Lithuania’s Under 19 Basketball Team World Champions!
July 2011
Lithuanian team rejoices. Photo courtesy fiba.com
On Sunday July 10, 2011, in Riga, Latvia, Lithuania’s Under-19 basketball team became world champions by decisively defeating Serbia (85:67) in finals of the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men. On the way to the finals Lithuania’s victories were also quite decisive. In the quarter-finals they won against Poland (87:75) and in the semi-finals won against Russia (85:68). Australia also took part in championship and reached the quarter-finals, when they were defeated by Serbia (93:74).
Lithuanian basketball teams in the past have won European championships, but this is only the second time that a Lithuanian basketball team of any age came to be world champions. In August 2005 the Lithuanian Under-21 basketball team also won gold in the world championship in Argentina. After the victory in Riga, the whole country was jubilant. Maybe this is going to be a good omen for the forthcoming European Basketball Championship, which will be held in Lithuania August 31 - September 18, 20011. The 2011 European championship will be played out in five cities: Panevežys, Šiauliai, Alytus, Klaipėda, Vilnius and Kaunas, with the finals taking place in Kaunas. Lithuania to date has won the European gold three times – in 1937, 1939 and 2003.

On their return the Lithuanian team is greeted by
President Dalia Grybauskaitė. Photo courtesy lrp.lt
Further information:
http://www.eurobasket.com/World-Championships-U19/basketball.asp
http://latvia2011.fiba.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EuroBasket_2011

On this website - Lithuania in the News:
4th September, 2003, Lithuania - European Basketball Champions!
16th August, 2005, Lithuania Under-21 World Basketball Champions