CSKA MOSCOW brings back Kirilenko
Forward Andrei Kirilenko (30 years old, 2.06 meters) will wear CSKA Moscow uniform again after a 10-year American stint and will also make his Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut. The contract with Kirilenko, a 2011 EuroBasket All-Tournament team member, is signed for three years with an NBA return option. The player went through medical tests in GMS Clinic on Monday and plans to practice with the team for the first time Tuesday.
Kirilenko started his pro career in Spartak St. Petersburg at age 16 and took CSKA Moscow offer a year after. He spent two years in the army team, he was chosen in the first round of NBA draft and signed his first contract with the Utah Jazz in 2001. He played for 10 seasons, had legendary John Stockton and Karl Malone as teammates, was an NBA All-Star, led the league in blocked shots and was chosen to NBA All-Defensive Teams. Kirilenko led Team Russia to 2007 EuroBasket gold, taking the MVP honors and FIBA Europe Player of the Year trophy. He helped the team to win the EuroBasket bronze in 2011 taking the All-Tournament team honors. Kirilenko contract with Jazz has expired in July and the forward signed with CSKA as a free agent. Still the conditions of the agreement allow Andrei to terminate the contract in a month after the lockout ends to sign with the NBA team. Otherwise he had to remain with CSKA until the end of the season. Last season Kirilenko averaged 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 64 appearances with Utah.
"I am glad to be back to the team where I spent the years of adolescence." Kirilenko said. "Itís a pleasure to have a chance to play for Russian fans, my friends, relatives. CSKA has a very strong team, great coach, excellent players. Itís great when the highest goals are ahead of you. Itís especially interesting to play under the load of responsibility. I am sure that we are able to solve any task together. Iíd like to mention also that all the money earned in Russia I will send to Kirilenkoís Kids charity foundation. The foundation will help the children hospitals and charity-schools, sport schools, sport veterans and the basketball players who became the disabled persons."
Tuesday, October 04, 2011