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Valdis Valters

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Valdis Valters
Personal information
Born (1957-08-04) August 4, 1957 (age 61)
Riga, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Latvian
Listed height 6 ft 4.75 in (1.95 m)
Listed weight 195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
Playing career 1976–1999
Position Point guard
Number 10
Coaching career 1996–2010
Career history
As player:
1976–1989 VEF Rīga
1993–1999 BK Brocēni
As coach:
1996–2000 BK Brocēni
2000–2003 BK Skonto
2006–2007 ASK Juniors
2007–2010 VEF Rīga
Career highlights and awards
FIBA Hall of Fame as player

Valdis Valters (born August 4, 1957) is a retired Latvian professional basketball player. He played at the point guard position for the senior USSR national team. He is regarded as one of the greatest players to have played the game in Europe in the 1980s. Considering his lengthy work and deep connection to the sport, Valters has been one of the most influential people in Latvian basketball history. He was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.[1]

Club career[edit]

Valters spent most of his club career playing with the Latvian club VEF Rīga. In 1982, he set the USSR Premier League's all-time record for points scored in a single game, when he scored 69 points against Dynamo Moscow.[2]

Soviet national team[edit]

Valters first made his name in European basketball when he was named the MVP of EuroBasket 1981,[3] after he averaged 16.7 points per game, to lead his USSR national team to the gold medal. He was also on the All-Tournament Team of EuroBasket 1985.[4]

Valters also played a key role on the USSR national team that won the gold at the 1982 FIBA World Championship, in Colombia, where he was a starting point guard, and averaged 14.0 points per game.[5]

At the 1986 FIBA World Championship, Valters helped the Soviet Union to rally from a nine-point deficit, in the final minute of the game,[6] by hitting a three-pointer at the end of regulation, to send the semifinal game against Yugoslavia to overtime, and eventually earn a 91–90 win.[7]

Latvian national team[edit]

In 1992, after he had already stopped playing basketball at the pro level, Valters returned to the court, and represented the senior Latvian national team at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament.[8]

Coaching career[edit]

After his basketball playing career ended, Valters also worked as a basketball coach and general manager. He founded his own basketball school, the Valtera Basketbola Skola (VBS), now known as Keizarmezs, whose alumni includes former NBA player Andris Biedriņš, as well as other top Latvian players.[9] He also helped to create the basketball league for Latvian youth players, the LJBL.

Other works[edit]

In 2013, Valters released his autobiographical book, called "Dumpinieks ar ideāliem" (Rebel with ideals).[10] He is currently working as an analyst for the Latvian TV channel, TV6, as a host of the weekly sports show Overtime.[11]

Personal[edit]

Both of his sons, Kristaps and Sandis, are also professional basketball players.[12]

References[edit]

External links[edit]