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Jonas Valančiūnas, the Toronto Raptors center beloved by basketball fans both in Lithuania and abroad, made it into the conscription list as part of Lithuania's mandatory military conscription for 2016.
Jonas Valančiūnas
Jonas Valančiūnas
© Reuters/Scanpix

The current wave of conscripts will include 3,000 Lithuanian men between the ages of 18 and 26, meaning that Valančiūnas' high position in the list, at number 32, would almost guarantee him a spot in the Lithuanian Armed Forces. However, various exemptions are available to potential conscripts based on their academic status, family position, and other factors. Most significant, in Valančiūnas' case, is an exemption for people with special merits in “science, art, sports or other fields” or whose actions promote the name of Lithuania.

Though Valančiūnas joked with journalists about immediately packing his bags to go serve, he did indicate that, in the event of an open conflict, he would return to help defend Lithuania. As for the conscription, he simply said that he would follow the laws of the Republic of Lithuania.

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