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Linas Kleiza

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| colspan="2" align="center" |Linas Kleiza



| colspan="2" align="center" |Power Forward| colspan="2" align="center" | Born: January 3,1985
Lithuania Flag Kaunas, Lithuania

Linas Kleiza
 
Denver Nuggets--No.43
Nationality: Lithuanian
Height: 6 ft 8
Weight: 248 lbs
College: Missouri
Draft: 27th overall in 2005
by the Portland Trail Blazers
Pro Career: 2005-present
Awards: none

Linas Kleiza (born January 3, 1985) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets. He was born in in Kaunas, in Soviet Lithuania.

Kleiza, a 6'8", 245 lb (2.03 m, 111 kg) small forward-power forward, graduated from Montrose Christian School, in Rockville, Maryland, in 2003.[1] He played two seasons under coach Stu Vetter and was named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year for the state of Maryland in 2003. After his senior season, he was chosen to play in the prestigious "Jordan Capital Classic", where he was a teammate of Cleveland Cavalier star LeBron James. Although a native of Lithuania, Kleiza's parents reside in New York City and work as artists.

Kleiza played his college basketball at the University of Missouri and made himself eligible for the NBA draft after his sophomore season. He was taken with the 27th overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and traded to Denver on draft day along with Portland's 35th pick, Ricky Sanchez, for Denver's 22nd pick, Jarrett Jack.

In the 2006-07 season, Kleiza established himself as a solid three-point shooter, shooting a respectable 38% after hitting only 2 from 13 in his rookie season. After the season's end, Denver picked up the option for a third season and re-signed him to a one-year contract. According to ESPN.com, his salary for 2008-2009 is: $1,824,493.

On January 17, 2008, Kleiza scored a career-high 41 points against the Utah Jazz,[2] shooting 13-of-21 from the floor,[3] including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line in 41 minutes.[3]

On December 29, 2008, in a Nuggets loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Kleiza passed the 2000 point mark for his career with a 10 point performance. He did this in 23:13 minutes while shooting 3-6 overall, 1-2 from 3 point range and 3-3 on free throws.

References

  1. Spears, Marc J. "The Nuggets interviews: Linas Kleiza", The Denver Post, March 10, 2007. Accessed December 1, 2007. "Spears: You went to Montrose Christian High School in Rockville, Md. Talk about your adjustment to the United States upon arriving here."
  2. Nuggets' Kleiza drops in 41 points in easy win over Jazz
  3. 3.0 3.1 January 17, 2008 Boxscore: Jazz 109, Nuggets 120

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