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Immigrants Of The Week: The Kleiza Family, and Renu Khator

by Greg Siskind


I am fortunate enough to have a pretty good arts and sports immigration practice. I've met a lot of really talented people from both fields over the years. I can't say I remember a family that has had members who have achieved as much as the Kleiza family, originally from Lithuania. Mother Kristina and afther Egidijus are two very successful painters. Kristina was a very successful artist in Lithuania and Egidijus was an art professor and furniture designer. The two moved to the United States with their children 14 years ago and run an art studio in New York. You can see their work on their web site.

Their son is actually the best known member of the family, however, and it is not because of any artistic skills he may have inherited. Linas Kleis is a starting forward for the NBA's Denver Nuggets which are now in the NBA playoffs leading the Dallas Mavericks. Linas averages 10 points and 4 rebounds per game and was a starter on the Lithuanian national team which placed fourth in the Beijing Olympics.

Good luck, Linas!

The family is profiled in today's New York Times.