Motiejus Krivas is heading to the NCAA 1
Motiejus Krivas, one of the most talented players in Zalgiris Kaunas youth basketball system, is spreading his wings across the Atlantic. The 18-year-old will continue his career at the University of Arizona in the NCAA league.
Krivas, who plays as a center for Zalgiris-2, won the National Basketball League (NKL) title this season and was named the league’s best defensive player.
The talented player averaged 13.7 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in the NKL this season.
Krivas also got his chances in Zalgiris’ main team this year. He will be with Zalgiris until the end of this season and will continue to focus on the Lithuanian Basketball League Playoffs.
“I have had attention from NCAA teams for a long time, but until the end of the NKL season I was focused only on basketball. Once I had achieved my goals, my family and I were able to sit around the table and look for solutions for my future. After weighing up the pros and cons, we decided that playing in the US could be a great opportunity for me. I want to thank the whole Zalgiris organization and the people who work there – I will always be green and white,” said Krivas, who is considered one of Lithuania’s most talented basketball players.
Gediminas Navickas, Zalgiris Kaunas’ head of youth system, said that this decision of the young Zalgiris player was not unexpected.
“We knew all along that Motiejus had a chance to go to the NCAA. We have a great deal of respect for the coaches at the University of Arizona, and this past October we visited Arizona and had the chance to watch training sessions ourselves. Motiejus is talented enough to one day play for Zalgiris main team, so his further development is important to us,” said Navickas.
According to Navickas, Krivas and his path through the organization’s basketball pyramid is a very good example for other young players.
“He has gone through all the steps of Zalgiris’ basketball pyramid, so we are very happy that Motiejus and his family have always trusted Zalgiris organization. He has always worked patiently, believed in the process and made solid steps towards men’s basketball. I believe that we have laid a solid foundation of Zalgiris values for Motiejus’ next stage,” commented the head of the youth system on the 214 cm tall player’s decision.
Head coach of University of Arizona Tommy Lloyd was happy for Krivas to join his team.
“Motiejus is an outstanding player and person and we are excited to have him and his family join our program. He is a skilled front court player with great touch around the basket, strong passing ability and can make an impact at the rim on the defensive end. Coming from Zalgiris in Lithuania, one of the top clubs for young players in Europe, he has been part of their elite development program and helped them win at the highest level,” said Lloyd.
By the way, Estonian Kerr Kriisa also transferred to the University of Arizona from Zalgiris in 2020.