HoopsHype Ukraine rumors

February 24, 2014 Updates
February 23, 2014 Updates

From Spain, Fratello went on to the Ukraine, although his visit in early February came before the violent protests escalated last week, when more than 100 people were killed in clashes in Kiev, according to The Associated Press. The AP reported that protesters advanced on police lines last week, prompting government snipers to open fire. A settlement reportedly was reached Friday, but no one is sure it will hold. According to Fratello, when he was there, the violence was centered in a concentrated area near Independence Square in downtown. Opponents of President Viktor Yanukovych are upset over corruption and the economy and want him to step down. He reportedly fled the country Saturday insisting he will not resign in spite of the fact that parliament voted to dismiss him. "They were in an area of about three blocks,'' Fratello said of the protesters, ''and it was ringed with old tires that they set on fire. The smoke was awful. They poured black ink over the heads of their opponents. The traffic and the congestion in that area was terrible. We had to change hotels.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

But the coach said he wasn't afraid and that he was able to move about other parts of the city freely. That wasn't the case last week as violence spread and things became much more dangerous. "Obviously, it has escalated in the last five days,'' said Fratello, who briefly interrupted a telephone interview on Friday in order to listen to a television news update on the situation. "Things have gotten much worse. They closed the basketball federation offices last week. I think that was the smart thing to do. A bullet doesn't know where it's going when it leaves the gun.'' Cleveland Plain Dealer

Fratello has been talking to his associates in the Ukraine every day. His players are scattered around the country, playing in various pro leagues. At this point, he has no plans to return until July, when the national team will hold its training camp in Yuzhne, a city located about an hour from Odessa. But his thoughts remain with his friends and colleagues struggling through the unrest in Kiev. "I just hope and pray they reach a settlement by then,'' he said. Cleveland Plain Dealer

February 3, 2014 Updates
November 25, 2013 Updates

Daequan Cook is officially a new member of Budivelnyk Kyiv. The shooter, who won the the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend Three-Point Shootout in Phoenix, spent last season in the NBA between Rockets and Bulls. Sportando

November 23, 2013 Updates
September 18, 2013 Updates
September 15, 2013 Updates
September 14, 2013 Updates

Does it feel a little weird to be wearing this jersey? Pooh Jeter: No, because I never really got the chance to represent the U.S. When I received these colors I treated it the same way I treat playing for any other team: go out there, play hard and make sure I do my job. I'm thankful, it's an honor. But I guess it's a little different for you... For your Ukrainian-born teammates, it's national pride at stake. PJ: They are probably used to seeing this. It's been going on for a while: JR Holden representing Russia, Bo McCalebb (Macedonia), Dontaye Draper (Croatia), Zack Wright (Bosnia-Herzegovina)... It's so many American point guards taking these spots... If I was a rookie coming out of school, it would probably be weird but I'm such a veteran in Europe and in this basketball world so we just treat it as just 'Me coming to their team'. HoopsHype

How was that phone call when you were told Ukraine wanted you? PJ: My agent Andre Buck told me 'Yo, this is getting serious, man'. I really thought about it and all my friends told me I should do it. You are going out there, you're going to play basketball, even though you are away from home... Get that experience, playing for coach Fratello. Go for it. Everybody was pushing me to do it: Baron Davis, Bobby Brown, Brandon Heath, Trevor Ariza... HoopsHype

July 31, 2013 Updates
January 8, 2013 Updates
January 3, 2013 Updates
January 1, 2013 Updates

Leaving his immediate NBA future in doubt, free agent center Kyrylo Fesenko is finalizing a contract agreement with Ukrainian club BC Donetsk, league sources told RealGM. Fesenko’s agent, David Carro, confirmed the deal is close to being signed for Fesenko to end his NBA training to play in Ukraine. RealGM

October 27, 2012 Updates

Darius Johnson-Odom will start his pro career in Ukraine with Azovmash Mariupol. Yesterday we anticipated the news and today we got another confirmation about the next arrival of the rookie in Ukraine. Johnson-Odom is still with the Lakers at the camp but in the next hours he will be waived and, as free agent, will move to Azovmash. In the club he is going to replace Nemanja Gordic. Sportando

October 26, 2012 Updates

The future of Darius Johnson-Odom will likely be in Ukraine with Azovmash Mariupol. The rookie will be released by the Lakers with whom he is at the camp. Johnson-Odom might replace Nemanja Gordic in the Ukrainian club. Sportando

September 12, 2012 Updates
May 16, 2012 Updates

Chris Tomasson: Two years ago, Kyrylo Fesenko said he could have been a Chernobyl baby. Fesenko, whose birthplace and hometown is Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, told me that's a 5-hour drive from where the Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred 4/26/86. Since Fesenko was born 12/24/86, he told me glad the wind wasn't blowing then from Chernobyl when he was still his mother's womb. "I'd have like three hands and four feet,'' he said at time. When I first saw Fesenko in this series, he said, "I'm hiding my extra arms.'' Sulia

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