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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Z Does a Q&A With the Telegraph

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2009 at 9:38 AM

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Zydrunas Ilgauskas did a lengthy question and answer session with the Telegraph, and the topics included Manchester United, playing with LeBron, describing Cleveland (he compares us to Newcastle), why basketball means so much to his native European country, and his favorite Lithuanian dish.

Read the whole thing, but here's my favorite part:

Why is Lithuania, a country of just three million people, so good at basketball?

Small country, big guys! It goes back really to the large scale emigration to the USA between the Wars. A lot of the guys learned the game, played to a good standard and then returned in 1937 and 1939 to help Lithuania win the European Championships. It all stems from that and the national pride it caused. Then when we became part of the Soviet Union we always had four or five top players in their squad and it became another source of national pride, flying the Lithuania flag. There are two major social forces in Lithuania - the Catholic church and basketball. They rule the country! Every Lithuanian boy or girl will try to become a top basketball player first before settling for a career as a doctor or lawyer.

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