Final Four club legend: Victor Khryapa, CSKA Moscow

May 20, 2021 by Print
Final Four club legend: Victor Khryapa, CSKA Moscow

When one thinks about CSKA Moscow, they think about success and excellence. For nearly two decades, one of the main reasons for that was the play of Victor Khryapa. The versatile forward was the rock of the CSKA defense, serving as the ultimate team player whose play not only earned him individual accolades but also EuroLeague titles in 2008 and 2016.

Khyrapa started his career with Khimik Engels and debuted as a professional with Avtodor Saratov in 1999. He joined CSKA in 2002 and make his debut in the EuroLeague at age 20. After helping CSKA reach back-to-back Final Fours, he went overseas and played three and a half seasons in the NBA with Portland and Chicago. He left Chicago during the 2007-08 season to return to his beloved CSKA. The reunification would lead to loads of success.

A menace on the defensive end with his outstanding length and tenacity, Khyrapa went on to help the CSKA to eight Russian League titles as well as seven straight VTB United League crowns. In addition to his club hardware, Khyrapa was a regular with the Russian national team and teamed up with Andrei Kirilenko and CSKA teammate J.R. Holden to win the FIBA EuroBasket 2007 gold medal as well as bronze at both EuroBasket 2011 and the 2012 Olympics Games.

The reserved Khryapa will always be remembered for his iconic moment - a late tip-in that forced overtime in the 2016 championship game against Fenerbahce Istanbul. After the extra session, Khryapa would hoist the trophy as CSKA team captain. He played a total of 240 EuroLeague games over 13 seasons with CSKA before retiring in 2018. Khryapa remains the club's all-time leader in EuroLeague games in rebounds with 1,070 and steals with 241.

During his career, Khryapa was named to the All-EuroLeague First Team in 2009-10 and the Second Team in both 2012-13 and 2013-14. Khryapa also captured the EuroLeague Best Defender Trophy in 2009-10. Khyrapa still holds numerous Final Four records as the all-time leader in games played (23), index rating (208), total rebounds (107) and defensive rebounds (82) while ranking second in steals (22). He will forever be linked to CSKA's success and omnipresence at the Final Four.