The next player to discover in the series of “unknown” Europeans in the NCAA is the Russian Power Forward Kirill Pishchalnikov.
Kirill was a member of the 2004 Russian NT that played the European Championship and where he won the Silver medal after a defeat in the Final against the Antoine Diot led French team. Pishchalnikov was the tournament’s best rebounder with 14.5rpg and also the best shot blocker with 3.4bpg.
So Kirill, how is life in the United States and where are you playing right now?
I have been here for 10 months now, I came to the USA in February 2007. I played the U16 European Championship in 2004 and coaches saw me there. When I played in Russia my first team was Dinamo-AGY, Majkop. Then I went to Ural-Great Perm. But in 2006, the coach from VCU Richmond (VA) came to Russia and he watched how I play basketball. He like what he saw and how I play, and he said to me that if I want to play in VCU and study, I can come!
What type of player are you right now? As you were really playing as a Center in 2004 with the U16 because of your very good size.
In VCU I’m playing center and the power forward position. My forces I use the most are my defense, rebounding, block shots and steals. In the offense, I like to look for good assists.
Talking about my weaknesses I am not so quick and I have to work on this especially.
Talking about his basketball dreams, Kirill is very clear about what he wants to achieve.
I want to play professional basketball in NBA. I want to be best in the world…
I wish all the best to Kirill for his career and hope to hear good news from him in the next years.