Ukraine: Volkov, the basketball giant and the conflict

The giant born in Siberia but of Ukrainian blood, former NBA and Reggio Calabria and then parliamentarian, sent a photo to his friends: patrolling the streets of the capital in camouflage and rifle

Seeing him with camouflage and shotgun is really impressive. Do you remember Sasha Volkov, Soviet center in the NBA, Olympic gold medal with Russia in Seoul 1988 and also passed through Reggio Calabria? At the age of 57, he returned to defend his homeland, Ukraine. He sent his photo via whatsapp to his friends from the world of basketball, including Charlie Recalcati and Dino Meneghin. Look on his mobile phone, a little absorbed, as he completes his patrol through the streets of Kiev, catapulted into a war unimaginable until recently, not only for him. Ten days ago, to his friend Gianni Chiapparo from Varese, he sent a video of the bombing with the words: “I still can’t believe it, but this is reality …”. On which Volkov decided to lay his gaze, without turning it elsewhere.

In Reggio Calabria

He went home to fight instead of staying overseas where he built his fortunes. Volkov is a 208cm mountain, native of Omsk in Western Siberia but of Ukrainian blood. In Kiev he began his parable in basketball which led him to reach sublime heights and even, ironically, to wear the shirt of CSKA, the Red Army team. With the USSR he won seven medals between Olympics, World and European Championships, he was the first Soviet to set foot in the NBA (Atlanta), while his European wanderings also brought him to Reggio Calabria, in the Viola coached by Recalcati. After leaving basketball he was also part of the Ukrainian parliament at the turn of the millennium, becoming minister of sport. Since 2007 he has been at the top of his country’s basketball federation. Which he now defends not on a basketball court, but with a rifle.

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About Banner Leon

Videogames entered his life in the late '80s, at the time of the first meeting with Super Mario Bros, and even today they make it a permanent part, after almost 30 years. Pros and defects: he manages to finish Super Mario Bros in less than 5 minutes but he has never finished Final Fight with a credit ... he's still trying.

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