Jonas Valanciunas Hosts Lithuanian Heritage Day, Continues to Change the Lives of Native At-Risk Youth

As part of his extensive community outreach working with his native youth, Jonas Valanciunas is an ambassador for Save the Children Lithuania. (Photo courtesy of Save the Children Lithuania).

This past weekend in Toronto, Jonas Valanciunas manned the middle as usual for the Raptors, finishing with 12 points and 16 rebounds in the team’s win over the Knicks. He was also the centerpiece of the day’s festivities, hosting—along with the Raptors and the Canadian-Lithuanian Sports Federation—the annual Lithuanian Heritage Day for fans at the Air Canada Centre. Before the game, kids from Toronto’s Lithuanian community had






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Inside Zaza Pachulia’s Epic Starting Five Role, Expansion of Hoops Academy Abroad

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

At the start of every Warriors game, Zaza Pachulia, the only current NBA player from the Republic of Georgia, finds himself on the court alongside the most star-studded cast on one team in the NBA: Olympians Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. How does Pachulia think he earned that distinguished role in his 14th season in the NBA? The starting center chuckles. “It just






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Jeff Green: All Heart

(Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)

Five years ago today, Jeff Green underwent the longest ordeal in his life: a five-and-a-half-hour surgery to repair an aortic root aneurysm near his heart. Green was fortunate that a routine physical with the Celtics in Dec. 2011 caught the problem, because often it goes undetected until the aneurysm bursts. And once it does, there’s a high risk of immediate death. But Green made a remarkable return






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An Inside Look at Khris Middleton’s Rehab and Preparation for His Return

Khris Middleton with Bucks head coach Jason Kidd at the team's training center. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

For the last few months, Khris Middleton has been watching a lot of TV shows: Atlanta, Entourage and Breaking Bad. He even stores the episodes on a hard drive to watch on his laptop during Bucks’ road trips. His latest obsession for the past couple of weeks has been Ray Donovan. “He’s a guy that goes around and fixes everybody else’s problems,” the small forward






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Garrett and Andi: The Incredible Story of an NBA Player-Fan Bond That Changed Each Other’s Lives

Garrett Temple and his biggest fan, Andi Rodriguez, catch up at the Four Seasons hotel in Houston last week. (Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Kings)

Think about all of the fans you see at games, the fans commenting on social media and the fans waiting outside of arenas, hotels and airports hoping to have an interaction with their favorite player. Most become a photo from a distance, some become an autograph and a few others become a small conversation. Rarely will you find an interaction that becomes a close friendship with






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