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Russian Basketball to Get an NBA Makeover

2. October 2009 by Admin 0 Comments

Mikhail Prokhorov

With Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s recent purchase of the NBA New Jersey Nets many fans hope that it will boost the level of basketball in Russia.


Prokhorov hopes that his ownership will form a sports partnership between the U.S. and Russia. Just as fellow countryman Roman Abramovich did with his investment in the England Premier League.


 In a recent interview with Vesti TV, Prokhorov said, “If there had been no Chelsea, there would have been no Guus Hiddink in Russia. As for me, I have a more serious task as I want to create a new system for preparing Russian basketball players.”


Prokhorov envisions a strong youth basketball league which will allow players to develop. Go on to play at the collegiate level then progress to the professional level just like in the United States.


“Essentially, it’s about training the athletes using techniques from the NBA, first in student basketball, then spreading it to junior sporting schools to let the players who are trained there have a chance to get into professional clubs,” Prokhorow added.


Currently, Prokhorov is in discussions with Moscow State University and a Krasnoyarsk region governor the about establishing programs.  It is estimated the annual cost for the youth and university leagues will be from $10 million to $20 million.


Prokhorov who recently topped Russia's list of richest people, is not looking at a financial gain from this venture but views this as investment in the future of Russian basketball.


“For 10 to 15 years the project will exist largely thanks to enthusiastic athletes and businessmen who love the sport, or thanks to governors who, being sports fans themselves, support it in their regions,” he said.