“Armenian Sniper” Gary Chivichyan has become the first ever Armenian to be drafted into the NBA G League. The LA born player was drafted by the Lakeland Magic in the second round with the seventh pick of the draft.
The Lakeland Magic is the NBA G League developmental affiliate of the NBA’s Orland Magic. Based in Lakeland, Florida, the team began play in the 2017–18 season and plays their home games at the RP Funding Center.
In June of 2020, Chivichyan broke the news as he was a nominee for the ESPYS 2020 Honorary Outstanding Senior award, becoming the first Armenian nominee in the history of the ESPYS awards.
“Growing up, I always had a chip on my shoulder and I always believed I would achieve great things for myself and my heritage…I always aspire to be a leader for my community and a role model for the Armenian youth….I put in a lot of work to get the results I have today,” said Chivichyan when asked about his involvement in the Armenian community.
“Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” Because of HIM I can! Turn your eyes to the LORD, the almighty God, because of HIM I am here today to glorify his power. Through HIM all things are possible. Today, history was made for Armenia. God bless you all,” Chivichyan said on Instagram.
Chivichyan joins Andre Spight Mkrtchyan, A.J Hess, and Ryan Boatright as the only 4 Armenian National Basketball team players to play in the NBA G League.
Gary is the son of Gokor Chivichyan, an Armenian judo, submission grappling, and mixed martial arts instructor who is considered to be one of the most complete grapplers of all time. Gokor opened the Hayastan MMA Academy in 1991 and has trained fighters such as: Manvel Gamburyan, Sako Chivitchian, Neil Melanson, Karen Darabedyan, Roman Mitichyan, Ronda Rousey, and Karo Parisyan, who have competed in the arena of the UFC, WEC, King of the Cage, Olympic and all National Judo Championships. As a result of his contribution to the judo community, in February 2005, the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation (ISJJF) awarded Gokor the rank of 7th dan in judo.