D. Sabonis is considered to be one of the most promising European talents, and he has recently decided to to move to NCAA from the EuroLeague.
The 6-10, 17-year old center made his debut with the first team of Unicaja Malaga including 19 appearances in Euroleague, according to TalkBasket.
It was strongly rumoured that he will leave Europe after gaining top level basketball experience. On April 18, Gonzaga has announced that it has signed Sabonis, who previously played with Spain’s Unicaja Málaga team. His father, Arvydas Sabonis confirmed the news to the media.
Domantas Sabonis averaged 2.7 points and 2 rebounds in Euroleague this season.
Getting more playing time and developing individual skills were the main reasons that made Sabonis decide to go overseas. European teams have their season goals and are not spending that much time in developing young players as opposed to NCAA.
The reason he’s able to come stateside from Spain lies in the fact he never signed a contract/earned money while playing hoops overseas. So this move falls within NCAA guidelines, according to CBSSports.
“Domas is a skilled basketball player who should have an immediate impact on our program. We’re excited to have the opportunity to allow him to continue his development as a basketball player while continuing his education,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said in a statement.
Domantas Sabonis still has a long way to go, before he makes his next step towards the NBA. If he does, hopefully, he won’t be repeating his father’s destiny, who, despite being a great player, entered the NBA too late.
Arvydas 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, he 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 NBA.
Sabonis 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.Follow @exnbadotcom
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