Lithuanian player signs with UND Men's BB
Pat Sweeney | Aug 8, 2019 AT 4:41 pm
University of North Dakota men’s basketball head coach Paul Sather has announced that Lithuanian national player and Florida prep standout Gertautas Urbonavicius has signed his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play for the Fighting Hawks beginning in the 2019-20 season.
“Gertautas is an outstanding addition to our team this late in the summer,” said Sather. “He brings versatility to our frontline as he can shoot the ball with great range, but also has the physical tools to play inside and score around the basket. He’s a high character person and an exceptional student that will be a great fit to our program and the University of North Dakota.”
Before coming to the United States, Urbonavicius played two seasons in Lithuania where he claimed the country’s national championship in 2013-14 and 2015-16. In his final summer, he represented his country for the first time at the U-16 European Championships and claimed the silver medal. This would mark the first of a trio of times that he would wear the national colors in his career.
The 6’7 forward moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. where he played three seasons at Cardinal Gibbons High School. There, he earned All-County Second Team honors in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 while being named to the Big-8 All-Tournament Team in 2017. Urbonavicius exploded during his final year for the Chiefs, averaging 16.8 points per game and collecting 8.7 rebounds per game.
He represented his country of Lithuania a second time at the 2018 U-18 European Championship in Latvia, where Urbonavicius averaged 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest. In the final group contest against Great Britain, he erupted for 20 points and six rebounds in just 16 minutes of game action before leading Lithuania to a Round of 16 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina with a team-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting and six boards. For the tournament, Urbonavicius finished in the 92nd percentile with 1.113 points per possession as his country claimed fifth.
Last summer, the forward donned the green, red, and yellow at the 2019 FIBA U-19 World Cup in Crete, Greece, where he played against some of the best young competition in the world. His best game came against the United States in the group stage, scoring nine points and leading the team in rebounding with six in 21 minutes of action versus multiple ESPN Top-100 players. Lithuania reached the semifinals, where they matched up with USA once again, but fell in back-to-back games to claim fourth for the tournament.
Urbonavicius, who was recruited heavily by Assistant Coach Dani Milhailovic, enters the season with immediate eligibility and will be the fourth European nation represented on the Fighting Hawks this season.