VILNIUS – 15 basketball players, three football players and two ice hockey players got into the Top-20 of Lithuanian athletes with the highest career earnings, including Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jonas Valanciunas and Arvynas Sabonis, according to a ranking published by the delfi.lt news website on Monday.
Based in the United States, Ilgauskas, who lost Lithuania's citizenship, earned 65 million euros after taxes during his NBA career, mainly playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Valanciunas came in second with net earnings of 31 million euros, and Sabonis, the incumbent president of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, is third with 25 million euros.
Sarunas Jasikevicus, coach of Zalgiris Kaunas, comes in fourth with 21 million euros, followed by ice hockey player Dainius Zubrus with 19 million euros.
Basketball players Linas Kleiza (17 million euros), Darius Songaila (16 million euros), ice hockey player Darius Kasparaitis (14.6 million euros) and basketball players Ramunas Siskauskas (14 million euros), as well as Donatas Motiejunas and Robertas Javtokas (with 10 million euros each) close the Top-10.
The list was produced by delfi.lt and the magazine Reitingai. They claim the earning would have been even higher for earlier retired athletes, once inflation was taken into account.
The list was created based on official data and media reports as well as a survey of experts.