Arvydas Sabonis: It pays to invest in future of young people


sabonis-1The President of Lithuanian Basketball Federation, a legendary basketball player Arvydas Sabonis has recently attended a meeting with analysts from DNB bank.

DNB Bank Chief Economist of the Baltic states Catherine Rojaka was also present at the meeting.

DNB has presented a study that has shown that both basketball fans and basketball players in Lithuania are two “large groups” that affect Lithuanian domestic consumption.

According to the study, which calculated the results, an average fan is today spends twice as much money on drinks, snacks, transport costs and tickets to games than in 2000.

The analysts said this was a positive “basketball economic” effect, adding that Lithuanian economy during this perior amounted to nearly 8.7 billion litas (approx. $3.1 billion)

“There have been such analyzes in the past, and it shows that it pays to invest in the future, in particular in the future of young people,” Sabonis said.

Sabonis retired from professional basketball in 2005. On August 20, 2010, Sabonis was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in recognition of his great play in international competition.

On April 4, 2011, Sabonis was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame,and he was inducted on August 12, 2011.

On October 24, 2011, Sabonis was voted to be the next president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation.

Recognized as one of the best European players of his era, he won the Euroscar Award six times, and the Mr. Europa Award twice. He played in a variety of leagues, and spent seven seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States.

Sabonis played the center position and also won a gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea for the Soviet Union, and later earned bronze medals at the 1992 and 1996 games while playing for Lithuania.

In the NBA, Sabonis played 7 seasons for the Portland TrailBlazers, and appeared in total of 470 NBA games (314 started).

He holds career averages of 12.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg and 1.1 bpg in 24.2 minutes per game. He averaged career-high 16 ppg and 10.0 rpg for Portland in 1997-98 season.

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