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Martynas Bareika has never met fellow Lithuanian basketball player Mindaugas Katelynas.

But Bareika knows of the success that Katelynas brought to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga - the 2005 Southern Conference championship.

Bareika will follow Katelynas' footsteps and play his college basketball in McKenzie Arena.

A few documents need to be finalized, but the 6-foot-5 point guard will begin playing in the fall and have five years to play four seasons for the Mocs.

"I think it is the atmosphere that I liked," Bareika said via Facebook. "I really liked the coaches, met some of the team and they looked like cool guys."

Bareika was a candidate for the under-16 and under-19 Lithuanian national teams.

"I didn't make the top 12," he said, "but I got a lot of valuable experience."

The 20-year-old took a whirlwind tour of America earlier this summer. He visited Rhode Island, Detroit, Mississippi State and UTC.

"Weather messed up his flight here from Mississippi State, so his first meal in Chattanooga was at Waffle House, and you talk about wide-eyed, he loved it all," Shulman said. "He wants to take this chance and I've got great respect for the young man. It was refreshing having him on a visit."

The Mocs had been searching for a young point guard since Jasper Williams decided to transfer out. Shulman said he and his staff never fell in love with players who shared similar feelings.

Then an e-mail popped into his inbox from an old friend. He had no idea what video clips were in the links.

"You open it, not really thinking there's going to be a good player," Shulman said. "Then we looked at it, and Ricky (Cabrera) said, 'Did you see that?' and B.J. (Brent Jolly) said the same thing, so I told them to look into it.

"He's got great size, he can play the point or the 2, he can play off ball-screens and he's a tough international kid."

Junior Keegan Bell likely will have the starting position at point guard, followed in the rotation by Bareika or sophomore walk-on Dontay Hampton with sophomore Josh Odem available in a pinch.

Bareika will have other obstacles to overcome that American players never consider. Even Katelynas, who is playing professionally overseas, took a year to adjust to the United States and American hoops.

"USA will be a totally new experience for me," Bareika said. "In Lithuania, lifestyle and conditions are different. I'm looking forward to starting my new life! I think it is impossible to tell one or two things that I'm looking forward to the most."

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