Coming off an excellent run in the NBA Summer League with the Atlanta Hawks, Kevin Pangos recently announced his signing with Lithuanian powerhouse, BC Zalgiris Kaunas. After earning All-Eurocup accolades in his first professional season at Gran Canaria of the Spanish Liga ACB, Pangos will make the jump into the EuroLeague, Europe’s top competition. Pangos’s deal is for one season with the option for a second.
With one season of professional basketball in the books, Pangos returned stateside and had an excellent run with the Hawks at the Vegas Summer League. The Summer League circuit isn’t necessarily the optimal environment to evaluate a player’s game, but it was evident from the outset that Pangos made a lot of improvements to his game during his year in Spain. Pangos started all 4 games he played with the Hawks— showcasing his ability to run a team, knock down outside shots, get to the basket, and defend high-level athletes—averaging 10.5ppg, 3apg, 2.2rpg and shooting 60.9% from the field and 53.3% from the 3pt line in 22.8mpg. He did not play in either of Atlanta’s final two games (he may have been deep in negotiations with Zalgiris at that point).
Zalgiris is a traditional European powerhouse, and is one of the oldest clubs in the EuroLeague. Pangos is not the first Gonzaga connection Zalgiris has had, as the club is based in Kaunas, which is the hometown of Domantas Sabonis. Domantas’s father, Arvydas, was the club’s big star during the 1980s and returned to Zalgiris for a final season in 2003-04 to play and serve as the team’s principal owner. The club’s #11 jersey is retired in his honor.
Pangos and Zalgiris will open their season on October 14 against Greek club Panathinaikos Athens.