Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.


Kirilenko ‘happy’ to go back to America

Published time: September 18, 2012 13:48
Edited time: September 18, 2012 17:48

From left: Russia's Alexey Shved and Andrey Kirilenko at the preliminary round basketball match between China and Russia at the XXX Olympic Games in London. (RIA Novosti/ Alexey Filippov)

Download video (18.56 MB)

Russia's NBA stars are enjoying the last days in Moscow before returning to the US for pre-season. As RT found out, Andrey Kirilenko can't wait to join his new club, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and former CSKA teammate Aleksey Shved.

In the end it wasn't a difficult decision for Kirilenko to return to the NBA. Even though he was offered a lucrative contract to remain in Russia, but the lure of the biggest basketball league in the world proved too good for AK-47 to turn down.

Kirilenko will soon open a new chapter in his basketball career, when Minnesota starts their pre-season games in early October.

“I’m very happy to go back to the States,” the Russian told RT. “I still feel that I can play at the highest level and I want to be there.”

It's been a busy summer for the Russian, as he was heavily involved in this summer's Olympics in London. He helped his country win a bronze, and AK 47 says this is the best achievement of his basketball career so far.

“To win an Olympic medal was a huge goal and we really took ourselves to a very high position,” he said before adding how great it feels to be an Olympic medalist.

However, when he's not on the basketball court Andrey has been doing what he loves best – spending time helping out children.

The 31 year-old, has his own charity called "Kirilenko Kids", which has been running since 2003, and he donated all the money he earned from his stint in Russia to help out those in need.

The Timberwolves forward also has three children of his own, who live in America. Kirilenko says it's great to be back home, but being with his family is the most important thing.