He grew up in Zalgiris Kaunas and has spent 16 Turkish Airlines Euroleague seasons with the club, but ironically, Paulius Jankunas started this decade by playing the 2009-10 campaign with Khimki Moscow Region. It was his only season out of Kaunas, where he is a living legend who owns endless club records. His standing as the first Euroleague player ever to reach 3,000 points and 1,500 rebounds says it all about his resilience and hard work.
Just like Zalgiris, Jankunas improved throughout the decade, helping his team become more and more competitive. It all clicked in the 2017-18 season, when Jankunas was named MVP for December and was voted by fans and media as an All-EuroLeague honoree for the first time in his career. To end that magic season, Jankunas was instrumental in leading Zalgiris to its first Final Four of the century and finishing third. Zalgiris returned to the playoffs last season, as well.
- All-EuroLeague Second Team 2017-18
- EuroLeague December MVP 2017-18
His skill and longevity have Jankunas finishing this decade among the EuroLeague’s true greats. He currently ranks second all-time in total rebounds, third in offensive rebounds, fourth in total points and two-pointers made, fifth in performance index rating and fouls drawn, and sixth in free throws made. Well beyond numbers, he has personified the Zalgiris work ethic with outstanding determination and professionalism as the perfect team captain on and off the court.