TrueHoop TV: Sarunas Marciulionis

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
7:35
AM ET


While the U.S. Olympic dream team was cruising through the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, another team was inspiring a nation like never before.

For the newly liberated Lithuania, this tournament was a first and long-needed chance to demonstrate national pride. Although Lithuania was a basketball-mad country, and while the nation boasted many great players, including NBA players like Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis, who had no choice but to play for the Soviet Union. They wore on their chests the symbols of their oppressors.

By 1992, however, thanks to a fledgling team funded in part by the Grateful Dead, they played brilliantly -- in tie-dyed uniforms -- on their way to the medal round. In the bronze medal game, the Lithuanian team found themselves facing their former Soviet teammates on the Russian team. It was a first and rare opportunity for long-oppressed Lithuania to beat Russia in sports or anything else. A new documentary that recently premiered at Sundance, "The Other Dream Team," tells the emotional story of how the Lithuanian team lifted the spirits of a young nation by doing just that.

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