Zydrunas Ilgauskas is a retired Lithuanian basketball player who played in the center position and was named a two-time NBA All-Star.
Atletas Kaunas, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Miami Heat were the team he played on before retiring in 2011.
His strength was accurate jump shots and excellent rebounding, and Zydrunas was known for overcoming challenges during the game.
He is one of the wealthiest former basketball players having a whopping net worth of over $50 million as of February 2024.
10,976 points, 6,191 rebounds, and 1,327 were the best statistics of his career. Likewise, he had an average score of 13.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Unfortunately, he faced many foot injuries and surgeries during his time in the NBA. Ilgauskas missed many games in his early career due to injury obstacles.
His career is not new to most of us, but what about his personal life? So let’s explore more about his life before fame, marriage, and more.
Let’s start with the informative, quick facts.
|June 5, 1975
|48 Years Old
|Place of Birth
|Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR
|Former Basketball Player
|Saint Ignatius High School
|7 ft 3 in/2.21 m/221 cm
|260 lbs/118 kg
|1996/Round: 1/Pick: 20th Overall
|Late Jennifer Ilgauskas
|Povilas Ilgauskas, Deividas Ilgauskas
Early Life, Education & Family
Even though Zydrunas Ilgauskas is one of the most popular basketball players in the world, he hasn’t shared anything deep regarding his early life on the internet.
However, before making his debut on the NBA team, he played for his local team in his birthplace Kaunas. In fact, the name of the team was Atletas Kaunas.
From 1993 to 1976, he contributed to his local team. 20.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game were his average score when he played for Atletas Kaunas.
He also had to face foot and ankle injuries during his early life. Due to that, Ilgauskas spent the entire season on the injured list in the 1996-97 season. After then, he made a debut in his professional career.
On the other hand, he went to Saint Ignatius High School. Unfortunately, he hasn’t updated anything regarding his college.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas is son of Mecislovas llgauskas and Antranina llgauskiene. He is the only son without any siblings in his family.
Age, Height & Weight
Zydrunas Ilgauskas was born on June 5, 1975, in Kaunas, Lithuanian SSR, Soviet Union, making him 48 years old.
He has a towering height of 7 feet 3 inches (2.21m) and weighs around 260 lbs (118 kg).
Zydrunas Ilgauskas was one of the most popular basketball players globally. He has represented himself in the two international teams and the national teams.
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Ilgauskas in the 1996 NBA draft as the 20th overall pick, with whom he signed a multi-year contract.
In the 1997-98 season, he was rewarded for being the most valuable player of the Rookie Challenge during the All-Star Weekend.
Zydrunas signed a vast extension contract in 1998 with the Cavaliers for over six years, valued at over $70 million.
But sadly, again, Ilgauskas had to face another injury of the fractured navicular bone in his left foot on January 26, 2000.
He returned and had an average score of 17.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in the 2002-03 season and was named an NBA all-star award.
Though he made a significant contribution to the team, it was recorded as the third-worst record in the team’s history.
On July 12, 2005, Ilgauskas again signed a five-year deal extension contract with the Cavaliers. In fact, he spent almost 14 years on the same team.
He signed his last contract with the Cavaliers on March 23, 2010. By playing against the New Orleans Hornets, he made a great win over his opponent.
In honor of the Lithuanian, Quicken Loans Arena was named “The Z” for a day. At the end of his contract with the Cavaliers, he became the third European player honored by an NBA team.
After that, Miami Heat was the next team of Ilgauskas. He joined the Heat due to the influence of his teammate Lebron James and played briefly from July 17, 2010, to September 2011
Having good players like Ilgauskas and James, they successfully reached the final of the 2011 NBA but couldn’t make up for the trophy.
National Team Career
In 1994, Ilgauskas made a debut with the national team of Lithuania. He took the team to the qualifying spot in the EuroBasket in 1995.
The athlete got an average score of 7.7 points and seven rebounds per game. Although he was too eager to play for the national team in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Cavaliers refused him to participate due to his history of injury.
In 2008, he also attended a press conference meeting where he thanked everyone, including the federation, for their efforts and determination.
Post Playing Career
After playing on a team with Cleveland Cavaliers, he was again hired by the Cavaliers’ GM, Chris Grant to serve as his assistant.
Moreover, on September 18, 2015, he joined Saint Ignatius High School as a coach for the boys’ team.
Career Highlights and Awards
- NBA All-Rookie First Team (1998)
- 2x NBA All-Star (2003, 2005)
- No. 11 retired by Cleveland Cavaliers
Net Worth, Salary, And Career Earnings
Since Zydrunas Ilgauskas spent 18 years of his life playing basketball, hence, he has a huge net worth of $55 million as of February 2024.
By playing with Cleveland Cavaliers from 1996 to 2010, he succeeded in earning most of his wealth. Moreover, he also signed a contract worth $2.7 million with Miami Heat.
When he played in the NBA, he had an estimated income of $125 million. It also includes the extra signing bonus from the signing team.
With his massive salary, he was able to invest in real estate. In 2012, Ilgauskas listed his Miami Beach Sunset Island for $8.3 million.
The 5,166 square foot home, including the six-bathroom and five-bedroom, was sold through his associate Danny Hertzberg who helped him earn some extra income.
Relationship And Personal Life
During the summer of 2004, Ilgauskas tied the knot with his lovely wife, Jennifer Ilgauskas. She was the owner of Darvo Medical Rebound Physical Therapy.
After three years of getting married, they were compelled to lose a set of twins due to pregnancy complications.
It resulted in infants being born four months premature. They were so frustrated and sad during that period.
Later, they decided to adopt children in 2009; two Lithuanian brothers from his hometown, Kaunas. One was four years old, and another was five years old.
His wife passed away on September 11, 2022, but the cause of death was not revealed.
In 2014, Zydrunas became a permanent citizen of the United States, resulting in him losing his Lithuanian citizenship.
Social Media Presence
Being listed as the most popular and richest player in NBA, Ilgauskas is not active on social media accounts.
He has a Facebook and Instagram account but has posted there in a while. Being a father of two and having a coaching career, he sure is busy in his life.
Facebook: 18K Followers
Instagram: 175 Followers
The popular NBA player has been a trending topic even after retirement among his fans and followers.
The graph illustrates his search trend in the last 12 months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many matches did Zydrunas Ilgauskas play for the national team?
Zydrunas Ilgauskas is a former player who played from the center position. Before entering an international career, he played for his local team Atletas Kaunas. He only got the opportunity to play three official matches in his whole career with Lithuania's national basketball team.
What was the jersey number of Zydrunas Ilgauskas during his career?
In 1996, he debuted for the international teams after playing with the national team. He played a long time for Cleveland Cavaliers and some short seasons with Miami Heat. Though he played for two different NBA teams, he stuck to the lucky number 11 during his whole career.