Andrei Kirilenko Speaker Profile
Andrei Kirilenko Biography
Andrei Kirilenko was born February 18, 1981 and is aRussian-American professional basketball player, playing at the small forwardposition for the Utah Jazz in the National Basketball Association. He is 206 cm(6'9) tall and weighs 103 kg (227 lb). He is also known as AK-47 (hisinitials, the fact that the AK-47 came from Russia and specifically hisbirthplace, and his jersey number, #47). In January 2011, he acquired Americancitizenship with his wife Masha.
On June 30, 1999, at age 18 years, Kirilenko became theyoungest European player at the time to be drafted in the National BasketballAssociation, when the Utah Jazz selected him with the 24th pick. However, heremained with CSKA Moscow for the next two seasons. In the 19992000 season, hehelped his team win the inaugural championship of the Eastern EuropeanBasketball League and its second Russian Superleague championship in a row. OnApril 23, 2000, he participated in his second Russian All-Star game, helpingthe West beat the East 122111. Despite being the odds-on favorite to win theslam dunk contest, he finished second to Harold Dean of Lokomotiv MineralnyeVody.
Andrei Kirilenko participated in the 2000 Summer Olympics asa member of the Russian national basketball team, which finished 8th in thetournament. On February 8, 2001, in his third season with CSKA Moscow,Kirilenko became the second player ever in the history of the Euroleague torecord a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 steals againstLietuvos Rytas. He showed off his all-around skills in the EuropeanChampionships, finishing in top ten in 7 out of 8 statistical categories.
Kirilenko joined the Utah Jazz in the 200102 NBA season. Hewas named to the first team on the NBA All-Rookie team. He has since emerged asone of the top young players in the NBA, and one of the league's top weak-sidedefenders. He was selected to play as a reserve in the 2004 NBA All-Star Gamein Los Angeles. In the 200304 NBA season, he ranked third in the league inblocked shots per game and fourth in the league in steals per game , becomingjust the second player in NBA history to rank in the top five in both categories(David Robinson ranked first in blocked shots per game and fifth in steals pergame in the 199192 NBA season). During the NBA offseason, Kirilenko plays forthe Russian national basketball team.
Kirilenko became the leader of the Jazz in 2003 after JohnStockton retired and Karl Malone left Utah to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Heplayed and started in 78 of the Utah's 82 games and led them to a 4240 record.Utah missed the playoffs by one game behind the Denver Nuggets. He finishedfifth in Defensive Player of the Year voting and fourth in Most Improved Playervoting and was named to the second team on the All-NBA Defensive Team.Kirilenko led the Jazz in many statistical categories.
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