InterBasket > profiles > Sarunas
  InterBasket > Player Profiles > Sarunas Marciulionis, Lithuania Lithuanian guard was a deadeye jump-shooter and capable of ferocious drives to the basket. 1988 Olympic Games Gold Medal Champion in Seoul with Arvydas Sabonis. Career was hampered by injury; was on brink of making real impression on league before getting hurt. Developed three-point shot late in career. Averaged 18.9 ppg off the bench for the Warriors in 1991-92. Has a chain of hotels, called the Hotel Sarunas Vilnius. Sarunas is Founder of the Basketball Funds in Lithuania and the USA. Since May,1992 Sarunas has been Owner of SARUNAS Hotel and on September 1st, 1992 Sarunas founded a private Basketball School. In 1993 Sarunas Marciulionis founded Lithuanian Basketball League and became its president. In April, 1998 Sarunas became Extraordinary and Minister Pleni Potenciary of Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the USA.In 1999 Sarunas founded North European Basketball League NEBL and became its Commissioner. 1981 USSR XVI youth sport festival winner. His daughter Kriste was born in 1987 and his son Augustas was born in 2002. In 1992 Sarunas played for the Lithuanian National Team in the Qualifying Tournament for the Olympic Games in Barcelona. In 1995 – at the European Championship, in 1996 Sarunas played in the Olympics in Atlanta.

From "The 1995 European Championship final in Athens will go down as one of the greatest ever. It had everything, an electric atmosphere, an outstanding individual performance and plenty of controversy.

The final featured 2 teams that had not even played 2 years previously. Lithuania were back at the event, led by their triumvirate of stars, Sarunas Marciulionis, Rimas Kurtinaitis and Arvydas Sabonis. Yugoslavia, meanwhile, were reinstated after the politically enforced ban.

The Yugoslavs were hungry to take off from where they left world basketball in 1991, and with the likes of Aleksander Djordjevic, Zarko Paspalj, Predrag Danilovic, Zoran Savic, Dejan Bodiroga and Zeljko Rebraca, they had the personnel for the job.

The game was marked by a remarkable performance from Djordjevic, perhaps the finest in any European Championship final. The 188 cm guard torched Lithuania for 41 points on 9/12 three point shooting. Marciulionis was almost as spectacular, tallying 32 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds, but it was not enough to stop Yugoslavia from winning, 96-90..."

Sharunas Marchulionis Profile

Name: Raimondas Šarūnas Marčiulionis
Position: Guard/Forward
Nickname: Rooney (USA)
Born: 06/13/1964
Status: Retired
Origin: Lithuania
Height: 6-4/1m,96cm
Weight: 212lbs/98kg
Drafted: 1987, 6th Round, 127th pick by the Golden State Warriors
Schools: State University of Vilnius (Lithuania)
Languages: Lithuanian, English
Website: InterBasket
Teams (jersey): Soviet National Team (7), Lithuanian National Team (13), 1989-94 Golden State Warriors, 1994-95 Seattle Supersonics, 1995-96 Sacramento Kings, 1996-97 Denver Nuggets, IBN Dream Team (First Team)

IBN Facts:
Marčiulionis opened his first of many hotels, the Sarunas Hotel in Vilnius, in 1992. In 1993, he founded
the Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL) and became the league's president.  To order some of the Lithuanian Grateful Dead Apparel, call 1-800-CAL-DEAD, or one of the following toll-free numbers: 1-888-633-DEAD is Sarunas Marciulionis' number, with the proceeds going to his basketball school in Lithuania. 1-888-977-SLAM is Arvydas Sabonis' number, with the benefits going to his basketball school in Lithuania.
Accomplishments: 1982 USSR III youth games winner. 1982 Europe youth champion. 1983 World youth champion. 1985 Universiade champion in Kobe. 1987 Europe vice champions All Stars team member. 1987 First among the best Lithuanian and USSR basketball players, second in Europe. 1988 Olympic Games Gold Medal Champion in Seoul. 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991 Best and most popular sportsman in Lithuania. 1991,1992 ”Best NBA sixth man” second place. 1992 Most Valuable player in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Ranked among the leaders in points, leading Lithuania to the bronze medals. 1995 European vice champion in Athens. Most Valuable Player of the tournament.  
Sarunas Marciulionis Links  From our forum: Marciulionis to U.S. Hall of Fame?  Sabonis or Marciulionis?  Old interview with Marchulonis  Another Marciulionis Interview  Lithuania Basketbal Forum  Article: see below  Marciulionis Interview (Rimas Valeikis)

Marciulionis helps Lithuania to medal
Oakland Tribune, Aug 5, 2004 by Jeff Faraudo - STAFF WRITER

THE DREAM team got marquee billing, signed autographs, smiled for photos and squashed every opponent in its path at the 1992 Olympics.

But Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird weren't the best basketball story in Barcelona.

That distinction belonged to Lithuania, which celebrated something bigger than professionalism at the Olympics.

Two years after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union after more than a half-century, Lithuania brought smiles and tears to its countrymen with an 82-78 victory over the former Soviet squad in the bronze-medal game.

"We felt such a huge pressure, so much responsibility," said former Golden State Warriors guard Sarunas Marciulionis, who scored 29 points in the victory. "You're playing for your country, and everybody -- especially the older people -- when they see the Unified Team, they see the oppression of the Soviets.

"It was kind of a payback, that at least through sport they can get some reward or something."

Four years earlier, Marciulionis and center Arvydas Sabonis played on the Soviets' gold-medal winning team in Seoul. Afterward, the four Lithuanians on the roster posed for their own "team" photo.

By 1992, the Soviet Union had crumbled. Marciulionis spearheaded the drive to fund a Lithuanian Olympic team. The Warriors, for whom Marciulionis averaged 14.7 points over four seasons, chipped in support, as did the Grateful Dead rock band, which helped produce popular T-shirts sold to raise money.

Many other ex-Soviet nations, still unable to create national federations, banded together as the Unified Team for one more Olympics.

The Lithuanians got their first shot at the ex-Soviets in pool play, building a 19-point lead. "We came to a point where nobody could score," recalled Marciulionis of the disappointing 92-80 defeat.

There seemed little chance for a rematch because Lithuania was paired against the NBA-driven U.S. team in the semifinals, and the Soviets were expected to beat Croatia. When Croatia rallied from six points down with 65 seconds left to win, the Lithuanians had their shot.

This time, aided by Sabonis's 27 points, Lithuania finished the job.

The president of Lithuania visited the locker room afterward, greeted by jubilant players drinking champagne. "It was a very touching moment," Marciulionis said.

Back home, a victory spawned by freedom prompted wild celebrations.

"They were partying, they were crying, they were drinking," Marciulionis said. "It was a mixture of everything -- it was a game, plus politics."