Paulauskas in 1970, as a member of the USSR national team
|Born||19 March 1945|
Kretinga, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union
|Nationality||Soviet and Lithuanian|
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|1997-1998||Statyba-Lietuvos rytas Vilnius|
|Career highlights and awards|
|As a player:|
Modestas Paulauskas[note 1] (19 March 1945) is a former Soviet and Lithuanian professional basketball coach and basketball player. Captain of the Soviet Union national basketball team 1969-1974. Olympic Champion of 1972, World champion of 1967 and 1974, and four times Europe Champion. Height - 194 cm.
As a player, he was the youngest EuroBasket MVP in history, being only 20 years old at the time he won the award. He is known for having been one of the best Lithuanian basketball players of all time, and for having excellent dribbling ability. He was selected as the Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year, a record seven times, in 1965-1967, and 1969-1972.. As the player of Soviet Union national basketball team achieved Olympic Gold in 1972 in Munich.
In 1991, he was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players.
Paulauskas spent his whole club career with ?algiris Kaunas, despite getting attention from teams based in Western Europe and the National Basketball Association (NBA). He could not join them due to political reasons, as Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union at that time, and people could not freely travel abroad. He was also asked to join ?algiris Kaunas's main rival, CSKA Moscow, but he declined.
Paulauskas was a part of the senior Soviet Union national basketball teams that won the bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Olympic Games, and the gold medal at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Paulauskas became the captain of the senior Soviet national team in 1969.
After retiring from playing basketball competitions, Paulauskas worked as a coach of the Soviet Union junior national teams from 1977 to 1989. In the early 1990s, he was the head coach of his native club, ?algiris Kaunas. After that, he coached basketball in schools, both in Lithuania and in Russia.
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