- Washington Wizards 2003 - present
Darius Songaila is a professional basketball player from Lithuania who plays as a power forward, sometimes doubling up as a center. Despite being born in the former-USSR, Songaila went to school in the USA, at New Hampton High School. A powerful member of the team, Songaila was picked to be a part of the Nike Hoop Summit in 1998 while also being a part of the Under-22 Lithuanian and All-European teams.
Songaila went on to attend Wake Forest University where he was a stellar performer and was named to the 3rd team, All-ACC in 2000 and to the 2002 All-ACC Second Team in his senior year in 2002. Songaila also got an Honorable Mention All-American, in his senior year, by the Associated Press.
At the 2002 NBA Draft, Songaila was picked at 49th overall, by the Boston Celtics, who traded him out to the Sacramento Kings on the same night. Songaila was sent to Russia to play for CSKA Moskova in the Russian Basketball League. This was primarily to help him gain experience before returning to the NBA. With one of the strongest teams in the Russian League, Songaila won the Russian Basketball Super League title in 2002-03 and returned to the USA the following year, joining the Kings.
Songaila had a sober rookie year with the Kings, scoring at just 4.6 points per game with 3.1 rebounds. His numbers improved ever-so slightly in 2004-05 when he had a career-high in rebounds with 4.2 per game while his scoring had moved up to 7.5 per game. A free agent at the end of the season, Songaila moved to the Chicago Bulls on a single season deal.
Despite just 62 games and 7 starts, Songaila played a career-high 21.4 minutes per game with 9.2 points, another career high, and 4.0 rebounds per game. An ankle injury in March ended his season early, also ending his time with the Bulls.
Songaila moved to the Washington Wizards at the beginning of the 2006 season on a 5-year, $23 million deal. A surgery to recover from a herniated disc kept him out for 45 games at the start of the season. Songaila struggled to return for the remainder of the season but in 2007-08, had his first full season with the Bulls.
Mainly coming off the bench, with just 13 starts in 80 games, Songaila averaged 6.2 points per game with 3.4 rebounds. His 2008-09 season saw him start a career-high 29 games primarily due to injuries to both Brendan Haywood and Andray Blatche. Songaila played as both the power forward and the center depending on how his team needed him. He ended the season with 7.4 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game.
At the end of the season, Songaila was first traded out to the Minnesota Timberwolves who then decided to send him onwards to the New Orleans Hornets.
At the international level, Songaila has played for the Lithuanian national team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, winning the Bronze medal. He also won the Gold medal at the 2003 European Championships while at the 2007 edition, Songaila helped his team win the Bronze medal.