Arizona adds 7-foot-2 Lithuanian big man for 2023-24 season
Arizona announced on Tuesday it has signed Lithuanian big man Motiejus Krivas. He’ll join the program as a freshman ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Krivas stands 7-foot-2 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan and comes from a Zalgiris 2 program that just won a championship in the second division of Lithuanian basketball. After averaging 13.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and 1.5 assists a game, he was voted the Defensive Player of the League in the NKL. He also led the league in rebounds and blocks.
“Motiejus is an outstanding player and person, and we are excited to have he and his family join our program,” coach Tommy Lloyd said in a release. “(Krivas) is a skilled frontcourt player with great touch around the basket, strong passing ability, and can make an impact at the rim on the defensive end. Coming from Zalgiris II in Lithuania, one of the top youth clubs in Europe, he has been part of their elite development program and helped them win at the highest level.”
When he was 16, Krivas played for the Lithuanian U19 national team alongside Azuolas Tubelis at the FIBA Basketball World Cup. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.7 rebounds during that tournament.
In 2022, Krivas also played for the U18 Lithuanian national team at the European Championship, where he led the field in rebounding.
He’s also coming from a club that has close ties already to the Arizona program and coaching staff. In 2020, Kerr Kriisa made the move from Zalgiris to Arizona. Then, last October, the Zalgiris team visited Tucson to watch the UA practice and meet with Lloyd and his staff.
“Their desire to have me on the team stood out the most,” Krivas told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. “I felt that they really want me, and I think their style of play suits me the best.”
With Oumar Ballo returning, Arizona will be able to practice patience with Krivas as he transitions to the college game.
Here are some of his highlights from the ANGT Tournament in Ljubljana in 2022 — where the 7-footer was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 3.2 assists over the four games: