House of Basketball including museum planned in Kaunas

Arvydas Sabonis

The House of Basketball will be established in Lithuania's second-largest city Kaunas to accommodate the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and an interactive technology-filled basketball museum.

The museum, which will also function as an educational tool, will present the history of basketball in a modern way. The building is expected to attract foreign tourists and serve as a good emotional charge for the young generation, which finds technological solutions attractive.

"The idea emerged back in late 2012 or early 2013," Arvydas Sabonis, the president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and a former basketball star, told journalists on Thursday. "Lithuania has a long history in basketball. When we go abroad, everyone is surprised that we still do not have a museum. It is No. 1 sports in Lithuania. Steponas Darius brought basketball to Kaunas, therefore, it should be in Kaunas. It is the place of birth of Lithuanian basketball, it is home to the legendary Kaunas Sports Hall, which was the only roofed basketball court in Europe at the time. Kaunas has for long been titled as the basketball capital of Lithuania."

The museum will consist of a few separate areas, namely, cinema, an exhibition of trophies, a game room and an interactive entertainment.

The project will require about 2 million euros. The money should be generated from sales of the federation's securities and the existing office facilities in Vilnius, with the rest of the sum to be collected from private sponsors.

Sabonis pledged to contribute his own money to the project, inviting all basketball fans to chip in.

The time capsule marking the start of the construction should be placed on April 23 in celebration of 95 years of Lithuania's basketball.

This will be the first newly-built museum in independent Lithuania.

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