Kevin Pangos, Zalgiris: 'Eating, sleeping and playing basketball'

Jan 30, 2018 by Kevin Pangos - Kaunas, Lithuania Print
Kevin Pangos, Zalgiris: 'Eating, sleeping and playing basketball'

Lithuania is a great country to lie low and relax in. My typical day consists of eating, sleeping and playing basketball. It's great how much I can focus on my craft out here. When I'm not in the gym, I go out to eat at a handful of different restaurants or walk around the mall. Everyone in the community is very friendly and they do a great job of communicating in English with us. My fiancée is here with me right now. She finds time to go to the gym to work out, and she is also studying for her nursing exam at the moment. She enjoys being out here to watch the games in person and take in the amazing atmosphere at Zalgirio Arena. Also, people here want to speak English, which makes it easier for us foreigners to communicate.

It's nice walking around the city and getting recognized. People in this city are so appreciative right now of the work our team is putting in and proud of how we're playing. We get stopped every once in a while and people congratulate us, thank us, and tell us how much they enjoy watching our team this season. So that's been pretty sweet this year. Anytime someone shows their support for the work you are putting in every day, it makes you feel pretty good. Everywhere I've played, the fans have been very supportive, and this season in Kaunas has been no exception.

People here in Lithuania will say basketball is like a second religion to them. It's a smaller country and basketball has definitely been a sport they have been successful in and one they are known for around the globe. They take pride in that. There are basketball hoops all over the place, even though in the winter the weather is usually not good enough to go outside. Basketball is pretty much important to everyone out here. I remember watching a Lithuania game earlier in the year when they were playing in the FIBA qualifiers. TVs in all of the restaurants had the game on and people were packed in watching. The culture here for basketball is great.

The Super Bowl is coming up and I am sure the guys here have something in the works. We don't have any diehard football fans on the team. Aaron White likes the Cleveland Browns and we all know how that season went; they're not very good at all! I am a Seahawks fan, so we are pretty neutral. Brandon Davies claims he's a diehard Patriots fan; he says his best friend is on the Patriots. He'll be the only one cheering for them!

Our goal now is to reach the EuroLeague playoffs. We know it's going to be a close race; every game counts. We just have to take it one game at a time. We have an important stretch coming up against some good teams, especially some that are in the middle of the pack, so we just have to stay focused on our mission. This week we have Maccabi; they are always a great team to compete against. This is an important game against a very talented roster. We know that it means a lot to them as well, so it's going to be a tough battle. We are looking forward to it.