Former Russia international Andrei Kirilenko has been elected as the new president of the Russian Basketball Federation, ousting his only rival candidate Dmitry Domani, it was announced today.
Kirilenko, who retired last season, playing for CSKA Moscow spent 13 years, previously in the NBA with ten of those in the colours of the Utah Jazz.
But he is now spearheading a new era of Russian basketball, where the nation has been reinstated by FIBA following a troubled last two years that saw Yulia Anikeeva controversially pip former WNBA player Svetlana Abrosimova to the presidency, with the latter saying that there were many breaches of election rules. And a court ruling subsequently overturning the federation’s 2013 presidential election result, calling for new elections to be made.
Kirilenko is tasked with helping Russia’s two national sides qualify for the next Olympic Games in Rio and making sure that the federation is consistently stable for the future following a torrid last two years.
It is expected that Kirilenko will make no significant changes in personnel within the federation.
Opinion: Ksenia Manina (Moscow)
I definitely think that it can’t be worse than now, so the selection of Kirilenko, one of Russia’s most recognised sports stars is miles better than the appointment of Yulia Anikeeva. But I believe that the federation will be pretty much the same like it was when Alexander Krasnenkov was in charge from 2011 to 2013, which was a good thing.
Perhaps some people might see this negatively in some aspects as he has close ties to CSKA plus he has just retired from playing and is running the whole basketball show in Russia when he has not even gone into coaching a team first but overall, the feeling is that Andrei will do well and he has everyone’s full support.