HoopsHype Ukraine rumors

December 18, 2014 Updates

The cautious Fratello will not be drawn into predictions or thoughts about Ukraine’s chances in this group so soon before the draw for the tournament was made clear, and especially before he has a good idea on the composition of his team’s roster. “If you ask how many games can we win in this group, I think the preparation is going to be very important, for any of these teams,” he said. “If I could tell you right now who is going to show up and play for us in the summer, it would make it easier to talk about my team.” TalkBasket

December 16, 2014 Updates
October 5, 2014 Updates

Fesenko says he wants to reclaim an NBA job so he can bring his mother, wife and other relatives to the United States from his hometown in Ukraine, the divided, strife-torn Eastern European country in which Fesenko was born on Christmas Eve 1986 and raised. His hometown of Dnipropetrovsk is far from the disputed portions of Ukraine, a four-hour drive that has brought refugees but no fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists to the industrial central region of the country where his mother and wife live. Fesenko and his wife were married in June. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

He estimated he spends three or four hours a day communicating on Skype with family and friends to keep up to date on what’s happening with them and with his country. “It’s a huge concern for me,” he said. “If the conflict will resolve itself, I’ll be the happiest person in the world.” He was asked if it was unsettling to watch his country being split by the crisis. “It is. I think war is the outdated solution to any conflict,” said Fesenko, a 2007 second-round pick by Philadelphia who was traded to Utah and played four seasons for the Jazz. He hasn’t played regularly in the NBA since 2011. “It’s just ridiculous and stupid and I’m very worried about my mom, my wife, all my friends. Two of my friends already enlisted in the army and I really don’t want that to happen. I’m all up for fighting the good cause, but I just don’t want to lose any of my childhood friends.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

September 13, 2014 Updates

Los Angeles Lakers decided to offer a tryout period to Ukrainian point-guard Pooh Jeter. The player ended World Cup in Spain with 15.4 points and 5 assists per game. Sportando

September 4, 2014 Updates

James Harden scored 17 points, Stephen Curry added 14 and the unbeaten U.S. national team wrapped up pool play with a 95-71 victory over Ukraine on Thursday at the Basketball World Cup. Anthony Davis finished with 12 points for the Americans, who were still waiting out the final results from Group D in the Canary Islands to determine who they would play Saturday night in Barcelona. They would draw the fourth-place finisher in the round of 16. The Americans were never in any danger of losing in the second half after seizing control just before halftime against a methodical Ukraine team coached by former NBA coach Mike Fratello. USA Today Sports

August 25, 2014 Updates

Madrid will announce EuroBasket 2015 hosts on September 8. Croatia, France, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Israel and Turkey are on the list of possible host countries. The Board of FIBA Europe decided to relocate 2015 EuroBasket from Ukraine. The decision has been officially announced earlier. The situation in Ukraine has not changed drastically in the last months so the decision seemed inevitable. TalkBasket

August 23, 2014 Updates
August 1, 2014 Updates

Amid the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, former NBA head coach and current analyst Mike Fratello and his staff are remaining with the Ukraine men’s national team for the upcoming World Cup. The staff includes Brooklyn Nets assistant Joe Wolf, who oversees Ukraine’s basketball development, along with longtime NBA coaches/executives Bob Hill and Jack Nolan. Wolf, who is attending Team USA practices this week, said he had no reservations about returning to Kiev for a third consecutive year. “We just stay away from the eastern part of the country,” he said, “and we’re gone a lot during the training. We play three games in Lithuania, have three games in Kiev, play France, Spain. We play this team (USA), too, Sept. 4 in the World Cup in Bilbao.” Sacramento Bee

June 13, 2014 Updates
March 27, 2014 Updates

In between learning the NBA ropes as a rookie and working his way back from injuries to both feet, Len keeps close watch on the situation in Eastern Europe. Not that the 20-year-old has a full grasp on the dramatic conflict no matter the number of news sources he checks. "I don't really know. I watch Russian news, American news and Ukrainian news. Everybody says different things," Len said. "I'm not a politician. I just hope nobody gets hurt. Praying for peace, you know." He knew enough to bring his grandparents overseas to Phoenix. Other relatives remain behind in what is now Russian-occupied Crimea. CSNWashington.com

March 22, 2014 Updates

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