“Territory of sports. Day after Day”. Basketball in St. Petersburg.

The project was implemented with the funds of a grant from St. Petersburg.

“Sport Day by Day” presents the project “Territory of sports. Day after Day”.

We show the most interesting sports places in St. Petersburg. We attend open tournaments and events that can be attended by any resident or guest of the city.

The best conditions for sports are those that are available to everyone.

Basketball is traditionally one of the main game sports in St. Petersburg. Almost every school in Pietermaritzburg always had two sports facilities: a football field and a hall with basketball hoops.

Andrei Kirilenko, the current president of the Russian Basketball Federation, and Timofey Mozgov – two of the most famous and successful Russian basketball players in post-Soviet history – grew up in St. Petersburg. Well, during the times of the USSR, Leningrad gave a whole scattering of superstars, headed by Alexander Bealov.

Now, basketball remains one of the most profitable team sports. It is not as traumatic as football, and basketball superstars always top the list of the richest athletes in the world! It is not surprising that many people want to play this sport.

Often, young people are stopped by an outdated stereotype: they say that only guys taller than 190 cm are successful in men’s basketball. This is not true even for the 20th century, when dominant centers like Shaquille O’Neal were really favored and overshadowed everyone else.

Modern basketball is fast and completely replaced by shooting, so that height is no longer crucial. Moreover, there are almost no unyielding healthy people left at a high level. They just can’t handle high cuts.

The current classy defender can be under 180 cm tall and calmly play in the strongest European club.

The pinnacle of the Petersburg basketball system right now is the structure of basketball “Zenit”, the current champion of Russia not only among adults, but also in youth and junior ages. The main team of blue-white-blue dice consists of legionnaires, and only the most talented Russians can compete with them.

But already in the second team, which plays in the Super League, in the upcoming season it is planned to recruit more than half of the team from the graduates of the Zenit Academy. These will be young students from St. Petersburg who have achieved success in the youth league of VTB and in the championship of DUBL.


At the same time, although Zenit’s junior teams are winning, their main task remains to improve the class of young players. A result to the detriment of development is not required from them.

Of course, St. Petersburg basketball is not only Zenit, but it turned out that now there is simply no other high-level basketball club in the Northern capital. In the 2010s, the legendary “Spartacus” from St. Petersburg fell into the deepest crisis, was downgraded several times, went bankrupt, and now simply stopped playing in professional leagues.

So now all roads lead to “Zenit”, which only has four teams in the Children’s and Youth Premiership (DYUBL): UOR#1, Kupchinsky Olimps, Admiralty and Tsentralnaya.

An alternative option for serious activities without breaking away from studies: the Student Basketball Association, which covers more than 10,000 players throughout Russia. Of course, it is far from the American student championship, which sometimes overshadows the NBA itself and the Olympic Games, but it is our approximate analogue.

The Russian student league is advantageously different from many European championships in the abundance of games: there are about 5,000 matches per season in total.

The residents of St. Petersburg play the leading roles in student basketball: they are constantly competing with Muscovites and representatives of the Moscow region for the gold.

The third, most modern option: 3×3 basketball classes, which has now entered the Olympic program. Athletes swear that regular basketball and 3×3 are completely different sports, but objectively they have a lot in common.

In 3×3, the Russians set the tone not only in Europe, but also in the world: the two finals of the Tokyo Olympics speak for themselves. Unfortunately, 3×3 will not be able to boast of the same gigantic contracts that are in the elite of big basketball for a long time, if at all.

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