FIBA lifted Russia’s ban for international competition, but Russian basketball isn’t in the clear.
The Russian Basketball Federation remains under fire from FIBA.
At least it will have a new leader to guide it out of the muck.
Former NBA All-Star Andrei Kirilenko was named president of the Russian Basketball Federation (RFB) on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old Kirilenko, who was unanimously elected by all 215 members who attended the conference, said there was “a deep crisis of trust” within the RFB.
“I see and understand how to concentrate all the basketball powers in the country,” he said.
“We need to make serious changes to how the sport is run. I am sure that together we can take big steps forward and put an end to this mess.
“I want there to be at least one person in every family in our country who loves to watch or play basketball,” he added.
Kirilenko has been eyeing this position since retirement, and he clearly has grand goals.
The most immediate priority, though, must be next month’s Eurobasket. A top-two finish would get Russia into the 2016 Rio Olympics. Placing third through seventh would send Russia to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
With players like Timofey Mozgov, Sasha Kaun, Alexey Shved and Sergey Karasev, the Russians can compete right now. It’d be a shame if deeper problems hindered their present.