Jasikevičius bows to his family on becoming Kaunas honorary citizen: I am, who I am only thanks to it
Kaunas Žalgiris Head Coach, Šarūnas Jasikevičius has overcome many hurdles this season as a young coach. His team gave a stunning performance in the Euroleague regular season, which culminated in reaching the final four best teams in Europe! Then he topped it all off in the national tournament by snagging the 20th Žalgiris title (8th in a row) in Lithuanian league history. What a season!
Last Wednesday, in Kaunas town hall at a solemn ceremony, the coaching wunderkind had honorary citizenship bestowed upon him by the city of Kaunas.
This season was truly extraordinary! On a shoestring budget, much less than most of his opponents, he made it to the final four having to cope with some stiff competition from last year's champions, Olympiakos Piraeus. In the final four itself, his scrappy squad brought home to Kaunas a very respectable third place bronze medal.
He also led Žalgiris to success back home in the local battle with arch-rival Vilnius for the LKL's Mindaugas Cup. In this series, he never let Lietuvos Rytas get their hopes up, decisively winning the series 4-1 and taking the 8th Betsafe-LKL title in a row for the BC Kaunas Žalgiris.
Kaunas mayor, Visvaldas Matijošaitis offered to give Šarūnas Jasikevičius honorary citizenship already back in April for the team's excellent results and bringing fame to the city. This proposal received unanimous support from the Kaunas city council in May.
"Thanks to mom and dad, my wife, kids and the whole team for making me smarter than I am. This is one of the greatest honours I have experienced. I will strive to continue bringing fame to our city," he said after receiving the award.
This award was created in 1991 for outstanding achievement in the fields of science, sport, culture and societal well-being. Arvydas Sabonis, another famous basketball player from Kaunas received the award in 1997.
All the players of Žalgiris were honoured during the event and were awarded memorabilia. The entire Žalgiris team was also bestowed symbolic medals commemorating the centenary of Lithuania.
Translated by Neal Maloney