Tomas Ivanauskas grew up in Lithuania developing his game. When his son was born, he knew he wanted to pass along his love for basketball.
Rapolas Ivanauskas has learned well.
The young Ivanauskas has emerged as one of the better prospects for 2016 in the talent-rich state of Illinois. The Barrington High big man picked up his first scholarship offer last week when Iowa stepped forward with an opportunity.
"It meant a lot. I was very humbled to learn that they thought I could play there and it was nice to see that my hard work has been paying off. I'm really humbled that they came and watched my games and offered me a scholarship," Rapolas said.
"My dad is the biggest influence on my life. I work out with him every other day. I've learned almost everything from him," Rapolas said.
"I focused this summer on improving my ball handling and shooting and learning how to play the game better," he said. "I like to get out and run but I also like the half-court setting where I can go one-on-one and try to create mismatches."
Ivanuaskas visited Michigan this summer. He planned to see Iowa at some point now that it offered.
"My priorities in a college would first of all be an education. I'm thinking about life beyond basketball and getting a degree is the most important thing for me. I also am looking for a school where I fit with the style of play. Third, it will be a group of factors, like how far away from home it is," he said.
Ivanauskas wants to study Economics in college and views Iowa as a potential fit for him.
"They had been sending me letters for quite a while so I knew they were interested. I've seen them at a lot of my games, too. I've texted with Coach (Sherman) Dillard. I looked into them. They have a big history of basketball there. It's also a great school. They have really good fans," he said
Ivanauskas, who moved from Lithuania to the U.S. when he was three, is taking his time searching for a school.
"I'm just kind of letting it unfold. I'm just looking at my different options and seeing where it goes," he said.