Arizona men’s basketball just got bigger! Better, we see. But what a grab from Europe.
UA signed big man Motiejus Krivas (“Mo-tee-ay-yus KREE-vas”) has signed his National Letter of Intent and will join the Wildcats as a freshman for the 2023-24 season.
“Motiejus is an outstanding player and person,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said in a release, “and we are excited to have he and his family join our program. His is a skilled front court 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.”
Krivas is 7-foot-2 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, Krivas helped Zalgiris 2 win the NKL championship in the second division of Lithuanian basketball. He was voted the top defender in the league and posted averages of 13.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocked shots and 1.5 assists. He led the NKL in rebounding and blocks and was among the leaders in efficiency and free throw attempts.
“Their desire to have me on the team stood out the most,” Krivas told Jonathan Givony from ESPN. “I felt that they really want me, and I think their style of play suits me the best.”
Krivas has also excelled in FIBA basketball tournaments in his young career, leading the entire U18 European Championship in rebounding and finishing fourth in efficiency in 2022. At the age of 16, he made the Lithuanian U19 national team – alongside Azuolas Tubelis – and averaged 6.9 points and 5.7 rebounds at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.
At the ANGT Tournament in Ljubljana in 2022, Krivas 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.