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A team from Crimea named “Griffons” representing the city of Simferopol will make its debut in Russian basketball. The sports editorial office of “Realna Chas” tells about a breakthrough decision in the history of domestic sports.

Play yes to play!

The decision to involve Crimea in Russian basketball was made a month ago, on July 16, but surprisingly, it did not cause a proper reaction and assessment. And it is actually groundbreaking. RFB has published a complete list of participating teams of the top league for the 2022/2023 season: “BARS-RGEU” (Rostov-on-Don), “Dynamo-MDTU” (Maykop), “Metallurg” (Magnitogorsk), “Naftokhimik” (Tobolsk), Cheboksary Hawks (Cheboksary), Chelbasket (Chelyabinsk), Southern Elephant (Stavropol), Griffins (Simferopol).

In addition to the Russian championship, the representative of the Vernadskyi Crimean Federal University, who previously played only at the level of the Russian Student Championship Association, plans to start in the Russian Cup, a tournament that will be held without the participation of legionnaires, just like the current Spartakiad of the strongest. This is a breakthrough decision, since previously the representatives of Crimea participated only in the team chess championship of Russia.

The representative of the Crimean Federal University named after Vernadsky plans to start in the Russian Cup. Photo by

In the rest, their level of access in football and basketball was limited to the student championship, and in water polo – the national championship among children’s and youth teams. However, there was still an amateur championship in water polo. All these starts are not fully official, which give the right to participate in any international tournaments, and therefore the international federations treated them loyally. Now two completely certain official starts in a fairly serious company.

Seasoned basketball fans will remember that Rostov-on-Don, for example, hosted the Lokomotiv team from Mineralnye Vody at one point, which then moved to Krasnodar. Yes, Rostov actually developed basketball, with Alexander Diratsuyan, now coach of the Russian team in streetball, teacher of the women’s team, vice-champion of the Olympics in Tokyo. Diratsuyan himself rose to the level of the youth national team of Russia born in 1976, being a partner of Ruslan Auleyev, Denis Sevastyanov from UNICS. Maykop (Sergei Ivanov, Valentin Kubrakou, Eduard Saabtsokau) and Stavropol (Andrei Vyadischaev, Nikita Margunov, Yevgeny Taran, Aleksey Lyadkov, who moved to Greece and became Yakovas Tsakalidis there, and already in USA by Jake Tsak, Azerbaijani Vagif Hajimetov).

By the way, the people of Stavropol are well known to the people of Simferopol because of their joint games in the student championship, where they played under the name “Southern Elephant”. However, Stavropol has always been creative, as the team used to be called “Aleka”, “Stavropol-Pomezhnik” and only in recent years “Dynamo”, with which the student “Southern Elephant” merged this summer.

By the way, the people of Stavropol are well known to the people of Simferopol because of their joint games in the student championship, where they played under the name “Southern Elephant”. Photo

Against Crimea maybe to play and pupil Kazan

Chuvashia produced Alexander Bashminov and Aleksei Semyanko, Aleksey Oposhnyan played in Chelyabinsk, Magnitogorsk was the opponent of UNIKS at the stage of its formation into a super club, where basketball also developed on the basis of a student team that bore the names “Creed Academy” and “Metallurg University. True, at the same time, Magnitogorsk was one of the first to accept “legionaires”, giving them Russian citizenship, as was the case with Niyaz Isakov, a pupil of Kyrgyz Frunze, who was later joined by Yaroslav Strelkin. Now one of the few pupils of Kazan basketball, Kiril Garnaev, plays in Magnitka.

As for the “Gryphons”, the names of the players of the current team will not say much to a wide circle of fans. The most famous is Vladislav Krushelnitsky, who came from Yekaterinburg. He, like the local pupil Vladyslav Tsiarletsky from Sevastopol, also plays streetball. Georgy Babachenko, Zmitser Vaitka, Kirill Pugachev, plus Zmitser Bykau from Tomsk, Artur Myz from Donetsk also played for Sevastopol. The sports colors of the city of military glory are defended by the Muson team, one of the rivals of the Gryphons, both in regional competitions and at the Crimean championship. Giorgiy Vasiliev, who currently plays for “Khimki”, ex-players of the junior national team of Armenia, Nikita Galtsev and Aleksei Chizhanok, left there.

By the way, in 2014, when Crimea became Russian, “Monsoon” managed to start in the Russian championship, having played several matches. Played against Voronezh and the future opponent of “Gryphons” – Stavropol, lost to Samara and Engels. But, to be honest, the composition of that team, which had the experience of playing in the championship of Ukraine, relied on “legionaires” from Bryansk, Volgograd, Maykop, Penza, Ryozan and various cities of Ukraine.

The sports colors of the city of military glory are protected by the Monsoon team. Photo by

Short debut Crimea in Russian basketball community

Having already become a Russian team, Sevastopol attracted such a teacher as Yevhen Kisurin, as well as field players, among whom Kiril Pishchalnikov, Konstantin Sazonov, native of Bishkek Nikita Makshav (in the future he played in Vladivostok), as well as Yevhen Shegoyan stood out. Unfortunately, he drowned in Sevastopol, after a night out in a nightclub. Repeating the sad fate of his colleagues in basketball who switched to Russian basketball earlier: Ukrainians Valery Gobarov, Sergey Kanenka, Uzbek Yadgar Karimov, Kazakh Alexander Petrenko. The fate of BK “Muson” turned out to be almost as sad, because after its debut in Russian basketball, it was forced to leave it due to political will, or rather political weakness, and performed only at the regional level, recently ceding the role of leader of Crimean basketball to younger players. Gryphon”.

Why did RFB go to meet the representative of Crimea, risking losing a place in UEBA and FIBA? And because there is nothing to lose. The men’s national team was rejected from the European Championship, which starts in September (Montenegro will replace us), actually, as well as the women’s national team. Ladies will miss the World Championship this season, men will lose the right to start at it next season. The fact is that the Russians managed to start the selection with two victories over Iceland and Italy, but now, being rejected, they have lost the right to compete for the World Cup-2023. Probably, this will lead to the loss of the opportunity to play at the Olympics in Paris, since the Russians will not have a chance to qualify for the Games. They were rejected from the European Cup last season. Being deprived of everything at the level of national teams, Russian basketball also lost a duo of participants of the Unified League of ZGB, which were left by the teams of Poland and Estonia. They were joined by Latvia and Lithuania, Georgia and Finland, and of course, Ukraine. Huge losses were felt by the Russian teams, from where legionnaires left in packs, mainly from the USA. It turns out like the proletariat: there is nothing to lose except your chains, which, perhaps, led to the adoption of a practically revolutionary decision. At the same time, colleagues from football are still waiting, enjoying their hopes of getting into the Euro-2024 qualifying tournament, the draw for which will take place on October 9.

Jaudat Abdulin


The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editors of “Realnya chsa”.

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