Ex-NBA star Andrei Kirilenko elected president of Russian Basketball
Kirilenko, who was born in Izhevsk, Russia, retired from the NBA in June after 13 seasons in the league. He played for the Utah Jazz for 10 seasons and in Russia for one before spending three years with the Timberwolves and the Nets.
“I was raised playing Russian basketball and I've been playing basketball for about 27 years,” Kirelenko told Russia Today last week. “I have finished my work as a player, but it's a great opportunity for me to continue and help basketball in Russia just in a different role as being a president, rather as a player on the floor.”
He was elected unopposed after the only other candidate, Russian national team general manager Dmitry Domani, withdrew his candidacy.
Kirilenko faces the challenge of repairing Russia's basketball with FIBA, which suspended the organization in July after internal politicking and infighting resulted in the last RFB elections being contested. FIBA has said it will lift the suspension once it sees evidence of reform.
Kirilenko has said he will address “the very deep crisis of trust” in Russian basketball, refocus RFB's attention on youth basketball and broaden recruiting for the national team. The women's national team did not qualify for the 2016 Olympics, and the men's team may not either.
During his playing days, Kirilenko was selected to one NBA All-Star Game, and played in 55 playoff games across six seasons. He averaged 11.8 points and 2.7 assists per game.
- Erin Flynn