Jonas Valanciunas is a Lithuanian professional National Basketball Association (NBA) player. He currently plays as a center for the New Orleans Pelicans of the NBA League. The Toronto Raptors picked him as the 2011 NBA draft’s 5th pick in the first round.
Jonas played for about four years in the Lithuanian basketball leagues before entering the NBA. He has won an insane number of awards and accolades throughout his basketball career. No doubt that he is one of the most successful contemporary basketball players globally.
Quick Facts Jonas Valanciunas:
|Full Name||Jonas Valanciunas|
|Date of Birth||May 6, 1992|
|Birth Place||Utena, Lithuania|
|Nick Name||Not Available|
|Age||30 years old|
|Height||2.11 m (6 feet 11 inches)|
|Weight||265 lb (120 kg)|
|Hair Color||Light brown|
|Father’s Name||Jonas Vilkas|
|Mother’s Name||Danute Valanciunas|
|Education||Utenos Saules Gymnasium (Utena, Lithuania)|
|Wife’s Name||Egle Valanciuniene|
|Kid’s Name||Jonas Valanciunas Jr., second son’s name- unavailable|
|Profession||Professional basketball player|
|Clubs He Played For||
|Net Worth||$5 million|
|Currently Plays For||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Social Media||Facebook, Instagram, Twitter|
|Last Update||August 2022|
Early Life, Family, and Education | Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas was born in Utena, Lithuania, on May 6, 1992. His parents didn’t tie the knot.
Being raised by his mother, Danute, Jonas acquired her last name. But from his early years, he had a close relationship with his father, Jonas Vilkas. Vilkas previously held a position as a rowing coach in the USSR.
He started playing basketball at a young age and attended Utenos Gymnasium in his birthplace of Utena. His mother had enrolled him in a dance lesson because she wanted him to become a folk dancer.
In his younger years, Valanciunas frequently skipped dancing classes in favor of playing outside with his buddies.
Basketball was a significant draw for young people at the time, and it was highly well-liked in Lithuania.
The same applied to him. His father encouraged him to become a great basketball player as he was growing up, despite the fact that his mother did not want him to pick the sport. He set up a practice area and a constructed basket for Jonas to use.
Jonas got accepted to a local training school in Vilnius while still a high school student. He performed admirably in the academy and was already considerably taller than his friends.
Jonas Valanciunas | Career
Lithuanian Basketball League (LKL)
At the age of 16, Jonas entered the professional league in 2008. He participated for the Perlas Vilnius in the LNKL. The club moved up to the LKL after spending the 2008–09 season in the nation’s second-best league.
In January 2009, he subsequently agreed to a long-term contract with the Lietuvos Rytas.
On January 17, 2010, he made his ultimate move to the Rytas and began competing in top levels. They won the 2010 LKF Cup in February. The squad eventually trusted Valanciunas, and he participated in numerous games.
He won various trophies and cups for the club throughout his two-year career. Between 2010 and 2012, he participated in all three LKL Finals and had impressive statistics. In 2010, they even won the LKL championship.
Also he participated in three LKL All-Star Games and took home the victory each time. He won consecutive LKL All-Star Game MVP awards in 2011 and 2012.
He attained so widespread recognition that Americans began to hear about him across the Atlantic. The young Lithuanian became one of the top prospects for the 2011 NBA draft as a result.
He was very near to realizing his dream of playing in the NBA, the top basketball league in the world. You may like to more about Mitchell led the Jazz to win, Ja Morant historic night
The Toronto Raptors’ NBA career
Jonas traveled to America for the 2011 NBA Draft after participating in a brief training session at the NBA camp in Italy. He was chosen by Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the first round.
The rookie averaged 8.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for the whole season.
As the 2013–14 season progressed, he played more games and saw an increase in his stats. In 81 games, he scored 11.3 points and grabbed 8.8 rebounds on average. He also set a record against the Nets by pulling down the most rebounds in a single playoff game.
On August 20, 2015, Jonas signed a contract with the Raptors that would keep him with the team for four more years. Prior to the start of the new season, ESPN ranked him as the 57th best player in the league.
However, due to injuries, he participated in a smaller number of games this year than in NBA seasons past.
He participated in 60 games, scoring 12.8 points and pulling down 9.1 rebounds per contest. He guided the Raptors to the playoffs this season upon his return to the floor following a lengthy absence.
However, they were unable to go to the NBA Finals as a result of his defeat in Game 3 against the Miami Heat due to an ankle injury.
For the Raptors, Valanciunas played three additional seasons. Eventually, in 2019, the team dealt him to the Grizzlies.
On February 7, 2019, Jonas Valanciunas was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies along with a few other players. On February 12 against the San Antonio Spurs, he made his club debut.
In his debut, he had a stellar performance with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the team fell short. However, he was forced to miss the rest of the 2018–19 campaign after sustaining yet another injury during a game against the Clippers.
On July 11, 2019, he penned a fresh, three-year contract with the team. This season, he had a point and rebound average of 14.9 and 11.3 respectively. Valanciunas also guided his group to the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
He played for the Grizzlies for one more season. He played in 62 games for the 2020–21 season, scoring 17.1 points and grabbing 12.5 rebounds each.
Pelicans of New Orleans
On August 7, 2021, the Grizzlies traded Jonas to the New Orleans Pelicans. On October 20, 2021, the club and he agreed to a two-year contract, and as of now, he has played in over 45 games with the Pelicans.
In the games he has already played in, he has averaged 18.0 points and 11.6 rebounds. Without a question, Valanciunas would excel in the Pelicans organization.
Jonas Valanciunas’ national sporting career
It is well known that Jonas Valanciunas enjoyed considerable popularity prior to joining the NBA. He began representing his country at the age of 14 and is currently a senior squad player.
At the FIBA Europe U-16 Championship held in Italy in 2008, he won the country of Lithuania’s first gold medal. He outperformed everyone and was crowned the event’s MVP with an average of 14.3 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
He has also represented several age levels of Lithuania’s national teams and has consistently excelled throughout the years.
Jonas made his EuroBasket 2011 debut with the senior Lithuanian team. He gave his squad an outstanding performance during the domestic competition, which helped them become one of the favorites to win the competition.
They fell short of winning the competition, though. Since that time, he has constantly competed for them in a variety of international competitions, such as the 2017 EuroBasket and the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Height, weight, and age
The well-known Pelicans center will turn 30 in 2022. Every year on May 6, he celebrates his birthday.
He has lovely blue eyes and light brown hair, to speak of his facial features. Additionally, he always wears a well-fitting long brown beard. But in his early NBA days, he typically had a clean shaven appearance.
The gigantic athlete is 2.11 meters (6 feet 11 inches) tall and weights about 265 lb (120 kg). In his teenage years, he was exceedingly slender and lean. However, the player has put on a lot of weight since then.
The player often works out at the gym with his teammates to keep himself in shape.
Update on injuries and health
Jonas has experienced numerous injuries throughout his career, much like many other well-known players.
On November 22, 2015, he fractured his left hand, which was his first significant wound. The event caused him to miss 17 games.
Similarly, he suffered a right ankle injury in the 2015–16 NBA Playoffs, missing the remainder of the tournament. His team was consequently disqualified from the finals. Additionally, he dislocated his left thumb in a game against the Warriors before joining the Grizzlies.
Similar to this, he routinely missed numerous crucial games because of minor injuries. However, there is no information about his most recent injury.
He started the Covid health and safety procedures in January 2022. He was found to be clear, but he took a few days off and excused it with a non-Covid ailment before going back to court in early February.
Jonas had already been twice on the Covid Reserve list.
Salary, Net Worth, and Career Earnings
Jonas, one of the NBA’s most well-known international athletes, is thought to be worth roughly $5 million.
The NBA league games have already brought in a sizeable money for the great player. He received a sizable salary from the Raptors in just his rookie season due to the fact that he was selected early in the 2011 draft. That season, he made almost $3.3 million in pay annually.
In a total of seven NBA seasons, he earned about $45 million through his performances for the Raptors. He continued to receive around the same amount for three seasons after switching to the Grizzlies.
His current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, pays him an estimated $14 million a year to play. From his NBA career to date, he has already acquired riches of over $92 million.
Additionally, he makes a respectable income from brand endorsements, merchandise sales, speaking fees at various events, etc.
Recognition & Achievements
His accolades and accomplishments include:
- LKL MVP (2012)
- LKL Champion (2010)
- NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2013)
- LKF Cup Winner (2010)
- LKL Player of The Year (2012)
- FIBA Young Player of The Year (2011, 2012)
- EuroCup Rising Star (2012)
Jonas Valanciunas: Spouse and Children
Egle Valanciuniene, a citizen of Lithuania, is married to Jonas Valanciunas. Around 2013, the two started dating, and they got hitched the following year.
Egle is the child of prominent lawyer and politician Remigijus Acas and his wife Vida Aciene. Vida, her mother, is both an economist and a politician.
Before she met him, she was the owner of a Kaunas-based retail website. They do, however, live together in the USA now that they are married. The couple also has two sons, which is a blessing.
Their eldest son, Jonas Valanciunas Jr., was born on March 12, 2015. In 2017, Egle gave birth to their second son.
on social media
Jonas Valanciunas uses a variety of social media sites often. He is, however, somewhat more accessible on Twitter and Instagram.
He has a Facebook account that has been verified, but nothing has been posted there since last year.
On his Instagram account, Jonas primarily writes about his personal and professional life. We can also view a large number of photos taken during photo shoots. Through the links below, you can access his social media profiles:
Questions and Answers (FAQs)
Who wears the Pelicans’ number 17?
The Pelicans’ number 17 jersey is presently worn by Jonas Valanciunas. He decided on that jersey number when he joined the team on August 7, 2021. Since that time, he has represented the team in all of the NBA games while donning that jersey number.
In how many attempts from outside the arc has Valanciunas scored?
In his professional career, Valanciunas has made more than 140 three-pointers. One of the top candidates for the position is the Lithuanian center. To get these many threes, he has previously competed in about 655 games.