A Guide to the Lithuania Men’s Basketball Team
Lithuania has a population of less than three million, but the country’s devotion to basketball has made it a powerhouse of the sport. To date, the Lithuanian basketball team has won a bronze at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, three bronze medals at the Olympics and seven medals at FIBA EuroBasket, including three golds.
Would you like to discover more about the Lithuania men’s basketball team? Here at Courtside 1891, we’ve created this in-depth guide. Read on to find out more.
2024 Olympics - Men's Basketball
The Lithuania men's basketball team are confirmed as one of the 24 nations that will compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024, which you can stream live with Courtside 1891. The tournaments are currently scheduled for July 2-7 2024.
Four places remain to make up the twelve-team field that will compete at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The Olympic basketball events will take place between 27th July and 10th of August 2024. The nations currently confirmed to participate are France (host), South Sudan, Serbia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia and the United States.
From Europe, the competing Olympic qualifying tournament nations are Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, Montenegro, Greece, Georgia, Finland, Poland and Lithuania.
Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Mexico advanced from the Americas region, following positive results at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. They will be joined by the Bahamas, who shocked Argentina in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in La Banda, Argentina.
Egypt, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon are the competing African nations.
From Asia and Oceania, the teams that advanced were Lebanon, the Philippines, New Zealand and Bahrain.
How Did Lithuania Do At The FIBA World Cup 2023?
Here are the top stats from Lithuania's FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign:
- → Final Standing: 6th
- → Results: Played 8 Won 6 Lost 2
- → Top Points Scorer: Jonas Valančiūnas 118 PTS (14.8 PPG)
- → Top Assist Provider: Rokas Jokubaitis 46 AST (5.8 APG)
- → Most Efficient Player: Jonas Valančiūnas 18.6 EPG
Lithuania going deep into a tournament will come as a surprise to nobody, but this team was still able to pull off perhaps the shock of the tournament when they defeated the USA in the second round. Reeling off 9 3-pointers in a row, they jumped out to a 31-12 Q1 lead that left USA shellshocked. Anthony Edwards (35 PTS) helped USA win the second and third quarters to pull USA to within 6 before a bonkers Q4 that saw both teams score 39 points. Sit back and enjoy 5 minutes of free highlights below.
Having gone 5-0 during the group phase, Lithuania could not produce the same performance in their Quarter-Final defeat to Serbia. A 100-84 classification game victory over Luka Dončić's Slovenia got them to the 5th-place game where they looked gassed and bowed out in a blowout defeat.
When all is said and done, it was another big tournament performance to be proud of for the Lithuanians. Jonas Valančiūnas was named on the World Cup 2023 All-Second team. Beyond the dominating performances of their big-man leader, 22-year-old Rokas Jokubaitis shone brightly in his debut World Cup and looks to have established himself as their lead guard for the next decade.
Team Presentation Video
Boost your knowledge of the Lithuania basketball team with the handy Team Discovery Video below. Released prior to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, it serves up plenty of interesting stats and facts that you can share with your basketball buddies.
- Pre-World Cup FIBA Men’s World Ranking - 8th
- 1 FIBA Basketball World Cup bronze medal
- 3 FIBA EuroBasket golds
- 3 bronze medals at the Olympic Games
- Qualified for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 6 times
World Cup Qualification
Lithuania eased through the qualification process for the 2023 edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
In the first qualification phase, they were drawn in Group F, alongside Czechia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Bulgaria. They went on to dominate this group, finishing with a 5-1 record. They only lost a tricky road game against Czechia, who finished second.
By topping Group F, Lithuania advanced to the second phase of qualification. Here, they competed in Group K alongside France, Montenegro, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Czechia. They ultimately finished the qualification phase with a 9-3 record, which was good enough for second place in the group and another ticket to the big show.
Best World Cup Qualifying Plays
As World Cup qualification overlapped with the NBA season, Lithuanian stars such as Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valančiūnas only played a minimal role in the qualification process, with both only featuring in two games.
Due to this, the team’s scoring was anchored by Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who enjoyed two years in the NBA with the New York Knicks. During the qualifiers, he averaged 12.4 points per game on 53.7% shooting.
Meanwhile, power forward Eigirdas Žukauskas made the most qualifying appearances and dominated the defensive end for Lithuania. He claimed 31 rebounds in nine qualification games. He also dished out 13 assists and ended the campaign with a cumulative +/- of +44.
Interested to learn more about Lithuania’s style of play? Catch the team’s Top 10 plays from qualifying below.
Current Star Players
Domantas Sabonis was set to lead Lithuania at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, but it was revealed that the Sacramento Kings big man played the last four months of the NBA season with a fractured right thumb on his non-shooting hand.
Missing Sabonis was a big blow for Lithuania. He’s just come off a breakout year for the Kings, where he helped the side reach the play-offs for the first time in 17 years. He was also named to his first All-NBA team (3rd team) and was given his third All-Star nod in 2023.
Thankfully, the country’s expanded roster, which was announced on July 12, was still loaded with talent. It’s headlined by Jonas Valančiūnas, who remains one of the toughest centers in international basketball. He was joined on the squad by Ignas Brazdeikis and Mindaugas Kuzminskas, who have been core players for Lithuania for much of the last decade, as well as promising 22-year-old Barcelona talent, Rokas Jokubaitis.
Legends of the Team
Ask any Lithuanian hoops fan who their favorite player is and they’ll likely not even hesitate before they say Arvydas Sabonis, father of Domantas Sabonis and legendary hooper in his own right.
Recognized as one of the best European players of all time and one of the best passing big men in the history of the sport, Sabonis won the FIBA Basketball World Cup (1982), the FIBA EuroBasket (1985) and the Olympic Games (1988) while representing the Soviet Union. He was also named EuroBasket’s MVP in 1985.
After Lithuanian independence, he helped the newly-reformed Lithuania Basketball team capture two Olympic bronze medals (1992 and 1996) and a silver medal at FIBA EuroBasket 1995. At the end of his career, he was inducted into both the FIBA Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Historical World Cup Performance
As Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union until 1990, the team has only been eligible to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup since 1994.
In this time, Lithuania has failed to qualify for the tournament twice. In every other edition of the World Cup, they’ve put in a strong showing. In their five appearances so far, they’ve captured a bronze medal and finished fourth once.
Previous Successes and Tournament Wins
Lithuania is a country that punches above its weight at the Olympic Games. Basketball Lithuania participated in its first Olympics in 1992 and has enjoyed a great amount of success ever since, claiming three bronze medals and two fourth-place finishes.
Lithuania also won both the first two FIBA EuroBasket tournaments it entered, in 1937 and 1939. Then, while the country was part of the Soviet Union, the national team did not take part in the competition. Since returning to EuroBasket in 1995, the team has taken the tournament by storm, claiming a bronze medal, three silver medals and a gold medal.
How to Watch Lithuania Men's Basketball
With Courtside 1891, worldwide fans can watch Lithuania compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (FOQTs) 2024. We stream every game of FIBA international tournaments as well as other competitions from around the world.
As FIBA’s premium streaming partner for the World Cup, Courtside 1891 provided access to every 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup game! Watch the competition's biggest games and best moments on-demand on our FIBA Basketball World Cup page.
The best way to make sure that you never miss a single second of the upcoming action is to download our app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play, or sign up to our website platform. Please be aware that, due to broadcasting rights and restrictions, access to some games might be restricted depending on your location. See our where-to-watch page for full details of upcoming competitions.
Looking for the latest results from the world of basketball? Head over to the Courtside 1891 Game Center. Here you’ll also find matchup times in your country as well as easy-to-access game highlights you can watch when you register with Courtside 1891.