Latvian drafted by NBA’s Golden State Warriors

Eighteeen-year-old Andris Biedriņš, a 6-foot, 11-inch (2.1-meter) forward for Skonto Rīga of the Latvian Basketkall League, has been drafted into the National Basketball Association in the United States.

Biedriņš was selected No. 11 in the first round by the Golden State Warriors in the June 24 draft in New York, the NBA announced.

As the first-round No. 11 draft pick, Biedriņš is guaranteed a three-year contract worth USD 4.6 million, according to the National Basketball Players Association rookie scale.

Biedriņš averaged 18 points per game during the 2003-2004 Latvian Basketball League season.

Born in Rīga, Biedriņš attended the Valters Basketball School, according to the NBA’s Web site.

Now based in California, the Warriors began playing in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, moving to San Francisco after the 1961 season. The team became the Golden State Warriors and moved to Oakland, Calif., in 1971. The Warriors’ best known player was Wilt Chamberlain.

Biedriņš is only the second Latvian to play in the NBA. Gundars Vētra, now head coach for the basketball club Barons in Rīga, played with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 1992-1993.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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