KAUNAS – The legendary Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis has decided to put his name forward as a candidate in the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) presidential elections. The best Lithuanian player of all times will be trying to help the country’s basketball from another angle.
The news didn’t come straight out of the blue, as there had been many speculations about the topic. You could start with Sabonis being the official ambassador of EuroBasket 2011 and end with Vladas Garastas, the current President of the Federation, expressing his view that Sabas would be a perfect fit.
“I’m going to offer Sabonis to replace me. I think his answer should be positive and everything will be alright,” Garastas, who is known to speak what’s on his mind, said already a couple of months ago.
It seems that Sabonis did need some convincing from his former coach, but the big man had been coming into the public eye more and more recently anyway. Quite unlike the quiet and unnoticeable Sabonis, who seemed to be rather disconnected from the country’s basketball life the past couple of years.
“It’s a pretty bold move. A decision like this was a nice surprise for our generation,” another legendary Lithuanian player Sarunas Marciulionis, said, adding that a tough road awaits Sabonis, with whom Marciulionis has achieved many victories together.
It will indeed be different for Sabonis. Although the most known man in Lithuania has already been living between Kaunas and Malaga, where his family has settled, the new post would mean more time away from his wife and kids.
Having put his name in the kettle, Sabonis explained that the most important thing for him is creating the best opportunities for developing the country’s youth.
“We need to give more attention to the coaches. No one can work properly with the money coaches are getting now. Many of our specialists leave abroad. From my own experience I know, that soon we won’t have anyone to develop or youngsters,” said Sabonis, the only candidate, who has officially declared himself for the elections.
It might very well be that the legend will remain the only candidate in the race, but even if that wasn’t the case, the outcome is pretty clear anyway, as no one can even come close to matching the authority of Arvydas Sabonis, a man who has the greatest respect from people all over Lithuania.