Karolina Kusaitė, www.krepsinionamai.lt
„I will always remember when I received the first invitation to the national team. It was the closing ceremony of the Lithuanian women’s basketball league season and Valdas Gecevičius came to me and said: Laura, I think you are ready for the Lithuanian women’s basketball team, this year you you will receive an invitation. That can’t even describe that feeling, that nigh I was on cloud nine. I was asking everyone: could you imagine that I would get an invitation to the national team? This feeling was indescribable and I will never forget it, because it was my dream come true”, – elaborated Laura Svarytė.
Lithuanian, playing for Arka Gdynia (Poland), is one of the team leaders, averaging 10 points and almost 9 rebounds in the EuroLeague. According to this indicator, the basketball player is the most useful in his team.
Although the Lithuanians were left with only an honourable game against the Serbian national team in the European Championship qualifiers, Laura agreed to share her journey in basketball and thus inspire the participants of the LKF basketball project for girls „Vikruolių taurė“.
“When I was in the second grade, my parents took me to the basketball practice because I was the tallest in both kindergarten and high school. However, I did not really like the coach of the team, so I stopped attending the practices. Then my family and I moved out to live elsewhere and I switched schools. I was a fifth grader, I was the tallest in the class, did well in the PE classes and my PE teacher asked if I would like to try basketball. School had their own girls’ basketball practices in the evenings and I remember going to that first practice and I never stopped.
My first coach Jurgita Užgalienė is a very amazing woman and coach. I am very grateful to her for raising me, for trusting me, for letting me know that basketball is not only a hobby, but a passion and now it is my life”.
Basketball has given an opportunity for Laura to meet new people, gain much-needed experience and helped her to discover news paths for her.
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“I am very grateful to my parents that they not only encouraged me to go every basketball practice, but also to study hard. In fact, it was only thanks to basketball that I went to university, graduated from the Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) and with my parents’ permission, for the first time I went abroad to play basketball in Russia. It was not an easy experience at first at all. I was home sick, I missed family and friends. It was a whole different level out there, however, it was a worthy experience. In Russia I had a really good team, a good coach and extremely good conditions, but it was really hard and wanted to come back home, there were many tears, but looking back at that experience I am not regretting any single bit of it.
Basketball gave me responsibility and independence. When we traveled to competitions elsewhere, I met a lot of different people, I saw a lot of countries, a lot of different cultures. For me basketball is a passion and now also a job. I am extremely happy that I have chosen this path“.
LITHUANIAN WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER:
|Vardas pavardė||Krepšinio mokykla/Klubas||Pirmasis treneris|
|Dominykas Stenionis||Kauno KA „Žalgiris"||Saulius Marčiukaitis|
|Jokūbas Rubinas||Vilniaus KM||Renata Martinkienė|
|Hubertas Pivorius||Sostinės KM||Tomas Purlys|
|Kasparas Jonauskas||Kretingos SM||Vytautas Šližius|
|Mantas Rubštavičius||Panevėžio SC||Viktoras Apinys|
|Justas Maceikis||Klaipėdos „Neptūnas-Akvaservis“||Linas Kaziulionis|
|Augustas Marčiulionis||Vilniaus „Rytas"||Rolandas Penikas|
|Liutauras Lelevičius||Kauno KA „Žalgiris"||Rolandas Rakutis|
|Edgaras Preibys||Mažeikų SM||Vladas Šulcas|
|Tautvilas Tubelis||Vilniaus KM||Vytenis Tupčiauskas|
|Gabrielius Mažeika||Klaipėdos V.Knašiaus KM||Aivaras Preikšaitis|
|Kornelijus Zikas||Klaipėdos V.Knašiaus KM||Linas Kaziulionis|
|Paulius Murauskas||Kauno „Žalgiris"||Donatas Mikulevičius|
|Ąžuolas Tubelis||Vilniaus KM||Vytenis Tupčiauskas|
|Motiejus Krivas||Kauno „Žalgiris-3“||Sigitas Polekas|
|Titas Sargiūnas||Kauno KA „Žalgiris"||Rolandas Rakutis|
|Rokas Jocius||Kauno KA „Žalgiris"||Julius Pranevičius|
|Radvilas Kneižys||Klaipėdos V.Knašiaus KM||Justas Bražas|