27 Facts About Arvydas Sabonis


Arvydas Romas Sabonis is a Lithuanian former professional basketball player and businessman.


Arvydas Sabonis played in a variety of leagues, including the Spanish ACB League, and spent seven seasons in the National Basketball Association.


Arvydas Sabonis was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 1986 NBA draft, but he did not play his first NBA game until 1995, at the age of 30.


On October 24,2011, Arvydas Sabonis was voted as the next President of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, replacing Vladas Garastas, who had led the LBF since 1991.


Arvydas Sabonis resigned from the position on October 2,2013, but came back to it on October 10,2013.


Arvydas Sabonis was excused from mandatory service to the Soviet Army, by enrolling at the Lithuanian University of Agriculture, in his hometown.


Arvydas Sabonis made his professional club debut in 1981, with one of the oldest basketball teams in Lithuania, Zalgiris, in his hometown of Kaunas.


In 1989, Arvydas Sabonis left Zalgiris, and signed with the Spanish Liga ACB club Forum Valladolid.


Arvydas Sabonis was originally selected by the Atlanta Hawks, with the 77th overall pick, of the 1985 NBA draft.


However, the selection was voided, because Arvydas Sabonis was under 21 at the time of the draft.


Arvydas Sabonis was not allowed to play in the US by the Soviet authorities, despite LSU Tigers head coach Dale Brown's plans to have Arvydas Sabonis studying and playing at Louisiana State University, and thus keeping him in an amateur status.


Arvydas Sabonis was selected to the All-Rookie First Team, and was runner-up in both Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year voting.


Arvydas Sabonis was already 30 when he joined the Blazers, by which time he had already won multiple gold medals, suffered through numerous injuries, and had lost much of his mobility and athleticism.


Arvydas Sabonis could pass, shoot three pointers, had a great post game, and dominated the paint.


Arvydas Sabonis won the Euroscar twice, while playing with the Blazers.


Arvydas Sabonis became a fan favorite, and had a warm welcome back when he visited Portland in 2011, en route to being enshrined into the Naismith Hall of Fame.


Arvydas Sabonis led the team to the Top 16 stage of the EuroLeague that year, and was named the Regular Season MVP and the Top 16 MVP.


In 1982, Arvydas Sabonis was one of the players in the senior Soviet Union national team that toured the United States, playing against various college basketball teams.


Arvydas Sabonis led the Soviet Union to a gold medal, with a win against the 1988 edition of the United States national team, that featured future NBA All-Stars David Robinson, Mitch Richmond, and Danny Manning in the semifinals.


Arvydas Sabonis was named to the EuroBasket All-Tournament Team in 1983 and 1985, and he was named the EuroBasket MVP in 1985.


Arvydas Sabonis represented Lithuania at the following major tournaments: the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, the 1995 EuroBasket, the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and the 1999 EuroBasket.


Arvydas Sabonis was named to the EuroBasket All-Tournament Team in 1995.


Arvydas Sabonis was awarded a silver medal at the 2013 EuroBasket tournament, due to being the Lithuanian Basketball Federation President.


Arvydas Sabonis is married to Ingrida Mikelionyte, the first Miss Lithuania, a fashion model, and a movie actress.


Once Arvydas Sabonis left the NBA, the family moved to the Spanish coastal city of Malaga.


In September 2011, Arvydas Sabonis suffered a heart attack, while playing basketball in Lithuania.


Arvydas Sabonis appeared on the Lithuanian cover of the video game NBA Live 2001.