Jonas Valanciunas
Getty Images

Jonas Valanciunas, Domantas Sabonis headline Lithuania Olympic team

Leave a comment

NBA big men Jonas Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis headline Lithuania’s 12-man Olympic basketball roster announced Saturday.

Lithuania, one of the best Olympic men’s basketball nations of the last 25 years, lost five straight Olympic semifinals from 1992 through 2008. It was beaten by Russia in the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals.

Lithuania qualified for Rio by beating 2014 World silver medalist Serbia in the EuroBasket semifinals Sept. 18 before it lost to Spain in the final.

Valanciunas, then 20, was the youngest player on the 2012 Lithuanian Olympic team that included NBA veterans Sarunas JasikeviciusLinas Kleiza and Darius Songalia, all of whom are not on the Rio Olympic team.

Valanciunas averaged 11.2 minutes per game in London but grew into his nation’s most valuable player at EuroBasket, averaging 16 points per game in last year’s tournament.

Sabonis, the 20-year-old son of longtime Lithuanian star Arvydas Sabonis, is the youngest player on this year’s Olympic team. He was the No. 11 overall pick in the NBA Draft on June 23. He appeared in four of nine games at 2015 EuroBasket.

Lithuania was one of three nations to beat the U.S. at the 2004 Athens Olympics (Puerto Rico, Argentina) and played the U.S. the closest of any nation at Sydney 2000 (two-point loss) and London 2012 (five-point loss).

The U.S. routed Lithuania by 28 points in the 2014 FIBA World Cup semifinals.

MORE: Argentina Olympic team includes Ginobili, more NBA veterans

Decker scores twice, U.S. women’s hockey team beats Canada 5-2

Getty Images
Leave a comment

QUEBEC CITY (AP) — Brianna Decker scored twice to help the U.S. women’s hockey team open its pre-Olympic exhibition schedule with a 5-2 victory over Canada on Sunday.

Hilary Knight, Annie Pankowski and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans.

Meghan Agosta and Jillian Saulnier scored for Canada.

The teams will meet again Wednesday night in Boston. Canada has won four straight Olympic titles, and the U.S. has claimed seven of the last eight world championships.

World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.