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Modestas Paulauskas facts for kids

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Modestas Paulauskas
Paulauskas in 1970, as a member of the USSR national team
Personal information
Born 19 March 1945 (1945-03-19) (age 76)
Kretinga, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Lithuanian
Listed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight 206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
Pro career 1962–1976
Coaching career 1977–1998
Career history
As player:
1962–1976 Žalgiris Kaunas
As coach:
1991–1992 Žalgiris Kaunas
1997–1998 Statyba-Lietuvos rytas Vilnius
Career highlights and awards
As a player:
  • EuroBasket MVP (1965)
  • 7× Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year (1965–1967, 1969–1972)
  • 3× FIBA European Selection (1969, 1971, 1972)
  • FIBA's 50 Greatest Players (1991)
  • No. 5 retired by Žalgiris Kaunas

Modestas Paulauskas (19 March 1945) is a former Soviet and Lithuanian professional basketball coach and basketball player.

As a player, he was the youngest EuroBasket MVP in history, being only 20 years old at the time he won the award. He is known for having been one of the best Lithuanian basketball players of all time, and for having excellent dribbling ability. He was selected as the Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year, a record seven times, in 1965–1967, and 1969–1972. As the player of Soviet Union national basketball team achieved Olympic Gold in 1972 in Munich.

In 1991, he was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players.

In 2021, he was included into the FIBA Hall of Fame.

Playing career

Club career

Paulauskas spent his whole club career with Žalgiris Kaunas, despite getting attention from teams based in Western Europe and the National Basketball Association (NBA). He could not join them due to political reasons, as Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union at that time, and people could not freely travel abroad. He was also asked to join Žalgiris Kaunas's main rival, CSKA Moscow, but he declined.

Soviet national team

Paulauskas was a part of the senior Soviet Union national basketball teams that won the bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games, and the gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Paulauskas became the captain of the senior Soviet national team in 1969.

Coaching career

After retiring from playing basketball competitions, Paulauskas worked as a coach of the Soviet Union junior national teams from 1977 to 1989. In the early 1990s, he was the head coach of his native club, Žalgiris Kaunas. After that, he coached basketball in schools, both in Lithuania and in Russia.

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