CSKA Moscow brings back Kirilenko

Oct 04, 2011 by Euroleague.net Print
Andrei Kirilenko – Russia (Photo:  FIBA Europe/Castoria/De Massis)Andrei Kirilenko will wear the CSKA Moscow uniform again after a 10-year American stint. The versatile forward signed a multi-year deal with his former club and will make his Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut this season. Kirilenko (30 years old, 2.06 meters) has played the past decade for Utah in the NBA and has amassed an impressive heal of titles over that period, including leading the Russian national team to the gold medal at EuroBasket 2007. The terms of the contract are a three-year deal with an NBA return option that is valid for one month after the end of the NBA lockout. He underwent medical tests at the GMS Clinic on Monday and was scheduled to practice with the team for the first time Tuesday.

Kirilenko started his pro career with Spartak St. Petersburg as a 16-year-old and joined CSKA two years later. During his three seasons with CSKA, Kirilenko helped the club win two Russian League titles and reach the 2001 SuproLeague Final Four. During his decade-long career with Utah in the NBA, he played alongside Basketball Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone, was named once to the NBA all-star team and three times to the NBA all-defensive team. He averaged 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game in 681 career appearances in the NBA. Kirilenko has also starred for the Russian national team, which he led to the gold medal at EuroBasket 2007, after which he was named MVP, and a bronze medal at the recently completed EuroBasket 2011, after which he was selected to the all-tournament team.

"I am glad to be back with the team where I spent my years of adolescence." Kirilenko said. "It’s a pleasure to have a chance to play for Russian fans, my friends and relatives. CSKA has a very strong team, a great coach, excellent players. It’s great when the highest goals are ahead of you. It’s especially interesting to play under the load of responsibility. I am sure that we are able to solve any task together. I’d like to mention also that all the money earned in Russia I will send to Kirilenko’s Kids charity foundation. The foundation will help the children hospitals and charity-schools, sport schools, sport veterans and the basketball players who became disabled persons."