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

WWE Raw Preview: Brock Lesnar to return, Rollins to face Rey Mysterio

first_img FOLLOW US Last Updated: 30th September, 2019 19:55 IST WWE Raw Preview: Brock Lesnar To Return, Rollins To Face Rey Mysterio Brock Lesnar to return, Seth Rollins defends the WWE Universal Championship against Rey Mysterio and two Legends sit down for a monumental edition of Miz TV. WWE Raw is expected to start its upcoming season with a bang as a lot has been teased for the past few weeks. Brock Lesnar will be returning to the red brand, Seth Rollins will defend his Universal Championship against Rey Mysterio and Miz will interview two WWE Legends on Miz TV. Not just this, there are many major matches scheduled to be played on Monday night Raw. Raw can be watched live at Ten Sports on October 1, 2019. WWE Raw is scheduled to start at 6:30 am IST. Also Read l WWE: Roman Reigns will face Erick Rowan on WWE SmackDownWWE Raw: Important matchesSeth Rollins to defend the Universal Championship against Rey Mysterio Adil Khan After coming back to WWE, Rey Mysterio notched his biggest victory by winning the fatal-5-way match last week. Rey Mysterio will now face the current champion for the Universal Championship. Seth Rollins will enter the game not just to retain his title but also prepare for his upcoming match against the ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt in the upcoming Hell in the Cell pay-per-view. However, Mysterio is having the time of his life, he has continuously won his last few matches and this can have a positive effect on the master of 619. Also Read l WWE: Wrestler Rick Bognar aka ‘Fake’ Razor Ramon passes away at 49Brock Lesnar returns to RawThis week is the week of the Beast, as he will be making major appearances in both the WWE shows. On Friday, we will see Brock Lesnar going up against Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship in his first SmackDown match in 15 years. But before he appears on SmackDown, he will come to the season premiere of Raw. The questions raise what business does the Beast have in Raw? And most importantly who is the Beast going to destroy next? Also Read l WWE Hell In A Cell: Everything you need to know about the Pay-per-ViewAlexa Bliss to face Sasha BanksBefore facing Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship at Hell in a Cell, Sasha will go up against the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Alexa Bliss of Monday. After defeating Alexa’s partner Nikki Cross on Raw, Sasha will face the goddess. However, Alexa is unlikely to sit back and allow herself to be defeated by the boss. Alexa will be coming to the ring to take revenge after Banks and Bayley seemingly injured Bliss during a tag-team match on Raw two weeks ago. Also Read l WWE Heavyweight Championship: Best title defence matches in history LIVE TV Written By SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE COMMENT First Published: 30th September, 2019 19:55 ISTlast_img read more