Karolis Kundrotas builds off Lithuanian upbringing as Elon freshman

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Elon administration charged head basketball coach Matt Matheny to go find overseas players. He had already established relationships in different countries when he was an assistant at Davidson. But now in charge, he was tasked with finding international athletes for his own program.He found Karolis Kundrotas at a prep school in London that has served as a basketball hotbed of talent. But London is not where Kundrotas found his love for basketball. It’s from a basketball-obsessed city in Lithuania that has developed numerous NBA talents.“Karolis fits perfectly into what we look for in recruiting at Elon,” Matheny said, “He’s someone that is coachable, that is tough and that is willing to work.”The 6-foot, 11-inch freshman Kundrotas, who was born and raised in Kaunus will come to the Carrier Dome on Saturday at 7 p.m. to face Syracuse (2-0) as a part of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Though he’s scored just five points in 15 minutes this season for Elon (2-1), Kundrotas’ past stops shaped the promising player.Kundrotas moved to England with his mother in 2006 and played at the Barking Abbey Basketball Academy. The academy’s professionalism helped prepare him to play Division I.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter failing to bring in European recruits in past years, Mattheny successfully reeled in Kundrotas.“The coaches there are really sharp,” Kundrotas said of the Academy. “The closest program that I’ve been to that matched American standards.”The Barking Abbey program, which head coach Lloyd Gardner called the British version of an American“prep school,” is linked to a normal British state high school and is regarded as one of the top basketball programs in the UK for developing young players.The Abbey program previously sent fellow Lithuanian Paulius Satkus one year earlier to James Madison and Kundrotas followed a similar path.Program director Matt Clark said that every Lithuanian player comes with solid fundamentals and a 3-point shot, which Clark called a “signature” of all European big men.“Lithuanians grow up with basketball,” Clark said. “It’s their national sport. A large number of their heroes are basketball players.”Kundrotas’ hometown in Lithuania, Kaunus, is a goldmine for basketball stars, producing several NBA players including Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Donatas Motiejūnas Arvydas Sabonis, Šarūnas Marčiulionis and Linas Kleiza.“Being from the same place,” the freshman said, “they’re people that I look up to. I idolize them.”While many young athletes in Lithuania look up to players like Ilgauskus and Montiejunas, Kundrotas said that his hero was another Lithuanian basketball star.Šarūnas “Šaras” Jasikevičius was another product of Kaunus, Lithuania and played point guard in the United States for Maryland. Jasikevičius played a majority of his career overseas, but had a brief stint with the Indiana Pacers in the NBA.“He was the man in my eyes,” Kundrotas said, “with Zydrunas of course, he’s also legend.”Kundrotas hasn’t come close to the level that his heroes have reached yet, but Matheny thinks highly of his future.Matheny believes that despite Kundrotas coming more game-ready than the coaching staff anticipated, he still has a lot to work on and to learn before he can play big minutes for the Phoenix.Both are excited for the opportunity to play at Syracuse. It’s a chance for Kundrotas to play in the type of venue his countrymen became accustomed to.“I can’t believe the opportunity I’ve got from where I come from,” Kundrotas said, “I can’t wait.” Comments Published on November 20, 2015 at 12:02 pm Contact Jack: jfupton@syr.edulast_img read more

FrieslandCampina Begin Defence of Remita Champions Cup with Goal Feast

first_img2017 RC3 winners and defending Telecoms Games, IHS Towers were surprisingly whitewashed, in the opening game of the tournament, by FMCG Games runner-up, Unilever in a similar 3-0 defeat. The Unilever team assumed control of the tie from kick-off and badgered their opponents with finely tuned attacks and skills.Superstar musician, Ololade Keshinro popularly known as Lil Kesh punctuated the activities of the day with some of his popular tunes. Lil Kesh who was amazed by the dazzling fan reception provided amazing renditions of his top hits such as Able God, Gbese, and Ibile.Upon resumption of action, FMCG Games champions, Nestle trounced new-entrants, Union Bank in another high scoring 3-0 victory. The first-half ended goalless thanks to the heroics of the Union Bank goalkeeper but he ultimately fell short in the second half as the flamboyant Nestle side found the net thrice with great ease, thereby ending the inaugural experience of the bankers.Bankers’ Games runner-up, FCMB secured the final spot of the semi-final in a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Insurance Games champions, NEM Insurance. FCMB took the lead in the early minutes of the game and defended resolutely in what was adjudged the most technical battle of the day.At the end of play, FrieslandCampina, Nestle, FCMB and Unilever booked their semi-final spots with relative ease.FrieslandCampina will go toe-to-toe with Nestle while FCMB tackle Unilever on Sunday, 25 August 2019, for spots in the final of the competition.The fanfare was graced by dignitaries and c-class executives such as Deremi Atanda Executive Director of SystemSpecs; Jimmy Shogbesan, Chief Operating Officer of MediaVision Limited; and Tournament Ambassador, Peter Rufai.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Defending Champions, FrieslandCampina, began their title defence of the prestigious Remita Corporate Champions Cup (RC3) Tournament in Lagos on Sunday with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Telecommunications Games runner-up, MTN in a highly entertaining match-up.The 2019 edition of the RC3 kicked off at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Pavilion with FrieslandCampina scoring two first-half goals in quick succession to set the tone for what would be an end-to-end attacking display by both sides.The second half saw few spurned chances and close calls by both sides until an MTN defender scythed a FrieslandCampina forward in the 18-yard box. Ruth Okafor, the appointed female referee, did not hesitate to point to the spot, with the attendant penalty kick coolly converted to secure a place for the side in the semi-finals.last_img read more