Victor Khryapa retires from Russian team

Victor KhryapaVictor Khryapa has called time on his international career by officially announcing his retirement from the Russian National Team. The legend of the modern age of Russian Basketball has only confirmed something that had been apparently inevitable for some time after he pulled out of Eurobasket 2013 in September. The former NBA star and current CSKA Moscow forward had also hinted over the last 18 months that the London Olympics in 2012 was his last major tournament on the international stage.

The Russian National Team may well look back on 2013 as the Annus Horible and even with 2014 around the corner things are not getting better. The team put forward a dismal showing in Eurobasket 2013 and earlier in the year lost another legendary player to retirement in the form of Andrei Kirilenko.
Victor Khryapa revealed that he would take fond memories with him into retirement in an official statement sent through news agency R-Sport.

“I have decided to terminate my career in the national team,” Khryapa said on Monday.

“We have already talked with (newly installed Russia head coach) Evgeny Pashutin and he is aware of the decision.

“I first played with the [senior national] team in 2002, at the World Championship in Indianapolis and I had received my first call-up in 2000, to play in a qualifying tournament.

“I remember all the things that have happened since then, all those wonderful years.

“I wish the same success to the next generation and I thank everyone on the team for all the good times.”

At club level, the 31-year old has extensive experience in the NBA where he played for the Portland Trail Blazers and the Chicago Bulls, while he has also been a mainstay of the CSKA Moscow roster. Along with Kirilenko, Victor Khryapa was an instrumental figure in the Russian National Team and helped to bring the country its first major international success since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

In 2007 Khryapa played a key role in the team defeating hot favourites Spain at Eurobasket 2007, a tournament in which he was named to the All-Tournament Team. He also helped Russia to bronze medals at Eurobasket 2011 and the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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