The captain stays: "This is an example for the youth of Vilnius"

2023 07 28 09:30

Rytas Vilnius managed to achieve one of the main goals of the summer - the team extended the contract with long-time team member Margiris Normantas. The contract with the defender, who is playing in the capital for the third season in a row, has been concluded for one season with the possibility of extending it for another year.

"When I returned home two years ago, I hoped that the entire organization - from the players to the fans - would be like one fist," recalled M. Normantas, who returned to the capital in 2021. "It seems to me that it was implemented quite well, right?

It's great that we made an agreement with Rytas and will continue to follow the same path. I'm really looking forward to the games and meeting our die-hard fans again in the arena. This is the beloved team of my beloved city and we're staying together."

M. Normantas, who became the captain of the team last season, collected 8.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in the Champions League last season. In the Lithuanian Basketball League (Betsafe-LKL), the defender was more productive and scored 10.7 points.

The best match Margo played last season was on the 12th of March in Kaunas. That day, playing against Žalgiris, he made 6 out of 6 three-pointers for a total of 30 points and also added 4 assists and 2 rebounds.

The guard, who grew up in the Vilnius basketball pyramid, returned to the capital's main team in 2021, before that he played in it intermittently in 2016-19.

Vilnius club CEO Jaroslav Latušinskij says that this step is important not only for the club or the coaches but also for every person in Vilnius.

"Keeping the captain is an important step for creating continuity, which our organization has been emphasizing for more than the first season," commented J. Latushinskij. "It is nice that a native of Vilnius, a pupil of our basketball system, linked his future with the capital's representative team. It sets an example for all the youth of the city.

We hope that Margo will continue to develop both as a player and as a person in our organization, and with his hard work on and off the basketball court, together with his teammates, he will bring many memorable moments to the fans of the club."

In 2019 Margiris Normantas became the champion of the King's Mindaugas Cup, and in June of 2022, he was one of the main leaders of the team in winning the championship of the Lithuanian Basketball League.

During the summer, Rytas managed to retain almost the entire Lithuanian core. As in the past season, in the next one, not only Margiris Normantas but also Gytis Radzevičius, Martynas Echodas, Gytis Masiulis and Lukas Uleckas will play in the team.

"We put in a lot of effort to maintain the Lithuanian core and continuity of the team," said Rytas coach Giedrius Žibėnas. "Of course, success is far from guaranteed for us, but we welcome the season with great ambitions.

We will be a young team that will grow during the season, so Margo's figure as captain in the locker room will be especially important. We will expect an even more significant contribution from the captain on the court: starting with an inspiring example in training and ending with emotions in front of our fans during matches, leading the team of his hometown to new victories."

M. Normantas, who has already joined the Lithuanian men's basketball team in FIBA qualifications several times, is spending this summer in the camp of the main national team, where preparations are being made for the FIBA World Cup in August-September.