Brandon Davies: “Zalgiris is always going to have a special place in my heart” 0
“The best big man in Zalgiris history who hasn’t had his jersey retired,” – these were the words coach Sarunas Jasikevicius used to describe Brandon Davies at the end of his two-year tenure in Kaunas.
There has been a lot of memorable moments throughout Brandon Davies time in Lithuania and the star big man had enough time to fall in love with the country. He took the time out to rewind the past two years and share his experiences with Zalgiris TV.
“I loved it here in Kaunas. It was an unbelievable, magical experience. Everyone knows what it’s like to play in this arena, but just the people of Kaunas, and Lithuania in general… Coming from the United States, you don’t hear as many great things as you should about Lithuania. I’ve grown to love and attached to the family culture here. Especially with the love and embrace my family got here. Those things last forever.”
Davies’ last game in a Zalgiris jersey came with the third and final game of the Lithuanian basketball league Finals series against Rytas Vilnius. The green-and-whites showed no mercy to their opponents, as Sarunas Jasikevicius subbed out Brandon Davies at the end of the third quarter. The entire arena guided him off with a standing ovation.
“It was early in the game, so I thought I did something wrong. That was my first reaction. But when I heard the crowd, I realized what was going on. It was an amazing thing to feel and it’s hard to put into words. I had butterflies and my eyes were sweating a little bit. It was a magical experience to feel the love that the fans have. I hope that they know I love them just as much.”
Years before joining Zalgiris, Brandon Davies already knew one of the club’s legends, as he practiced with Tanoka Beard in Utah before the NBA Draft. Some time later, he was already practicing with another Zalgiris legend, Arvydas Sabonis.
Having followed the footsteps of two Zalgiris giants, Davies turned into a symbolic continuation of Zalgiris history. He is sure he will never forget the years spent in Kaunas.
“It helps that my high school team was also green. I think it started there. Maybe it was a kind of fate. Zalgiris is always going to have a special place in my heart, no matter for how long I play or how far I go. I’ll never forget my experiences, my teammates and everyone who’s been involved in this organization. I enjoyed my time very well here.”