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Stepas Butautas

Stepas Butautas

Basketball player
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Basketball player
Countries Lithuania Russia
Occupations Basketball coach Basketball player Educator
Gender male
Birth 25 August 1925 (Kaunas, Kaunas City Municipality, Kaunas County, Lithuania)
Death 22 March 2001 (Kaunas, Kaunas City Municipality, Kaunas County, Lithuania)
Politics Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The details
Biography

Stepas Butautas (25 August 1925 – 22 March 2001 in Kaunas) was a Lithuanian basketball player. He trained at the VSS Žalgiris, in Kaunas. He played with the senior men's Soviet Union national basketball team at the 1952 Summer Olympic Games, where he won a silver medal. During the tournament, he played in all eight games.

He was named one of FIBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1991.

Soviet Union and Cuba national teams

In a 1990s interview, Stepas Butautas shared his memories about the Soviet Union squad rivalry with the USA national team by telling: "We offered to play the first game very slowly, to cherish the ball. In short – to let the Americans control the ball as fewer as possible. The American squad had tall players (2.10 m., 2.13 m). The smallest was like ours the highest. So, I remember, when we offered to play like that slowly, our supervisor told: “That’s not the Soviet school”. We lost with the Soviet school by almost 30 points. At the second game we offered that game-play again and the completely different roster. <…> The Americans were so frightened that at the second quarter 5th minute, when they overbalanced the result, they didn’t attacked by themselves. They were holding the ball. <…> The Americans wrote that the Russians were using the refrigeration tactics, when you play until the true shot, and that they were so close near the victory. So close that the Americans never before were in a such situation".

Possibly the most memorable moment for him during his tenure with the Cuba national basketball team, when he was the head coach of it, was: "Two blacks were going in front of me: the Cuban and the Puerto Rican. It was in Panama. The Central American championship was taking place there. They were chatting together. Puerto Rican asked: Who is your coach? Russian? Cuban replied: Oh, no. He is Lithuanian. Puerto Rican: What's the difference between the Russian and the Lithuanian? Cuban began explaining: Lithuanians have a completely different alphabet, they are learning their own language. <…> By the way, he also told where Lithuania is located – near the Baltic Sea. I think it was one of my biggest achievements".

Personal

His son, Ramūnas Butautas, was the head coach of the senior men's Lithuanian national team.

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