Table of Contents
Who Is Andrei Kirilenko?
Andrei Kirilenko is the Russian Basketball Federation’s commissioner and a Russian-American basketball executive. Andrei Kirilenko was also a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He began playing professional basketball at a young age in Russia and quickly advanced to the NBA in 1999.
He stood tall and was skilled in both attack and defense.
Despite playing mostly forward, he was nominated to the NBA All-Defensive Team three times.
He spent about fifteen years in the NBA, playing for three different teams. As a result, he was granted American citizenship in 2011.
His supporters dubbed him the “AK- 47” because of the jersey number he wore, his initials, and the hamlet he originated from.
While playing basketball in Russia and the NBA, the AK-47 received various awards and honors.
Similarly, he was similarly successful for his national teams, which he started representing in 1999.
For his efforts, the International Basketball Federation named him Europe Men’s Player of the Year twice.
Furthermore, this article will cover his life in the Soviet Union, playing league games as a youngster, and his NBA career.
Furthermore, we will get a peek at his work to promote basketball once he retires.
More Facts About Andrei Kirilenko
|Andrei Gennadyevich Kirilenko
|Date of Birth
|February 18, 1981
|Izhevsk, the USSR (now Russia)
|Russian / American
|41 years old
|2.06 m (6 feet 9 inches)
|235 lb (107 kg)
|Three sons and a daughter
|Fyodor, Stepan, Andrey, and Alexandra Kirilenko
|Former basketball player
|1999 / Round 1/ 24th pick overall
|Small forward / Power forward
|Currently Plays For
|None / Retired
|Career Highlights & Awards
Childhood and Family
Andrei Kirilenko was born on February 18, 1981, in Izhevsk, Russia (formerly the Soviet Union).
His ancestors were from Leningrad (present-day St. Petersburg).
His mother, on the other hand, gave birth to him while they were visiting a family in that city.
Gennady Kirilenko, his father, was a football coach who instructed schoolchildren in St. Petersburg.
Olga, Andrei’s mother, was also a sportswoman.
During her youth, she played professional basketball for a number of well-known clubs, including Spartak, Petrel, and others.
However, four months after his birth, his mother returned, and Andrei spent his boyhood in St. Petersburg.
He went to a local elementary school and competed in sports.
Initially, he was more interested in football and swimming.
Andrei grew significantly taller than the usual Russian child and gradually transitioned to basketball.
At the age of ten, he began participating in organized basketball events.
Meanwhile, he joined his hometown’s basketball club and began competing in junior tournaments on a regular basis.
As a result, he acquired fundamental basketball principles and effectively led them to numerous triumphs.
He, therefore, abandoned his academic pursuits in order to pursue a career in basketball.
Andrei Kirilenko | Professional
Professional Development Beginnings in Russia
Kirilenko, a Russian phenom, began playing professional basketball in 1997.
He did, however, already support Spartak Saint Petersburg.
He was the Russian Super League’s youngest player at the time.
Despite his youth, he had already gained enough experience to compete with the league’s top players.
So, after two years with Petersburg, Andrei transferred to CSKA Moscow in 1998.
His performance was instrumental in Moscow winning the Russian League in 1999.
Furthermore, he made his international debut around the same time, earning him international fame.
As a result, the player entered the 1999 NBA draft, and the Utah Jazz, a well-known NBA team, selected him.
He did, however, remain with Moscow until 2001.
He returned to the Russian club for two more seasons and helped them win the Russian Super League championship in 2000.
That same year, he was named the tournament’s MVP.
The Utah Jazz selected Andrei, then 18, in the first round of the 1999 draft.
With that pick, he became the NBA’s first Russian player.
He joined the Jazz just in 2001, after completing his tasks with his Moscow team.
The young Russian had an outstanding first season, excelling on both the attacking and defensive sides of his squad.
As a result, he had early success, being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team.
He concluded his rookie season with 10.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Andrei went on to play nine more NBA seasons for the Utah Jazz until retiring in 2011.
Even though he largely enjoyed his time with the Jazz over the years, he was willing to leave the league at one point.
The club permitted him to play for a limited time during the 2006-07 season, which hampered his stats. He was frustrated because he couldn’t play well.
However, the club later persuaded him. He then played four more seasons before being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Meanwhile, he returned to Russia to play for his previous club, CSKA Moscow, in the 2012 EuroLeague.
Kirilenko returned from Europe and played three more seasons with two different clubs.
Except for the Timberwolves, he did not have a notable season after 2011.
Despite being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers by the Brooklyn Nets in 2015, he did not appear.
As a result, the team suspended him, and he never returned to the NBA.
Instead, he joined CSKA Moscow, where he competed in the VTB League and the EuroLeague.
On June 23, 2015, he announced his retirement from his professional career.
After Retirement Life
Although Andrei withdrew from all forms of basketball in 2015, he has not abandoned the sport.
Soon after retiring, he was appointed President of the Russian Basketball Federation.
He finished his first term as its leader in 2020 and was re-elected the following year.
Similarly, he has been an active member of the FIBA central board.
A career in the National Team
Aside from his club career, he has represented Russia in a number of international events since he was a teenager.
He made his national team debut in the 1999 FIBA Under-19 World Cup when he was named tournament MVP.
In addition, he made his senior national team debut at the Summer Olympics in 2000.
They finished eighth in the basketball competition.Since then, he has represented Russia in different tournaments like EuroBasket, FIBA World Cup, and others.
His most notable accomplishment while playing for Russia was leading them to a EuroBasket triumph in 2007.
In 2013, he declared his retirement from international politics.
Achievements and Awards
In his long basketball career, Andrei Kirilenko received various awards and honors.
He was already the Russian league champion when he made his NBA debut.
He had a successful professional career in Russia, winning the Russian and European League trophies.
He began his NBA career in the early 2000s and received numerous honors and mentions.
He was never able to raise the title ring, however.
Aside from that, he had a highly successful international career with the Russian national team.
Among his honors and achievements are:
Men’s Basketball Player of the Year in Europe, according to FIBA Europe (2007, 2012)
MVP of the Russian League (2000)
NBA’s leading blocker (2005)
MVP of the VTB United League (2012)
Russian Footballer of the Year (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008)
All-Star in the NBA (2004)
Eurovision Player of the Year (2012)
NBA First Team All-Defensive (2006)
MVP of the EuroLeague (2012)
EuroBasket gold medalist in 2007
Bronze medalist in the Summer Olympics of 2012.
Salary, Net Worth, and Career Earnings
Andrei Kirilenko has a net worth of around $50 million, according to sources.
He made a lot of money while playing in the NBA in America.
The Jazz paid him roughly $0.6 million after drafting him in the 1999 draft, despite the fact that he never played in a game.
They offered him roughly $0.84 per hour for his first season with them.
As a result, the Jazz never gave up on him, and he played for them for eleven seasons.
He made around $17 million in his final season with them.
Throughout his NBA career, the Russian athlete amassed money of up to $108 million.
In addition, he has made a nice living from his international and professional careers in Russia.
In addition, he has already appeared in numerous television ads.
So he’s made enough money through endorsements and merchandise sales.
Personal Life of Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko is married to Masha Kirilenko, a well-known Russian entrepreneur, and musician.
MaLo, her stage name, is well-known among her followers.
Kirilenko initially met her in the late 1990s at a youth basketball program in Moscow.
Even though he was still a teen at the time, he had already begun his path to the professional league.
The two hit it up right away, and little Andrei even participated in one of her music videos.
They married in 2001, and she moved to the United States with him when he began playing in the NBA for the Utah Jazz.
Masha is also a Russian with numerous degrees.
She originally earned a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Moscow’s University of Foreign Languages.
She then attended the Academy of National Economy, where she earned an MBA.
Similarly, she holds master’s degrees in TV and Video Production as well as Psychology from two universities in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Masha and Andrei are both dual citizens at the moment.
In 2011, she, too, got US citizenship.
She is not just a vocalist, but also an entrepreneur and the CEO of the well-known Fashion IQ.
The lovely couple is the proud parents of four children.
Fyodor, their first child, was born in 2002.
Furthermore, their two boys, Stepan and Andrey, were born in 2007 and 2015, respectively.
They also have a daughter named Alexandra, who was born in 2005.
Masha is an extremely liberal woman with an unusual perspective on relationships.
She once said, for example, that she would let Andrei cheat on her once a year if he wanted to.
Andrei, on the other hand, adores her and refuses to do so.
Height, weight, and age
Andrei will be 41 years old in 2022.
His astrological sign is Aquarius.
Similarly, he stands 2.06 meters (6 feet 9 inches) tall and weighs approximately 235 lb (107 kg).
During his early basketball career, he was quite slender.
Furthermore, he has light brown hair that he usually keeps longer, and blue eyes that are appealing.
Presence on Social Media
Andrei isn’t very active on social media.
He solely has an Instagram account and does not utilize any other social media platforms.
You may view his Instagram page by clicking on the following link:
@ak47russ on Instagram