Top Lithuanian Basketballer Joins University Course

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A former Euroleague and Eurobasket champion has signed up for the University of Worcester’s Master degree (MSc) in European Basketball Coaching.

Giedrius Gustas, who plays for Sopot Trefl in the first league in Poland, will join the course this summer. The Masters Degree in European Basketball Coaching is awarded by University of Worcester in partnership with the Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education. The programme is also promoted by the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and is approved by FIBA Europe.

The 31-year-old point guard said he was happy about the prospect of earning a Masters degree while still playing professionally.

“I’m glad that there’s such a possibility to get a great education,” he said. “I have no doubt that all knowledge that I’ll acquire will help in my future career. I will learn basketball from a coaching point of view. I’m sure it will also help me on the court.”

Giedrius said that he heard about this degree from his Lithuanian National Team friends - LTU superstars Robertas Javtokas, Marijonas Petravicius and Linas Kleiza, who all started the course last year.

Mick Donovan, Head of the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, said: “The course has been well received and we have been really happy with the first cohort of students. We are looking forward to welcoming next year’s intake and will be anticipating a meaningful contribution from Giedrius, who brings a wealth of playing experience to the classroom and I am sure he will benefit from our academic setting.”

Giedrius reveals that the main rationale for this decision was based upon the opportunity to engage in study whilst still an active athlete.

“Professional players are extremely busy during the season, so the possibility to follow lectures online, to consult professors for tutorials and to submit papers is crucial,” he said.

Giedrius, who won the Euroleague with Kaunas Zalgiris in 1999 and the Eurobasket with Lithuania in 2003, does not plan to end his playing career just yet, but admits of thinking about his post playing career opportunities more often.

“You need to think about your future,” he said. “I want to play while I still can, but I’m sure that such knowledge will help me to make right decisions in the future.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the MSc in European Basketball Coaching Science is advised to visit the course website for further details.