HoopsHype.com Interviews

Martynas Andriuskevicius: "The chance is very small that I'll declare this year"
by Jorge Sierra / February 4, 2004

When and why did you start playing basketball?

Martynas Andriuskevicius: I started playing basketball when I was 9. It was my childhood's dream.

When did you first thought you could make a living playing?

MA: I first thought about it when I made my first money.

How is a day in the life of Martynas Andriuskevicius?

MA: I get up at 6 o'clock, I go to the morning practice and back home to take a short sleep. Then I go to the evening practice and back home. I usually do the same thing every day.

Do you still go to school or are you just focused on basketball?

MA: Yes, I still go to school. I have not given up totally on my studies, but it is not secret that all my forces and time are devoted to basketball.

I saw you play during the Euroleague Final Four in Barcelona a few months ago. You were pretty skinny back then. Have you gained much weight in these months?

MA: Yes, I have gained some weight. But not as much as I would like.

How many more pounds do you think you have to add?

MA: I do not know how much in pounds, but 10-15 kilos (22-33 pounds).

Arvydas Sabonis is now playing in your club, Zalgiris Kaunas. Is he a model for you?

MA: I've never had an ideal player. There are many players from which I can learn some things.

Have you had the chance to practice with Sabonis?

MA: Yes, I had the chance to practice with Arvydas Sabonis.

And has he given you any advice?

MA: Yes, he has given me some advices and I very much appreciate that.

Which player do you think you resemble the most: Sabonis or fellow Lithuanian Zydrunas Ilgauskas?

MA: Probably none of the two. But if I have to answer, I would say Sabonis.

What do you think about European players like Darko Milicic that go to the NBA very young?

MA: I think it's his life and if he wanted to do that, then he did it right.

Do you think much about the NBA?

MA: I do not like to live in dreams. If I keep on working hard, it could be a dream come true.

Milicic declared for the draft when he was just 18. Is there any chance that you could do the same and declare this year?

MA: I never say never, but the chance is very small. I do not expect that to happen and I will concentrate my forces here in Lithuania.

When do you see yourself playing in the NBA? One year, two years...

MA: It is not a question of years. I can play in NBA only when I can oppose myself to those guys that play in that league.

To play in the league one day, which areas of your game do you think you have to work on the most?

MA: Athletic play near the basket as a center.

Jorge Sierra is the editor of HoopsHype.com. Gediminas Navikaukas, Zalgiris' media officer, helped conduct the interview by translating HoopsHype's questions and Andriuskevicius' answers