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Gonzaga Basketball

Lithuanian guard Martynas Arlauskas leaving Gonzaga for pro career in Europe

Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Martynas Arlauskas drives the ball against Lewis-Clark State during an exhibition college basketball game last season.  (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Martynas Arlauskas won’t be a member of Gonzaga’s basketball team this fall, forgoing his final two years of eligibility to begin a professional basketball career overseas.

The Lithuanian guard penned a farewell note to Gonzaga from his Instagram account Friday afternoon before sharing his plans to play professionally in Europe with The Spokesman-Review.

Arlauskas, who would’ve been entering his fourth season with the Bulldogs, posted six photos from his time at Gonzaga, along with the accompanying caption: “Big thank you to GU, the whole Zag nation, coaching staff, teammates, friends, and Spokane!”

Dozens of former and current Zags teammates, from Killian Tillie to Corey Kispert to Chet Holmgren, commented on Arlauskas’ post wishing the well-liked guard a farewell.

“The captain always,” wrote All-American forward Drew Timme, who developed a close friendship with Arlauskas while the two shared the same house in Spokane, along with Anton Watson.

“MARTY MAR! Love brudda!” wrote sophomore guard Nolan Hickman.

“Love always brother,” added Hunter Sallis.

Gonzaga’s men’s basketball Instagram account commented on Arlauskas’ post with two red heart emojis.

Arlauskas came to Gonzaga as a highly rated prospect from the same country that produced former Bulldogs standout and two-time NBA All-Star Domantas Sabonis, but was never able to establish a regular role within Mark Few’s tight seven- or eight-man rotations.

Instead, the 22-year-old is jumping at an opportunity to earn paychecks and potentially take on a larger role in the pro ranks after playing 228 career minutes (3.9 minutes per game) for a Gonzaga team that was regularly contending for the No. 1 ranking and national championships.

Arlauskas, who played 58 games over three seasons, averaged 0.8 points and 0.7 rebounds for the Bulldogs. After making 25 appearances as a freshman in 2019-20, he played in just 33 games the following two seasons and wasn’t considered to be a candidate to play heavy minutes in Few’s backcourt this fall.

In March, Arlauskas told The Spokesman-Review that Spokane was his “second home” and described himself, Timme and Watson as “the three best friends.” Watson described them as “the trio” and Timme called the group “the three amigos.”

Arlauskas and Timme took part in an amusing pregame ritual, both attempting half-court shots after the rest of their Gonzaga teammates had retreated to the locker room. Both players would pass the ball to the other using an unconventional technique, often times by kicking it to the shooter. When the shot was made, often after 10-20 attempts, Arlauskas and Timme would take off on a full sprint back to the locker room.

The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Arlauskas was also considered the 42nd-ranked prospect in the class of 2019. Before coming to the United States, he played for Zalgiris in Lithuania, briefly teaming up with former Gonzaga point guard Kevin Pangos. Arlauskas’ father, Mindaugas, played for Zalgiris in the 1980s alongside Sabonis’ father, Arvydas.