Valančiūnas poised to become Lithuanian record-setter, surpassing iconic Lithuanian greats
Jonas Valančiūnas's extraordinary performance in the NBA playoffs with the Toronto Raptors has made waves in Canada and the NBA that are being felt in Lithuania as well. The rising star is approaching or has met the Lithuanian records set by other famous NBA big men like Arvydas Sabonis and Žydrūnas Ilgauskas.
When he took 19 rebounds during the Toronto Raptors' recent victory against the Indiana Pacers, not only did Valančiūnas improve the Toronto raptors' rebound record (which he set), he also matched Ilgauskas' career best.
Žydrūnas, who has spent the most time in the NBA of any Lithuanian basketballer, set his record in a game on April 30th, 2007 in which he played 40 minutes. Valančiūnas, on the other hand, collected his 19 rebounds in only 21 minutes on the court, at almost one rebound per minute. With more time on the court, he could have set a new Lithuanian record for rebounds.
By comparison, Lithuanian basketball legend Sabonis' personal record was 15 rebounds on August 23rd, 1999. In his recent game with the Houston Rockets against the Golden State Warriors, Donatas Motiejūnas entered the double-digit club with 13 rebounds.