Andrei Kirilenko Rumors

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Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko
Position: None
Born: 02/18/81
Height: 6-9 / 2.06
Weight:210 lbs. / 95.3 kg.
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Since Kirilenko helped his national team win Olympic bronze in 2012, Russian basketball has gone into a tailspin. The national team is in danger of failing to qualify for next year’s Olympics and the sport is losing fans to the likes of soccer and ice hockey. But Kirilenko thinks he can help turn things around. “A couple of years ago, (basketball) was the fourth or third (most popular) sport; right now I think it’s seventh, something like that,” said the 6-foot-9 forward. “I want basketball to be popular and to be in every house in our country.”
via USA Today Sports
Kirilenko faces resistance from some in the federation old guard and, with nationalist sentiment riding high in Russia, he has been criticized for having a U.S. passport in addition to his Russian nationality after becoming an American citizen in 2011 while with the Utah Jazz. “People who talk about that, they want to be picky, they want to find something that doesn’t fit a good profile,” he says. “I was born in Russia, the whole of my life I’ve been a Russian and I will die a Russian.”
via USA Today Sports
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Russian basketball is hoping one of its greatest-ever players could help it off-court. Andrey Kirilenko is running for the post of national president, with the sport in turmoil recently. Russia was even briefly suspended from competing internationally. Kirilenko has achieved a lot on the basketball court. He is an NBA all-star, one of the best defensive players of the last decade and an Olympic bronze medalist. However, now the 34-year-old wants to step up to the board room and become the new president of the Russian Basketball Federation. “I was raised playing Russian basketball and I’ve been playing basketball for about 27 years. 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 than as a player on the floor,” Kirilenko told RT.
via RT