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Sophomore Bronco Already an International Basketball Standout!

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Varsity basketball standout, Victoria Matulevicius has a lot to look forward to in regards to her upcoming season on the Bronco court.  However, the young sophomore has already made impressive strides in her high school basketball career this year even before her 2021-22 season begins.

Over the summer, Matulevicius played for the U-16 Lithuanian National Team in Europe and competed in the FIBA Championships in Spain (August). "This was such a huge honor for her to represent her country," said Head Bronco Varsity Coach Shannon Spanos, who kept the team updated on Victoria's experience via social media.

As a freshman, Victoria was among the 2021 Lady Broncos two All-Conference selections - (with junior Shannon Blacher). "She was an impressive player last season," said Coach Spanos, "averaging 14 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, and shooting 82% from the line!"

"I have always wanted to play in Lithuania," says Victoria, who has been a basketball fan since the age of five.  "I played in Lithuania in 2019, for the Baltic Cup tournament and I really enjoyed it. I was really nervous, especially flying over to Lithuania all by myself."  (Victoria's father, Aurimas Matulevicius flew to Spain to watch Victoria in the games.)

The tryouts for the U-16 Lithuanian National Team were held in Anykščiai, Lithuania.  Victoria admits she, along with all of the girls trying out were quite worried and stressed before hearing team announcements.  "I knew most of my teammates. I met them in 2019, when playing in Estonia for the Baltic Cup Tournament."

The FIBA championships kept Victoria in Europe for a little over a month.  "At first it was a little weird with the time difference, currency, and language, but after a while I got used to it," she said.
"When I tried-out for the 15U team, I stayed in a hotel, with the team, in Kaunas, Lithuania. I made the team, and in the Šiškauskas Tournament we played a total of 3 games against Latvia, Germany, and the 16U Lithuanian girls’ team."  When that tournament was over, Victoria went to stay with her grandparents for two weeks (in Panevėžys, Lithuania). "After that, my grandparents drove me to Anykščiai, for the nine day try-outs, to make the 16U team. During those nine days, we played a friendly game against the 16U Latvian National team. After the nine day try-outs, we flew to Spain, and stayed in San Fernando, Spain. We played a total of five games against Spain, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, and Hungary."

After enjoying her whirlwind summer, Victoria is now looking forward to bringing her talents to the Bronco court once again.  She has aspirations to play in college, and has set her sights on University of Michigan.  "I really enjoy playing with the Bronco Basketball team. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Working with Coach Spanos has been great, she’s a really great coach and I can’t wait for this winter season to play with her and all my teammates!"

"Victoria is a crafty guard that is a multi-dimensional player," says Coach Spanos.  "Not only can she take her defender off the dribble and score, she is also capable of hitting the outside shot. Her speed and agility are what allows her to beat the defense up the court for transition baskets. Her ability to rebound is also top notch. Victoria is a special basketball player. She is a great teammate and takes her academics very seriously. We were so excited for her this summer and are even more excited to see what the next three years brings for Victoria at Montini Catholic!"

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