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  • Writer's picturemarisnoviks

Go North, young man: Valmiera Glass VIA stay in the chat

Valmiera Glass/Vidzemes Augstskola will continue to play in the European North basketball league.

Valmiera, located in northern Vidzeme, has a rich sport history.

It has raised famous Latvian Olympians like a race walking champ Jānis Daliņš and a two time Olympic champion in bicycle motocross (BMX) Māris Štrombergs.

Valmiera is an important force in Latvian track and field, football and basketball scene.

Basketball club Valmiera won the Latvian title for the first time in 2016, by beating VEF Rīga in the best-of-seven series 4-3.

BC Valmiera folded two years later and it opened the stage for BC Valmiera Glass/VIA – a student club of Vidzeme University, founded in 2009.

Valmiera Glass/VIA battled the rivals from Jelgava and Gulbene until 2018, when it was promoted to the newly founded Estonia and Latvia league.

Last season Valmiera Glass/VIA posted eight wins in 26 games and finished in the tenth place – four wins behind Tartu University, AVIS Rapla and the play-off zone.

The management didn`t extended contract with head coach Edmunds Valeiko and signed a Lithuanian specialist Tomas Keršis.

Keršis, a former Tartu University youth coach, returned to his homeland last year and coached the women`s team Šiauliai/Vilmers.

A Kaunas native comes from Šarūnas Marčiulionis basketball academy.

Keršis has played in Lithuania, Germany and France.

Later he worked with Žalgiris youth team and raised an NBA player Deividas Sirvydas.

Now he has joined forces with one of the best youth academies in Latvia.

Bertānu Valmieras basketball school is named after the famous duo of Bertāns brothers – Dairis and Dāvis.

Dāvis has played for San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks, while Dairis experienced a short stint with New Orleans Pelicans.

Dairis is a Latvia National team captain, while Dāvis is known as a three point specialist.

Both joined Valmiera Glass/VIA board this offseason.

Brothers Bertāns have opened two outdoor basketball courts in Valmiera and Sigulda – with former dedicated to Kobe and Gigi Bryant.

They host an annual masterclass for the young players and serve as the guiding stars for Valmiera basketball.

Four young Latvian guards – Markuss Zariņš, Markuss Zvīnis, Roberts Vēveris, Ričards Liberts – and a young Ukrainian center Ivan Tokovenko are practicing with the main team.

Valmiera have valid contracts with young local players like Valters Vēveris, Niks Salenieks, Kristers Elksnītis, Ričards Greitāns and Edgars Kaufmanis.

Valters Vēveris won the silver medal at the 2018 FIBA U18 European Championship in Latvia.

Recently Valmiera added an American guard Justin McCall.

McCall represented the NCAA Division 1 team California State University at Bakersfield (2017-2022) and competed in the Big West conference.

He ranks second all time in the Road Runners history with 138 career games played.

McCall`s father Greg is a head coach of CSU Bakersfield women`s team, while his older sister Dewanna Bonner (Auburn 2006-2009) is a well known WNBA player.

Last week Valmiera signed a deal with Tadas Vaičiūnas, a 23 year old Lithuanian from Marčiuļionis basketball academy.

Valmiera will announce more players before the season starts.


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