Žydrūnas Ilgauskas (模板:Pronunciation) (born June 5, 1975 in Kaunas, Lithuania) is a basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers and one of the top centers in the NBA.

Ilgauskas (also known as Z) was drafted 20th overall by the Cavaliers in 1996. Ilgauskas quickly made his mark both as a very good center, but also as being spectacularly injury-prone due to foot troubles in his early seasons. Ilgauskas missed 287 games in his first six seasons: All of the 1996-1997 and 1999-2000 seasons, all but five games in the 1998-1999 season, all but 24 games in the 2000-2001 season, and 19 games in the 2001-2002 season. In recent years, however, his foot problems seem to have subsided, and he has missed only six games from 2002 to 2005. In three full seasons and parts of three others, Ilgauskas has averaged 14.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 1.8 BPG in 28.3 Minutes per Game over 335 games, 295 of them starts.

Ilgauskas was selected to the NBA All-Rookie 1st Team in 1998 and was named MVP of that event. He is also a two-time All-Star for the East, in 2003 and again in 2005.

Zydrunas is an active member of the local community in Cleveland. He and other teammates can be found at the Cleveland Clinic visiting children with cancer and other illnesses. He doesn't hesitate to donate signed shoes, basketballs or other paraphernalia.

Player profile編輯

Ilgauskas, who stands an imposing 7' 3" tall, is a talented and consistent scorer, averaging 14+ points per game. In addition, he is an excellent rebounder (especially on the offensive end) and a good shot-blocker. Although he is slow in the open court and does not have the reputation of being an excellent defender, he is regarded as one of the last members of the "dying breed" of pure centers, and arguably the second go-to player on the Cavaliers team behind Lebron James.

Entire NBA career with one team編輯

Ilgauskas is tied with Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (8 years) for sixth place among active NBA players who have played their entire career for only one team. Kevin Garnett leads all active players, having played 11 years for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

External links編輯