|12 December 2013|
|Still scoring after all these years - veteran Rimantas Kaukenas returns to Italy, on behalf of EuroChallenge club Reggio Emilia|
EuroChallenge participants Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia have announced the addition of former Lithuanian international Rimantas Kaukenas to their roster.
The Italian club, who have secured a berth in the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge and stand at 4-5 in their domestic Serie A league, have penned a deal until the end of the current season with the 36-year-old guard.
"With Rimas, we are adding to our team a player of the highest calibre in terms of leadership as well as in terms of managing the important moments of a game," said Reggio Emilia sporting director Alessandro Frosini.
"I hope that with his arrival our team will reach a better balance and will be more dangerous on the offensive end."
Kaukenas arrives in Reggio Emilia less than two weeks after departing Spanish juggernauts Laboral Kutxa Vitoria, where he played during a month as cover for sidelined-through-injury Hungarian international Adam Hanga.
The Vilnius-born veteran averaged 5.8 points, 1.2 rebounds 0.6 assists in his five games in the Spanish Liga Endesa, while he contributed 3.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 0.8 assists in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season.
Kaukenas had an excellent season with Zalgiris Kaunas last year and won the Lithuanian league title, more than a decade after conquering the same trophy with arch-rivals Lietuvos Rytas.
The Lithuanian guard however has experienced most of the highlights of his professional career in Italy, where he arrived on behalf of Cantú in 2004.
The following summer, Kaukenas joined Montepaschi Siena and during his first spell at the Italian powerhouse he conquered four Italian league titles, four Super Cup trophies and three national cup titles before moving to Real Madrid in 2009, to play under coach Ettore Messina.
After a two-year stay in the Spanish capital he returned to Siena for one more season, adding a fifth Serie A trophy to his collection.
Kaukenas had been a staple of the Lithuanian national team for the best part of a decade and although he missed out on the Baltic nation's triumph at EuroBasket 2003, he won the bronze medal at EuroBasket 2007 and also played in two more EuroBasket tournaments, in 2001 and 2011, as well as in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Media reports in Italy suggest that following the veteran guard's arrival Reggio Emilia will part ways with 30-year-old swingman Coby Karl, who has seen limited action in recent games, but the club has not yet made any announcement in that respect.