaus Mindaugo taurė for sponsorship purposes, was the second edition of the Lithuanian King Mindaugas Cup. On 18 February 2016 it was announced. Lietuvos rytas were the defending champion, but were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Juventus.Žalgiris won their first title, beating Lietkabelis 84–63 in the final. Juventus won bronze medals. Žalgiris forward Edgaras. Tournament format was changed before 2017. Quarterfinals were played in home team arenas. Due to these changes tournament length was extended from 3 to 6 days. Eight highest ranked teams after the first half of the 2016–17 LKL regular season qualified to the tournament; the draw of the 2017 Karaliaus Mindaugo taurė was held on 9 January 2017 at 14:00 EET in Town Hall of Kaunas. The seeded teams were paired with the non-seeded teams for the quarterfinals; the location of these matches was determined by the luck of the draw. Karaliaus Mindaugo taurė at LKL website
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and the historical centre of Lithuanian economic and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the centre of a county in Trakai Municipality of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413. In the Russian Empire, it was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate from 1843 to 1915. During the interwar period, it served as the temporary capital of Lithuania, when Vilnius was seized by Poland between 1920 and 1939. During that period Kaunas was celebrated for its rich cultural and academic life, construction of countless Art Deco and Lithuanian National Romanticism architectural-style buildings as well as popular furniture, the interior design of the time, a widespread café culture; the city interwar architecture is regarded as among the finest examples of European Art Deco and has received the European Heritage Label. It contributed to Kaunas being named as the first city in Central and Eastern Europe to be designated as a UNESCO City of Design. Kaunas has been selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2022, together with Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.
The city is the capital of Kaunas County, the seat of the Kaunas city municipality and the Kaunas District Municipality. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, is near the Kaunas Reservoir, the largest body of water in the whole of Lithuania; the city's name is of Lithuanian origin and most derives from a personal name. Before Lithuania regained independence, the city was known in English as Kovno, the traditional Slavicized form of its name. An earlier Russian name was Ковно Kovno, although Каунас Kaunas has been used since 1940; the Yiddish name is קאָװנע Kovne, the names in German include Kaunas and Kauen. The city and its elderates have names in other languages. An old legend claims; these Romans were led by a patrician named Palemon, who had three sons: Barcus and Sperus. Palemon fled from Rome. Palemon, his sons and other relatives travelled to Lithuania. After Palemon's death, his sons divided his land.
Kunas got the land. He built a fortress near the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers, the city that grew up there was named after him. A suburban region in the vicinity is named "Palemonas". On 30 June 1993, the historical coat of arms of Kaunas city was re-established by a special presidential decree; the coat of arms features a white aurochs with a golden cross between its horns, set against a deep red background. The aurochs was the original heraldic symbol of the city, established in 1400; the heraldic seal of Kaunas, introduced in the early 15th century during the reign of Grand Duke Vytautas, is the oldest city heraldic seal known in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The current emblem was the result of much study and discussion on the part of the Lithuanian Heraldry Commission, realized by the artist Raimondas Miknevičius. An auroch has replaced a wisent, depicted in the Soviet-era emblem, used since 1969. Blazon: Gules, an aurochs passant guardant argent ensigned with a cross Or between his horns.
Kaunas has a greater coat of arms, used for purposes of Kaunas city representation. The sailor, three golden balls, Latin text "Diligite justitiam qui judicatis terram" in the greater coat of arms refers to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of merchants and seafarers, regarded as a heavenly guardian of Kaunas by Queen Bona Sforza. According to the archeological excavations, the richest collections of ceramics and other artifacts found at the confluence of the Nemunas and the Neris rivers are from the second and first millennium BC. During that time, people settled in some territories of the present Kaunas: the confluence of the two longest rivers of Lithuania area, Lampėdžiai, Kaniūkai, Marvelė, Romainiai, Petrašiūnai, Sargėnai, Veršvai sites. A settlement had been established on the site of the current Kaunas old town, at the confluence of two large rivers, at least by the 10th century AD. Kaunas is first mentioned in written sources in 1361. In 1362, the castle was destroyed by the Teutonic Order.
Commander Vaidotas of the Kaunas castle garrison, with 36 men, tried to break through, but was taken prisoner. It was one of the largest and important military victories of the Teutonic Knights in the 14th century against Lithuania; the Kaunas castle was rebuilt at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1408, the town was granted Magdeburg rights by Vytautas the Great and became a centre of Kaunas Powiat in Trakai Voivodeship in 1413. Vytautas ceded Kaunas the right to own the scales used for weighing the goods brought to the city or packed on site, wax processing, woolen cloth-trimming facilities; the power of the self-governing Kaunas was shared by three interrelated major institutions: vaitas, the Magistrate, the so-called Benchers' Court. Kaunas began to gain prominence, since it was at an intersection of a river port. In 1441 Kaunas joined the Hanseatic League, Hansa merchant office Kontor was opened—the only one in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. By the 16th century, Kaunas had a public school and a hospital and was one of the best-formed towns in
EuroBasket 2015 was the 39th annual edition of the EuroBasket championship, organised by FIBA Europe. It took place in four different countries, making it the first EuroBasket held in more than one country, it ended on 20 September. The top two teams qualified to the 2016 Summer Olympics; the next five teams advanced to the World Olympic Qualifying Tournaments. Latvia and Croatia qualified due to Serbia and Italy hosting two of the Olympic qualifying tournaments while Turkey qualified as an invitee. Spain won their third title by defeating Lithuania 80–63 in the final. France won bronze on home soil defeating Serbia; the final game was held in the Stade Pierre-Mauroy and set a new record for the highest attendance in a EuroBasket game, with 26,922. Pau Gasol was named the tournament's MVP. On 18 December 2011, FIBA Europe decided to let Ukraine host EuroBasket 2015, after France, Croatia and Italy withdrew their joint bid. On 19 March 2014, tournament director Markiyan Lubkivsky announced that EuroBasket 2015 would not take place in Ukraine because of the political and financial crisis and the championship would be relocated.
But FIBA Europe was forced to deny reports that Ukraine had given up the hosting rights for EuroBasket 2015 due to the continuous political situation and security issues in Ukraine. On 13 June 2014, FIBA Europe announced that Ukraine would not be hosting the championships. Sixteen countries expressed an initial interest to bid for the relocated event. National Federations were called by FIBA Europe to bid for hosting the tournament or parts of the tournament until 31 July 2014; the next day FIBA Europe announced eight official bids from potential organizers: All interested federations were provided the option to bid to stage either one of the four groups in the Group Phase of the tournament, one of the groups and the Final Phase, only the finals, or the entire tournament. FIBA Europe was scheduled to announce the details of the bids after 27 August 2014. Croatia, France and Turkey bid to host one of the four groups in the Group Phase and the Final Phase in the knock-out round. Additionally, Turkey bid to host the Final Phase only.
All other countries bid to host only one of the four groups in the Group Phase. Prior to the Board Meeting, Turkey withdrew their candidature from hosting any part of the tournament while Poland and Croatia withdrew their candidature to host the Final Phase of the tournament, leaving France as the only candidate to host the Final Phase. On 8 September 2014, it was announced that the FIBA EuroBasket 2015 tournament would be hosted in Germany, Croatia and France, with each of the countries hosting one respective group during the group stage of the tournament. France would be the hosts of the finals in the knock-out phase in the city of Lille at the multi-functional Stade Pierre-Mauroy, which has a 27,000 capacity for basketball. Qualification for the tournament took place in two phases; the remaining teams went into qualification with the remaining FIBA Europe sides. FIBA Europe released the seedings for the EuroBasket 2015 draw on 27 November 2014. According to the FIBA Europe regulations the participating nations, the 10 participants of the 2014 World Cup would be seeded first, based on their respective records in FIBA EuroBasket 2013, with the remaining teams seeded based on their qualification records.
The draw took place on 8 December 2014 at 16:00 at Disneyland in France. Criteria for the draw was as follows: The four hosts were drawn together, but as Latvia were amongst the third seeded teams and Germany the fifth, only three teams would be in fourth and sixth pot containing the remaining seeds and these teams could not be drawn into groups with Latvia and Germany respectively. France and Croatia, as hosts, were drawn first and the two remaining first seeds and Lithuania, were drawn separately into the remaining two groups not with a top-seeded team. In addition to this, following on from the exceptional circumstances leading to the relocation of EuroBasket 2015, each of the four hosts was granted the right to select a partner federation for commercial and marketing criteria; these teams would automatically be placed into the same group as their chosen partner country. The selections were. Venue: Montpellier, France Venue: Berlin, Germany Venue: Zagreb, Croatia Venue: Riga, Latvia Venue: Lille, France Olympic qualifying bracketThe winners of the 5–8th place semifinals advanced to the qualification tournament.
The 5–8th place semifinals losers played in the seventh place game to determine the last participant. Official final ranking by FIBA Europe. PG – Sergio Rodríguez SG – Nando de Colo SF – Jonas Maciulis PF – Pau Gasol C – Jonas Valanciunas
Laurynas Birutis is a Lithuanian professional basketball player for Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. Birutis started his professional career when he signed with BC Žalgiris-2 in summer 2014. On January 5, 2016, in a match against BC Petrochema he made a National Basketball League record by rebounding 23 balls; that season he won silver medals with Žalgiris-2, who lost the final game against BC Sūduva. On 14 April 2017, after dominating in the second-tier National Basketball League with 17.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2 blocks averages per game, Birutis was invited to join the top-tier Lithuanian Basketball League playoffs team Vytautas Prienai–Birštonas. Birutis powerfully debuted on 15 April 2017 by scoring 17 points and grabbing 4 rebounds, but his team lost 92–89 after Justas Tamulis buzzer-beater. Two days he achieved his first 96–89 victory in LKL versus the Neptūnas Klaipėda, he was second-best Vytautas' scorer with 19 points and 6 rebounds. On 1 August 2017, Birutis joined his hometown team BC Šiauliai.
During the 2018 Karaliaus Mindaugo taurė quarter-final versus the Lithuanian champions Žalgiris Kaunas, Birutis played his career-best game by scoring 35 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, dishing out 2 assists and blocking one shot, however his team lost 85–78. On 18 April 2018, Birutis entered his name into the 2018 NBA Draft. During his second LKL season, he led all three main statistical lines of his position in the league: 14,9 points, 7,3 rebounds and 1,3 blocks. After his astonishing season, Birutis has received the LKL Most Valuable Player Award. Moreover, with his help BC Šiauliai recovered from having the worst record in the league last season and became a solid playoffs participant by finishing in the 5th place during the regular season. During the season closing ceremony he was named as the best young player of LKL, it was announced at the end of the season that Birutis would return to Žalgiris for the 2018-2019 season. Laurynas Birutis debuted for the Lithuania men's u-16 basketball team in the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship in Ukraine.
He won bronze medals with Lithuania men's u-18 basketball team in the 2015 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship. Birutis, together with his age teammates: Tadas Sedekerskis and Martynas Varnas, was invited to play in the FIBA's Youth All-Star Game during EuroBasket 2015. On February 26, 2018, Birutis debuted as a member of the Lithuania men's national basketball team by scoring 8 points and grabbing 6 rebounds, helped to crush the Kosovo national basketball team 106–50 during the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification. Laurynas is the son of former long-term BC Šiauliai player Sigitas Birutis. Laurynas Birutis at fiba.com
The shooting guard known as the two or off guard, is one of the five traditional positions in a regulation basketball game. A shooting guard's main objective is to steal the ball on defense; some teams ask. A player who can switch between playing shooting guard and small forward is known as a swingman. In the NBA, shooting guards range from 6' 3" to 6' 7" and 5' 9" to 6' 0" in the WNBA; the Basketball Handbook by Lee Rose describes a shooting guard as someone whose primary role is to score points. As the name suggests, most shooting guards are good long-range shooters averaging 35–40 percent from three-point range. Many shooting guards are strong and athletic, have the ability to get inside the paint and drive to the basket. Shooting guards are taller than point guards. Height at the position varies. Shooting guards should be good ball handlers and be able to pass reasonably well, though passing is not their main priority. Since good shooting guards may attract double-teams, they are the team's back-up ball handlers to the point guard and get a fair number of assists.
Shooting guards must be able to score in various ways late in a close game when defenses are tighter. They need to have a good free throw percentage too, to be reliable in close games and to discourage opposing players from fouling; because of the high level of offensive skills shooting guards need, they are a team's primary scoring option, sometimes the offense is built around them. In the NBA, there are some shooting guards referred to as "D" players; the term 3 and D implies that the player is a good 3 point shooter who can play solid defense. The 3 and D player has become important as the game sways to be perimeter oriented. Good shooting guards can play point guard to a certain extent, it is accepted that point guards should have the ball in their hands at most times in the game, but sometimes the shooting guard has a significant enough influence on the team where he or she handles the ball often, to the point where the point guard may be reduced to a backup ball handler or spot-up shooter.
The Basketball Handbook. Lee H. Rose ISBN 0-7360-4906-1 Media related to Shooting guards at Wikimedia Commons