Zalgiris starts preparation for the season 7
The ball started rolling for Zalgiris Kaunas on Wednesday as the Lithuanian champs got back to work preparing for the 2023-24 season.
Kevarrius Hayes even arrived in Kaunas two weeks earlier than expected because he could not wait to start the new campaign.
“I feel pretty good.” Hayes said. “I came out to work a little early, I enjoy the first work out. I couldn’t wait. It’s great to see a lot of the guys here, we are missing some to the national team. But we showed good energy so far. I came earlier also because I want to get my sleep adjusted and I also want to see a little more of the city. Now that I live close to the center I can walk to many places.”
This summer, Zalgiris kept most of its roster from the previous season and only three new faces joined the team.
Edgaras Ulanovas, Arnas Butkevicius, Laurynas Birutis and Hayes had already started working with athletic coaches Justinas Grainys and Nerijus Navickas and were later joined by Dovydas Giedraitis, Lukas Lekavicius, Keenan Evans and newcomers Danielius Lavrinovicius and Brady Manek. The last player to arrive in Kaunas was Naz Mitrou-Long, who already had a medical check-up in Kaunas earlier.
Zalgiris started the sessions without the trio of Tomas Dimsa, Ignas Brazdeikis and Rolands Smits, who are all busy with their respective national teams at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Assistant coaches Gintaras Krapikas and Tautvydas Sabonis will work with the players during the training camp, replacing head coach Kazys Maksvytis and Evaldas Berzininkaitis, who will be leading the Lithuanian national team at the World Cup.
Zalgiris will play two friendlies in Kaunas before the official start of the season: on September 9 against BKT EuroCup side London Lions and on September 13 against VEF Riga.
After these tests, Zalgiris will play its first official game of the season on September 17 in the Lithuanian League against Gargzdai in Klaipeda.
Later, Zalgiris will also take part in a preseason tournament between four EuroLeague teams, playing against Olympiacos Piraeus and Crvena Zvezda Meridianbet Belgrade in Nicosia, Cyprus, on September 22-23.