Ryan Olander headed to Lithuania
January 3, 2013 – Pro Partner Sports is pleased to announce that Ryan Olander has signed his first professional contract with the club Naglis Palangos in Lithuania’s LKL, the country’s top division. The 7-footer out of Fairfield University shot almost 38% from three-point territory last season and as a junior averaged 10.4ppg, 6.8rpg, and 2.1bpg, being named to the All-MAC 2nd Team. A Connecticut native, Olander has been an All-MAC Academic Team selection for three consecutive seasons.
Naglis Palangos will look to bolster its roster with the Olander signing and avoid relegation. At the Christmas break, the club has yet to win a game with a record of 0-10, and is slated for a tough matchup with the undefeated front-runner Rudupis on Saturday, January 5th. Olander will join former Maryland Terrapin guard Parrish Brown and Mississippi Valley State rookie Terrence Joyner who played in the NBA Summer League with the Milwaukee Bucks as the American contingent for the club.
Over the past decade, basketball has gained tremendous popularity in the Baltic nation known for its skilled post players. Lithuanian natives and NBA legends Žydrūnas Ilgauskas and Arvydas Sabonis ushered in a new style of big man into American basketball followed in more recent years by the highly-touted Jonas Valančiūnas and Donatas Motiejūnas who were both first-round picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. Olander’s inside-outside versatility and shot-blocking ability should fit well with the league’s style.
Pro Partner’s Jim Buckley said of the signing, “An opportunity in a league as competitive and skilled as Lithuania top division is rare for a rookie and it’s a great first step in what we know will be a long and successful career for Ryan”.