Jonas Valančiūnas

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Jonas Valančiūnas
Jonas Valanciunas.jpg
No. 17 – Toronto Raptors
PositionCenter
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born(1992-05-06) 6 May 1992 (age 21)
Utena, Lithuania
NationalityLithuanian
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Toronto Raptors
Pro playing career2008–present
Career history
2008–2010Vilnius Perlas
2010–2012Vilnius Lietuvos Rytas
2012–presentToronto Raptors
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
 
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Jonas Valančiūnas
Jonas Valanciunas.jpg
No. 17 – Toronto Raptors
PositionCenter
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born(1992-05-06) 6 May 1992 (age 21)
Utena, Lithuania
NationalityLithuanian
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Toronto Raptors
Pro playing career2008–present
Career history
2008–2010Vilnius Perlas
2010–2012Vilnius Lietuvos Rytas
2012–presentToronto Raptors
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Jonas Valančiūnas (IPA: [ˈjoːn̪ɐs̪ vɐɫɐn̪ʲˈt͡ʃʲûːn̪ɐs̪]; born 6 May 1992) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. Valančiūnas was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Professional career[edit]

European career[edit]

Valančiūnas started playing professionally for Perlas in 2008 and played there until December 2009. During the 2008–09 season the team played in the Lithuanian National Basketball League (NKL), Lithuania's second strongest league, but moved up to the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) the following season.

In January 2009 Valančiūnas signed a long-term contract with Lithuanian powerhouse Lietuvos Rytas, but, as Perlas was Lietuvos Rytas' daughter club, he didn't move to Lietuvos Rytas instantly and stayed in Perlas for the first half of the 2009–10 season.[1] On 17 January 2010 he finally moved to Lietuvos Rytas. While playing there, Valančiūnas participated in two LKL All-Star Games, the 2010 and 2011 All-Star Games. During the 2011 All-Star Game Valančiūnas scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping the "Lithuanians" win the game. He was named as the 2011 LKL All-Star Game MVP. Outside of the entertainment events, Valančiūnas has led Lietuvos Rytas to the LKL Finals twice, in 2010 and 2011. The team won the 2010 series against Žalgiris 4–3, but lost to the same team the following year 1–4. In 2010, Lietuvos Rytas also won the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) Cup.

On 27 December 2011 Jonas Valančiūnas was named Lithuania Basketball Player of the Year.[2]

On 13 February 2012 Jonas Valančiūnas was named FIBA European Young Player of the Year.[3] He also became that month's MVP in the VTB United League.[4]

On 3 March 2012, Valančiūnas participated in the LKL All-Star game. He led his team to victory, scoring 25 points including one three-pointer, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. He won the MVP award once again.[5]

In April, Valančiūnas won the Eurocup Rising Star award and was named in the All-Eurocup squad. He averaged 10.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 1.6 bpg while shooting 63.4% from the field, leading Lietuvos Rytas to third place.

On 11 December 2012, Valančiūnas was chosen as the best basketball player in Lithuania for 2012.[6]

On 6 February 2013, Valančiūnas was named the FIBA European Young Player of the Year for the second time.[7]

NBA career[edit]

Valančiūnas blocks Greg Monroe

Toronto Raptors[edit]

Valančiūnas was considered as a top prospect at the 2011 NBA Draft, held on 23 June 2011, and was drafted 5th overall by the Toronto Raptors, but had to wait one year until 2012–2013 NBA season to join the Raptors because of his $2.5 million contract buyout with Lietuvos Rytas.[8] The Raptors could only pay $500,000 for his buyout because of NBA rules, but Valančiūnas promised that he would pay the rest of the buyout price so he could play in the NBA.[9] Jonas made his regular season NBA debut on November 1, 2012, during a game against the Indiana Pacers. He scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked one shot in 23 minutes of game action.[10] During March 2013, Valančiūnas averaged 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while playing 27 minutes per game, and was awarded the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month award.[11]

Valančiūnas was named the 2013 NBA Summer League Most Valuable Player after averaging 18.8 points (56% FG) and 10 rebounds.[12] On December 27, 2013, Valančiūnas had a career high 18 rebounds in a game against the New York Knicks.[13]

International career[edit]

Valančiūnas made his debut for the junior national team of Lithuania in the 2008 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship in Italy. He dominated throughout the tournament, averaging 14.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in 23.5 minutes of action. His team went on to win the gold medal and he was chosen as the MVP.[14]

In the summer of 2009, Valančiūnas participated in the European Under-18 All-Star Game during EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. He dominated the game as he scored 18 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, blocked three shots and helped the "Blue Team" beat the "White Team" 77:75.[15] Valančiūnas was later named the MVP of the All-Star game.

One year later, Valančiūnas led Lithuania to another gold medal. Lithuania dominated in the 2010 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship held in Lithuania. Valančiūnas averaged 19.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, and was voted as the MVP.[16]

Valančiūnas vs Kosta Koufos

Valančiūnas was also a member of the Lithuanian Under-19 basketball team, which competed in the 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Latvia. He led his team to capture the gold medal, averaging 23.0 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 31 minutes of game action. He was later named the tournament MVP. Valančiūnas scored 36 points in the gold medal game against Serbia, which was the highest points scored in a game by any player in the tournament.[17] To this date he is the only player to achieve an MVP and Gold Medal in all of his FIBA U-tournaments.

Valančiūnas was on the senior men's Lithuanian national basketball team roster for EuroBasket 2011, which took place in Lithuania. Valančiūnas debuted with Lithuania's senior men's national basketball team on 6 August 2011. In his debut match against Czech Republic, he scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.[18] After a strong performance in friendly pre-EuroBasket'11 matches, Valančiūnas was leading the Lithuanian national team with 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.[19] Although Valančiūnas failed to be any kind of a leader in the first 4 games of EuroBasket 2011 (among them missing the game against Turkey), he then became one of the key players, averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in just 15.7 minutes of game action.[20] He also helped Lithuania to claim the 5th spot, which guaranteed qualification for the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

In 2013, Valančiūnas won a silver medal at the EuroBasket tournament.

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GPGames 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

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2012–13Toronto625723.9.556.000.7896.0.7.31.38.9
Career625723.9.556.000.7896.0.7.31.38.9

Euroleague[edit]

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPGPIR
2010–11Lietuvos Rytas15815.4.708.000.8855.8.2.2.77.79.7
Career15815.4.708.000.8855.8.2.2.77.79.7

Film Appearances[edit]

Valančiūnas appeared in the documentary The Other Dream Team.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ed Davis
Toronto Raptors first round pick
2011
Succeeded by
Terrence Ross
Preceded by
Dejan Musli
FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship MVP
2008
Succeeded by
Tauras Jogėla
Preceded by
Jan Veselý
FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year
2011, 2012
Succeeded by
incumbent