May 18, 2022

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Ukraine: Volkov, the basketball giant and the conflict

The Siberian-born giant but of Ukrainian blood, the former NBA and Reggio Calabria and then the MP, sent a photo to his friends: he patrols the streets of the capital in camouflage and rifle.

Seeing him with camouflage and a rifle is really impressive. Do you remember Sasha Volkov, the Soviet NBA center, the Olympic gold medalist with Russia in Seoul 1988 and also passed Reggio Calabria? At the age of 57 he returned to defend his homeland Ukraine. He sent the photo via WhatsApp to his friends from the basketball world, including Charlie Recalcati and Dino Meneghin. Look at his cell phone, a little dazed, as he completes his patrol on the streets of Kyiv, he has embarked on a war that until recently would have been unimaginable, not only for him. Ten days ago, he sent his friend Gianni Chaparro of Varese a video of the bombings on which was written: “I still can’t believe it, but this is the reality …”. To which Volkov decided to turn his gaze to him, without turning her to another place.

in Reggio Calabria

He returned home to fight instead of staying abroad as he built his fortunes. Volkov is a 208 cm mountain, native to Omsk in Western Siberia but of Ukrainian blood. In Kyiv, his basketball saga began which led him to reach great heights and, ironically, even don the jersey of the Red Army team CSKA. With the USSR, he won seven medals between Olympics, World and European, and was the first Soviet to set foot in the NBA (Atlanta), while his European wanderings also brought him to Reggio Calabria, in Viola with Recalcate training. After leaving basketball he was also part of the Verkhovna Rada at the turn of the millennium to become Minister of Sports. Since 2007 he has been at the head of his country’s Basketball Association. Who now defends not on the basketball court, but with a gun.

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