Timberwolves’ Kirilenko named FIBA Europe Player of the Year
Saturday, 16 February 2013
February 16 - Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko has been named as the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Europe Player of the Year for 2012.
The 6 foot 9in Russian previously won the award in 2007 whilst playing for National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise Utah Jazz, who he represented for ten years before moving back to CSKA Moscow in 2011.
Kirilenko, 31, enjoyed success during his brief spell in Moscow, winning the Euroleague Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and featuring in the All-Euroleague First Team averaging 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds, in 29.9 minutes per game in his club's Championship winning season.
CSKA Moscow also reached the final of the Euroleague in Istanbul, but lost to Greek side Olympiacos by just one point.
He joined NBA side Minnesota Timberwolves in July 2012, weeks before leading Russia to their first Olympic basketball medal as they took bronze in London, defeating Argentina 81-77 in the bronze medal game.
This season, Kirilenko has appeared 41 times for the Timberwolves, averaging 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks in 34.1 minutes per game.
His 51 per cent field goal rate this season is the highest of his career and he is currently on track to post his best scoring, rebounding, steals and assist stats since the 2005-2006 season.