HoopsHype Ukraine rumors

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
March 20, 2014 Updates

Sports minister of Ukrainian government, Dmytro Bulatov, confirmed on Facebook that the country will organize Eurobasket 2015. Three are the points of his Facebook post. 1. Ukraine has never thought about giving up on organizing Eurobasket 2015. The tournament is a strategic project for the development of sports infrastructure in Ukraine. Sportando

March 19, 2014 Updates
March 16, 2014 Updates

Are you following the events in Ukraine? Pooh Jeter: Oh yeah. My teammates and coaches with Ukraine, we all talk about it. I just pray for them. I just hope they continue to be safe. I hope they come to an agreement. It's crazy how things work. Since I have a citizenship and I'm part of the Ukraine situation, I've got to fight with them. You know, I have to support them and make sure all my brothers and everybody that I know in Kiev is safe. I played there my first year in Europe so I have a strong connection with everybody in the city. Hopefully everything is better by the time we start training camp. I don't know if we will have training camp there. We will play the World Championship for the first time, the following year we will host the Eurobasket... I just hope for a peaceful resolution. HoopsHype

Were you aware about this situation, about this divide in Ukraine between the Russian-speaking people and the rest of the country? Pooh Jeter: I had no clue until I saw it on the news and read about it. Then I was asking people what's going on and then they told me. With individuals like Sasha Volvov and the other people at the Ukraine Basketball Federation, I know everything will work out [basketball-wise]. I just hope nobody dies anymore because of this situation. I've been in touch with coach Mike Fratello and my teammates and they keep me updated. Also my friends in Kiev. I care because I'm part of them now. It's not like I took advantage of an opportunity and then I leave it alone... I have friendships with this people and I speak with them all the time. Once you join a team, you gotta ride with your team. HoopsHype

March 15, 2014 Updates
March 11, 2014 Updates

New minister for sports of Ukrainian government said that Ukraine will host Eurobasket 2015. Dmytro Bulatov will meet with heads of Ukrainian Basketball Federation to decide the next step. Sportando

March 6, 2014 Updates
March 3, 2014 Updates
February 24, 2014 Updates

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 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 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

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.