Top international basketball prospect Motiejus Krivas has committed to the Arizona Wildcats, he told ESPN on Tuesday.
“Their desire to have me on the team stood out the most,” said Krivas, 18. “I felt that they really want me, and I think their style of play suits me the best.”
The 7-foot-2 center from Lithuania is considered one of the most promising European prospects committing to the college route in the class of 2023.
He measured 256 pounds with a 7-foot-5 wingspan at the NBA’s Basketball without Borders global camp in Salt Lake City in February, where he stood out with his excellent skill level and competitiveness.
Krivas already made his debut in the Euroleague for Zalgiris this past season, helping their second team, Zalgiris 2 win a championship in the NKL (Lithuanian second division). He was named the league’s best defender after averaging 13.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.5 assists in 26 minutes per game. He led the league in rebounding and blocks and finished third in player efficiency rating (PER) and free throw attempts.
He was one of the most productive players at last summer’s FIBA U18 European Championship in Izmir, leading the event in rebounding and finishing fourth in PER.
Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd built his reputation as an international basketball recruiting maven at Gonzaga by reeling in the likes of Domantas Sabonis (Lithuania), Ronny Turiaf (France), Rui Hachimura (Japan), Kelly Olynyk (Canada), Mario Kasun (Croatia) and others, and Krivas will continue that pipeline at Arizona.
Krivas said Lloyd’s track record with international players, and Arizona’s current roster, which already boasts at least four internationals in Oumar Ballo, Pelle Larsson, Henri Veesaar and Filip Borovicanin, played a significant role in his decision.
“I like the fact that the team is full of international players,” Krivas said. “It will definitely make my transition on and off the court much faster. It wasn’t an easy decision, but after weighing the pros and cons, I concluded that going there was the best possible decision at the moment and for my career going forward.”
Krivas’ current team, Zalgiris, visited Arizona in October to watch practice and meet with the coaching staff and gave their blessing for him to continue his career in the US playing college basketball. The club previously saw point guard Kerr Kriisa make a similar transition to the Wildcats in 2020.