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No Saras, So El-Amin Moves To Vilnius

20 October 2010

Lietuvos Rytas have swooped for American Khalid El-Amin to fill the point guard position left vacant following the injury to starter Jerry Johnson.

The 31-year-old has put pen to paper on a one-year deal.

Lithuanian veteran Sarunas Jasikevicius, who wasn't given a new contract by Panathinaikos this season, was being strongly linked with Lietuvos Rytas.

Coach Aleksandar Trifunovic admitted on Monday before his side's journey to Istanbul to face Fenerbahce that the club made an offer to the 34-year-old Jasikevicius but were being forced to look at other options.

They included Americans Scoonie Penn, Roderick Blackney and El-Amin.

The latter was so eager to play in the basketball hotbed of Lithuania and in the Euroleague that Lietuvos Rytas President Jonas Vainauskas said he was willing to accept a pay-cut on previous seasons.

"Money was not his main motive for entering into a contract with the Lietuvos Rytas," Vainauskas said. "Although what he'll receive is no small sum, he agreed to play in Vilnius on six to seven times less than the salary received in recent years, Ukraine or Turkey. "

As for the El-Amin weight issue that has been noted in the past, Vainauskas said: "He had a career full of overweight, but I looked at 10 games when he was unstoppable."

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