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Originally published June 22, 2008 at 07:33p.m., updated June 23, 2008 at 12:00a.m.

Kaun signs with team in Russia

Kansas center Sasha Kaun gets his share of the net during the celebration Sunday, March 30, 2008 at Ford Field in Detroit.  Over the weekend Kaun signed with CSKA Moscow and will begin his professional basketball career in Russia.

Kansas center Sasha Kaun gets his share of the net during the celebration Sunday, March 30, 2008 at Ford Field in Detroit. Over the weekend Kaun signed with CSKA Moscow and will begin his professional basketball career in Russia.

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Sasha Kaun will begin his professional basketball career back in his native Russia.

CSKA Moscow over the weekend signed the 6-foot-11 former Kansas University center from Tomsk to a three-year contract.

Kaun said he would honor the contract and play in Russia next season no matter what happens in Thursday's NBA Draft.

"I'm very excited. I'm pumped about it," Kaun said Sunday night. "It's a good contract. It's a good club. This situation is great for me. I can play back home a couple years, and if I get drafted (Thursday), that team will hold my rights, and I could come back someday and play in the NBA."

Kaun, 23, is the first player from Russia to be part of an NCAA championship team.

"CSKA always keeps in its field of interests all of Russia's best basketball players, especially young ones," said Andrei Vatulin, CEO of the team. "After the win in the NCAA finals, Kaun became one of the most popular players here, but I'd like to mention that we began watching him a few years ago.

"Good big players have always been a rarity, and Sasha with his excellent work ethic can potentially grow into a player of NBA level. I think that our contract with a promising player who can become the starting center for the Russian national team is a very profitable investment. I am extremely happy that Russian fans will have a chance to see Sasha and the player himself chose to play for our team."

Terms of Kaun's contract were not revealed by the team.

"The money is great over there. Guys are making seven figures," Kaun said. "There is big demand for me to play in Russia coming from the U.S. and attending an American college, and the fact there must be three Russian players on the court (on Russian pro teams) at the same time."

Kaun will try out for Russia's Olympic team in July. Sixteen players have been invited to the national-team tryouts with three or four cuts to be made.

"The coach said if I play hard and do what I can do, I have a great chance to make it, even be playing," said Kaun, who is represented by agent Justin Zanik of New Jersey based ASM Sports.

Comments

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 11 months ago

Yes Sasha will never play in the NBA now that heis going to play in Russia....I guess Andrei Kirilenko career has just been a fantasy.Graduated from Cal State Sonoma, drafted by Utah even though he played at Sonoma. Went and played in Russia for 3 years and then returned to play for the Jazz. To rockchalkjayhalk81 that routine is old, not to mentionnot funny. Leave the poor russian jokes to Yakov Smirnoff.More power to you Sasha. The NBAwill always have room for you.

Brian Skelly 11 years, 11 months ago

The concept that he hurt his "draft" stock because he's signing with a Russian team is folly.First off, his odds of getting drafted werent all that high to begin with. The BEST I've seen thrown around is mid-2nd rounder. He can go home and be the "Conquering Hero" for a few seasons, earn some big bucks and then catch on here and be all the better for it. I envision a Scot Pollard type career. He'll never be anything other than a rebounder and shot blocker. But if he can accentuate on that while playing in front of his countrymen and improve on it, he'll be back here playing for sure.I'd would be GREAT for him to make Russia's Olympic team. It'd be even better if he played a lot. Regardless, congrats to Sasha. He's earned it.

BCRavenJHawkfan 11 years, 11 months ago

KUThose referencing the Patriot Act may not have hit the bullseye but the target remains the same. I will gladly give you one specific freedom taken. It resides within the writ of Habeas Corpus. The freedom at stake is that of unlawful detention.Now yes, I know that in a national emergency the writ can, and has been (civil war), suspended. If you would like to argue that this administration does not seek to make the suspension permanent, be my guest. Outside of high gas prices what is our current emergency? On the other hand if you feel the suspension of the writ only applies to those clearly identified as foriegn to the United States, well that sounds alot like the countries that you so aptly infer "have fewer freedoms than the USA". Come to think of it there are a number of people I have contact with that "look" foriegn, I had better turn them in before they have taken over and turned the country into a real life "Red Dawn".I am not saying, nor are the others, that other countries provide more freedoms. I am saying things were better at one time.As for Sasha, he gets it when it comes to the international game, we don't. One of the reasons a number of American college players do not opt for the draft is the number of European players slotted ahead of them.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 11 months ago

I can tell you that we have infinite more freedom, with or without the Patriot Act, compared to Russia, China, North Korea, Afghanistan Iraq and countless other countries. It's insulting to the people of those countries to wine about not having freedom here, we have it very good. Be thankful for what we have and lose the ridiculous assertions based on some window-dressing legislation.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 11 months ago

nutflush and other: This is a great situation for Kaun and there is still a pretty good liklihood that Kaun would still be drafted, especially by a potential Veteran team that doesn't really need him now. This is a perfect situation for him to make great money and work on his game without the pressures of producing right away, plus he'll be right in his backyard. What a great opportunity for Sasha. LaJayhawk: You should watch the Olympics this summer because Olympic basketball is a better and more talented version of college basketball and you'll see some of the best basketball you've ever seen once it gets to the quarterfinals and elimination rounds. Plus, you're going to be introduced to a 17 year old point guard from Spain named Ricky Rubio which is a basketball prodigy and will most likely be the #1 pick in next year's draft. He's been playing in the top European Professional divsion the last 2 years. That's why you should watch this summers basketball olympics.

cobweb 11 years, 11 months ago

Sasha's a class act. Don't underestimate him.

tis4tim 11 years, 11 months ago

DC,I don't think checking out "Ramona Quimby" or "Superfudge" will cause any red flags in the FBI database. So, I'm pretty sure you have nothing to worry about. I'd avoid "Dianetics" if I were you, though.Oh, and everybody knows it's the aliens that monitor the FBI.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 11 months ago

My bad, I got that Cal State info from a dubious source.But the point still stands as far as going from playing in Russia to the NBAThanks for not taking it personally Nutflush.

tdub 11 years, 11 months ago

Many of you don't seem to realize how the League has progressed internationally. Several players will be drafted this year that will sign with European teams (or continue to play with their current teams) until the NBA team is ready for them. Remember, the NBA teams are only drafting for the "right" to a player, not for immediate attendance at camps and on their bench.Sasha is striking while the iron is still hot from the national championship. It will in NO way influence his draftability on Thursday. Congrats to him.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Probably the smart move. Now he can get the guaranteed big money, pick up some more experience, and then eventually move the the League. With his size and athleticism, I have no doubt he will be in the NBA in a few years.Good luck Sasha.

Joe Ross 11 years, 11 months ago

Lajayhawk.Ive been watching your posts. Very impressed.

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

I'll copy and paste it over this other story later if you want to read the final edition story from last night, gb

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

tis4tim......Thanks for helping to make my point. DC is building up a straw man so he can knock it down on his "the FBI can request my book list" claim.Let's be clear, DC. If you are a law-abiding citizen, the FBI and local law enforcement have no reason to cleck your library habits. If you are a garden variety criminal and the FBI or local law enforcement have "probable cause" to request your library habits in conjunction with an investigation of a crime, it's perfectly legal.Now, when it comes to the Patriot Act and FISA, the FBI's authority is only expanded INSOFAR as it has to do with TERRORISM. If you're a terrorist or suspected of conspiring with terrorists, you better watch what books you check out.Otherwise, I wouldn't worry too much about the FBI's authority to check your library habits.And DC, you refused to answer my request for evidence of one (1) specific incident where the administration or FBI have been guilty of tapping innocent American's phone conversations in violation of the Patriot Act or FISA. Therefore, I guess your obfuscation of the issue means that you do not HAVE any specific evidence.Until you get serious about answering the point, I'm not addressing the questions you interjected to obscure the issues I addressed with you.I'm sorry for getting political, guys. But I'm not going to listen to Eurekahwk put down the USA by saying that we have fewer freedoms than Russia after the Patriot Act and I'm not going to let the leftist drivel spew forth from DC without question.

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Ya know ... the last time we mixed politics and religion, people got burned at the stake!http://www.northernsun.com/n/s/5895.html

frompekka2sasha 11 years, 11 months ago

Congrats to Sasha. I wish he would have played in the states but I respect his decision to go back home. Will a team actually draft him knowing that he is playing in Russia anyway? Thanks for your strong play in the NCAA's, Sasha. We would have never been NCAA Champs without ya!!

Nutflush21 11 years, 11 months ago

Sasha is delusional if he thinks he still has a chance to be drafted this year after signing this contract. If playing in the NBA was truly his desire, then he should have waited until the draft is over to sign this contract. But if he wanted to go back home to play all along, then congratulations. Im sure he will be happy to be back in his home land playing the game he loves.

actorman 11 years, 11 months ago

Kind of hard to provide any specific evidence when the entire administration manages to "lose" months of emails and/or refuses to ever provide anything specific to investigators. But KU manages to do a great job of quoting the same old "patriotic" conservative jargon which has been spewed forth year after year, that anything done in the name of "security" is acceptable. You know, if we made our country more like a police state I'm sure we'd have even less crime. Who needs a silly old thing like the constitution anyway?As for Sasha, it sounds like a great move for him, and I'm sure he will continue to exhibit the same class and work ethic that he did the entire time he was at KU. Best of luck to the big Russian!

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

Eurekahwk......I see you've been swallowing the leftist propaganda about the Patriot Act. Nobody's trying to tap your phone line.How dare you say that Russians have more freedoms than American citizens since the Patriot Act was passed. Thousands of great Americans have served and died during the past 235 years to protect your right to live the small, unexamined life you have chosen.You can thank the Patriot Act--in part--for helping to prevent another 9-11 to this point. Is the Patriot Act perfect? No. But neither is the terrorist-threatened world we live in.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 11 months ago

Russian basketball is HUGE now, especially the team he signed with. Didn't you guys see the big spread SI did on it? Trajon Langdon plays for that team, and they won a European championship. The money and hoopla is big, real big. This is a great deal for Sasha, I wish him the best. I was a fan from the very beginning.

stanfordstarter 11 years, 11 months ago

Good call going to Russia, lets be realistic Kaun doesnt have all the tools to play at the next level yet and I dont know if he ever will(although he has improved greatly these last 2 years). Basketball is booming in europe andcommissioner David Stern is even considering new plans to create five full-fledged NBA franchises in Europe over the next decade.congrats sasha

Ben Kane 11 years, 11 months ago

new espn mock draft has chalmers 12, rush 15, and arthur 18.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I would Gary. I don't get the Journal World out here in LA, so all I see is the internet stories.

jaybate 11 years, 11 months ago

The best way for Sasha to be more than a plug in the NBA is to go some where and play every day for full games for a couple of years.He was just turning into a basketball player the last third of his senior year (rather than an automaton), even though he was only playing 15-20 minutes a game. If his knee stays healthy and he develops what Danny taught him on offense, he'll be in the NBA in three years. Can you imagine what a monster he's going to be physically in three years?That knee of his is going to get stronger and stronger. Good wheels equal good footwork. Good footwork allows you to develop three offensive moves out of the post. Three offensive moves out of the post, plus 30 more pounds equal a serious role player for a long time in the NBA.

Robin Smith 11 years, 11 months ago

this will actually boost his stock for getting drafted in the NBA because now a team can draft him (claim dibs on a future Kaun), let him develop on someone else's watch and buck without it affecting the NBA team's luxury tax, and then bring him back after he's improved even further a few years down the line. My prediction is that San Antonio does just this towards the end of the second round. This definitely does not hurt his chances to play in the NBA.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

One more thing, I think with his size and potential (and current ability defensively) he would be drafted and would get a spot on a roster this year in the NBA. But I think it's pretty obvious he will make more money in Russia, and he have a chance to improve at a professional level.If he makes the Russian Olympic team, I may actually watch that event this year.....

jaybate 11 years, 11 months ago

I just hope someone in Washington DC doesn't do something stupid in Iran that gets us into a war with Russia. I don't want Sasha in harms way...or us.

Chris Weaver 11 years, 11 months ago

BS kushaw -my boy sasha just threw his association card away. nobody will draft him and many have said that he had a promising career ahead of him.the only way this makes sense is if sasha's deep desire was to go home - and let's face it - he had less complaints than robinson and jackson.i was looking forward to watching him and now i am sad. and by the way - this year's olympic team will obliterate all challengers. USA gold by 20 a game.

NH_JHawk 11 years, 11 months ago

nobody can blame him for going home. remember this? Sasha was a beast that night!http://www2.kusports.com/photos/galle...

Nutflush21 11 years, 11 months ago

Boulderhawk- How far up your ass did you have to reach for this gem about AK-47? "Graduated from Cal State Sonoma, drafted by Utah even though he played at Sonoma." He played professionally in Russia since the age of 15. Utah drafted him in 1999 WHEN HE WAS 18 YEARS OLD and playing for CSKA in Russia. Sounds like you've been reading wikipedia.

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 11 months ago

Couldn't leave this one alone.Hey rockchalkjayhalk81, You do know that Russia is no longer communist. Hence the name change....

jayhawkliz 11 years, 11 months ago

Congrats Sasha! I know you will do well and good luck, be safe!

hawk4evr 11 years, 11 months ago

Eurekahwk, maybe you should jump on the freedom plane and move to Russia with Sasha.Sasha's numerous weakness will be exposed in the Olympics. He wouldn't even get a sniff of interest from our Olympic team and yet Russia thinks he will be a starter for theirs. Looking forward to that game. I think it's great that he got a seven figure contract ( is that in rubles or marbles). His 15 minutes of fame are over in the US. I hope he enjoyed his stay because he will not be back to play in the NBA.

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

DC......Since people usually try to be as general and vague as possible when it comes to complaints about the Patriot Act because they just repeat the general and vague rumors they hear: 1) Can you please reference a SPECIFIC case where the FBI or other law enforcement agency has been found guilty of your charge of wire tapping person to person calls within the United States without probably cause suggesting that at least one of the parties was related to terrorist activity? No? How about a SPECIFIC case where the current Adminstration, as you have claimed, has supported the same?2) Regarding your "scare tactic" claim that the Patriot Act allows the FBI to obtain lists of books checked out by patrons: The Patriot Act is designed to give the FBI expanded powers to combat terrorism.....NOT the garden variety criminal. Therefore, I'm sure the FBI has a way of scanning books that have been identified as particularly inciting terrorists. They are scanning lists of books, NOT individual library patrons, for a PATTERN of book checkouts that would give PROBABLE CAUSE to the FBI to suspect terrorist involvement. They are not checking each individual's list of book checkouts to see how many of the Top 100 Novels Of All Time you have read; nor are they scanning book checkouts of non-terrorist related content that may promote illegal, criminal activity (cannibalism or child abuse).At this point, you haven't really given me any evidence of freedoms that law-abiding US citizens have relinquished due to the Patriot Act. If the above two "examples" are all you've got, you don't have much of a case against the Patriot Act.Is the Patriot Act perfect? No. There is always the chance that an overreaching agency could go too far and impinge upon personal freedoms. But the same could be said for ANY federal law. The important thing is that judicial oversite is in place to check the overreaching agency in case such an occurence takes place.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

jross-Thanks man.Gary-I'm glad you said that because that's exactly what I was going to say. It was reported (perhaps, you were the one who reported it) that Sasha was offered 7 figures in Russia. He would make (more than likely) significantly less in the League IF he made a team, AND he is actually going to play a good deal of minutes over there. Now, stanfordstarter, by "play" do you mean make a team or actually see minutes? Because Sasha would more than likely make a NBA squad right now. A big, 6-11 center who can rebound and defend is ALWAYS wanted. His offense really isn't that big of a deal: Will Purdue, Dennis Rodman (not a true center but you get the point), Scott Pollard, Vlade Divac, the list could go on for days. However, what Sasha will gain in Russia is a lot of playing time with higher caliber players than in college. He will improve and increase his stock in the League. And he will end up in the NBA in a couple years (barring injury).And, finally, kushaw, that was actually a bit of a joke aimed at the previous USA "teams" that have been Olympic jokes recently. I know I will watch a fair amount of the bball games, as they do tend to be rather interesting at the Olympic level. Thanks for the info, though. I will keep an eye out for Rubio.

mwilliam 11 years, 11 months ago

KU, I think those "Thousands of great Americans..." are turning in their graves at the freedoms that North Americans have lost as a result of the Patroit Act. One has to be very naive or totally stupid to think that we have the same freedoms we had before and for one to question what has been taken away because of the perceived threat of terrorist by some, even if they truly believe there is a terrorist threat, means that we must be living an "unexamined life" is ludicrous and straight out of FOX News.I think Sasha's stock has gone up as a result of this contract signing. Think of the teams that don't need a center at this time and don't see anything in the first two rounds that will meet their immediate needs, Sasha would be a terrific gamble; and they could use a later pick to take a chance on getting one of the players they "think" might be able to make a contribution to their current squad. I think it was a very smart move for Sasha to sign before the draft, believe it increased his position in the draft.

klineisanazi 11 years, 11 months ago

rockchalkjayhawk81: Thanks for your post. Very uninformed. Now go back to watching Fox News.

Eurekahwk 11 years, 11 months ago

That "5 hours of freedom" comment was pretty ignorant. Since our Bill of Rights have been superceded by the Patriot Act, they probably enjoy more freedoms in Russia than we do in America.

KU 11 years, 11 months ago

mwilliam.....Please name some of the freedoms we--American citizens--have lost due to the Patriot Act. I'd like you to enumerate them so I can debunk the leftist propaganda.

DCJayhawk0208 11 years, 11 months ago

How about warrantless wiretapping, KU? The administration has used the Patriot Act to justify tapping person-to-person calls within the United States without a warrant. It's not just a call between terrorists routed through the US, or a terrorist-to-US citizen call (both of which fall under previous FISA court jurisdiction), it's person-to-person calls within the US.Or the fact that the original Patriot Act required libraries to turn over lists of books checked out by their patrons?The Patriot Act has "prevented" another terrorist attack? Give me a break. I'm not sure where you live, but where I live, the only thing preventing "another 9/11" is dumb luck.And, frankly, the Iraq war is making it MORE likely we'll be attacked, not less.Leftist propaganda? How about the tendency of the right to question of patriotism of anyone who doesn't fully support the President?And, finally, the more you live in fear, the more you depend on cleverly-named but ineffectual laws, the more freedom you give up in the name of some ephemeral 'security?'When the goal of a terrorist is to instill terror, doesn't that mean that, just maybe, we're not really winning?

DCJayhawk0208 11 years, 11 months ago

KU, you seem to be fighting "general and vague" with "general and vague."Can you please cite a specific instance where the Bush administration needed more than the 72-hour window allowed by the FISA court for a retroactive warrant? No? Well, then why did the administration need to bypass the FISA court?And, had any Bush administration official actually obeyed Congressional subpoenas and answered questions, maybe there would be a criminal case against the administration for those calls, which ARE allowed under the Patriot Act.On point 2, you ask me to prove something because "you're sure" I'm wrong. How about this? Section 215 of of HR 3162, the USA Patriot Act, specifically states that the FBI can request "the production of any tangible things (including books....)" Your comment about "scanning lists of books" does not stand up to any scrutiny whatsoever. In fact, the FBI has the right to request library records of individuals. And who, exactly, monitors the FBI? Who determines whether the FBI is acting constitutionally? Isn't transparency a better answer than blind trust?

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

Great post jaybate. Sasha is going to make NBA lottery money in Russia, foiks.No reason to not go there for a couple years.He would have been a second round pick here at best and never played.Now he will make huge money, get a chance to develop even more into a 15 minute man in the NBA.He's excited; fans should be for him as well.He's doing what he wants to do. As he said he's "pumped."He might have been a late second round pick, might havve made a team to sit the bench. Now he starts, plays big minutes, makes huge money.Toast some vodka to Sasha.

sevenyearhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

So much better to see a JAYHAWK ON THE FRONT, eh?***(there's a possibility this franchise could become part of the NBA if the league expands into Europe.)SESS-ka refers to CSKA, or Central Sports Army Club, the home team for this February basketball game in Moscow. The celebrated organization dates to the Soviet days of Stalin and Khrushchev and Brezhnev, who ruled the army generals and also, by chain of command, the gold medalists competing for CSKA....It's true: CSKA is run by a deejay named Sergey Kushchenko, a genial, outgoing 46-year-old who was spinning LPs of the Beatles and bootlegging cassettes of the Rolling Stones even as Soviet coach Alexander Gomelsky and five CSKA players were leading the U.S.S.R. to an 82-76 win over the U.S. at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul....The NBA has recognized the ambitions of Kushchenko, and over the last three years he has patiently negotiated a unique relationship between his progressive club and the NBA. Commissioner David Stern usually prefers to marry himself to international federations or leagues, but so important is CSKA to all of basketball in Russia, and so visionary is Kushchenko, that in February the NBA was ready to sign a deal with CSKA that would open the Russian frontier to opportunities benefiting both sides.http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/ian_thomsen/04/22/russian.revolution0428/index.html

DCJayhawk0208 11 years, 11 months ago

KU, you are hysterical. When the administration denies Congressional subpoena power and oversight consists of "just trust us," how do you expect an incident of illegal wiretapping be uncovered, let alone taken to court?As of right now, there are no instances I know of where the the FBI or the administration has been convicted of illegally wiretapping civilians.The flip side of that coin, however, is that, without a transparency this government is sorely lacking, you cannot prove that said wiretapping has not taken place.Along those lines, your argument that, paraphrasing, if you have nothing to hide, it shouldn't matter if someone is looking at the library books you check out or listening to your phone calls, is ridiculous. You are abdicating your right to privacy as a citizen of this country."Leftist drivel?" When, at last, your clever questions which miss the point don't seem to hack it, please, please throw around more names. I find that being called a "leftist" or a Marxist or a Communist or a terrorist sympathizer raises the level of discourse infinitely.I'm done with this conversation, too, KU.

actorman 11 years, 11 months ago

DC, you're crazy. Don't you know that if you're a brain-washed, right-wing, religious zealot who never questions anything the government does and has never been to a Muslim prayer meeting, you have absolutely nothing to fear?

yates33333 11 years, 11 months ago

At last a reason to cheer for Russia. Eurekahwk if you believe Putin is making Russia a nation of freedom and civil liberty you believe in dignity at MU.

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

i'll have some more on him in my notes tomorrow. gb

Dan Pawlowski 11 years, 11 months ago

I love all of the , "lets keep this non political" comments made at the end of someone's political post.What they meant to say was "After I have had my say lets keep this on sports". So in the same spirit,Oh my God , Sasha moved to his LEFT hand this year, No wonder he went back to Russia the commy atheist. But seriously folks lets keep this on sports.Congrats Sasha. You were awesome at Kansas, You made great progress on your game AND You graduated with a degree in Computer Science (With a great GPA from what I understand). That is really the important accomplishment.Way to go!

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

There was more info in my final story that actually appeared in the paper but not on the Internet for some reason.It quoted Sasha as saying he definitely would be playing in Russia next season no matter where he is taken in draft on Thursday. This is an iron clad deal (no pun intended).His salary will be 650,000 euro dollars which is about a mill in the U.S.He has a buyout that would let him come back to U.S. after two seasons if he has progressed to where an NBA team would give him big money.Modern technology...this is my early story. But those are the highlights of the other one that was in the paper.

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

One addition: I wonder if there's a tinge of jealousy Mr. Kaun is about to become a millionaire at 23. Just askin.

Ed Fox 11 years, 11 months ago

Gary-Thanks for the follow-up. I'm sure that many of us would like to read the entire story - in particular instead of the crap that's been going on in these comments.Seriously, people, shut up. This is a sports board. The Patriot Act comment was out of line, but so the reaction to it is too. "I won't sit by..." Whatever. It costs you nothing to ignore a post that doesn't belong and doesn't affect you one way or another. You're not going to change his mind or vice versa so deal.Lebowski - great post about Sasha. He's been a true credit to the team and the University and we should all be proud that he'll be providing for himself and his family for a long time to come. Hopefully this will translate into a real NBA opportunity sometime in the not too distant future.

oldboy 11 years, 11 months ago

I sure got tired of reading all that left handed reasoning on this, a sports spot, but I will invite all you who fear that the Patiot Act has taken away all your freedoms to get to the forum I frequent for political discussion. Get on there and find all the people who agree with you in your Bush hating ways and some of us will have fun with you.http://www.kestrelsworld.comSince this is a sports board lets think about Sasha Kaun as a Jayhawk. I don't recall any of the players being as excited with that win as Sasha was. He was roaring and acting like an uncaged wild animal and I was so happy to see him like that. He played like that kind of animal in the tournament and everybody should be very happy with what he contributed.The kid is going to make big money in Russia and be guaranteed of a spot to play and that is more than he would have got here. I agree with all that think he did the right thing. I am sure he would have been drafted and spent some time knocking around the league and maybe never played at all. This gives him a chance to become the player we all know he can become and earn a spot in the League which he will certainly do. Anybody notice this year that when he moved offensively to the left hand that he normally scored and often didn't score with the right hand. That indicates to me that he has worked very hard on that hand and the day will come when he will be a threat with either hand.Lets save this spot for sports discussion and leave the politics where they belong, somewhere else.

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

guys now i don't know if my final story appeared or not.sorry if it's a duplicate, gbSasha Kaun will begin his professional basketball career back in his native Russia.CSKA Moscow over the weekend signed the 6-foot-11 former Kansas University center from Tomsk to a three-year contract.Kaun said he would honor the contract and play in Russia next season no matter what happens in Thursday's NBA Draft."I'm very excited. I'm pumped about it," Kaun said Sunday night. "It's a good contract. It's a good club. This situation is great for me. I can play back home a couple years, and if I get drafted (Thursday), that team will hold my rights, and I could come back someday and play in the NBA."Kaun, 23, is the first player from Russia to be part of an NCAA championship team."CSKA always keeps in its field of interests all of Russia's best basketball players, especially young ones," said Andrei Vatulin, CEO of the team. "After the win in the NCAA finals, Kaun became one of the most popular players here, but I'd like to mention that we began watching him a few years ago. "Good big players have always been a rarity, and Sasha with his excellent work ethic can potentially grow into a player of NBA level. I think that our contract with a promising player who can become the starting center for the Russian national team is a very profitable investment. I am extremely happy that Russian fans will have a chance to see Sasha and the player himself chose to play for our team."Terms of Kaun's contract were not revealed by the team."The money is great over there. Guys are making seven figures," Kaun said. "There is big demand for me to play in Russia coming from the U.S. and attending an American college, and the fact there must be three Russian players on the court (on Russian pro teams) at the same time."Kaun will try out for Russia's Olympic team in July. Sixteen players have been invited to the national-team tryouts with three or four cuts to be made."The coach said if I play hard and do what I can do, I have a great chance to make it, even be playing," said Kaun, who is represented by agent Justin Zanik of New Jersey based ASM Sports.

Gary Bedore 11 years, 11 months ago

You said: "His 15 minutes of fame are over in the US. I hope he enjoyed his stay because he will not be back to play in the NBA."-- My comment is, "How the heck do you know that?" Self thinks Sasha would make an NBA team right now and I think Self has a good read on the NBA through his buddy Mr. Buford of the Spurs.Also, he has the size and he's got some ability. How do you know what is in store in terms of his possible improvement?Some people are willng to try to continue to improve. Kudos to Sasha for being willing to work on his game the next couple years while making a cool mill a year in his home country.At the age of 23 Sasha soon will cash his first check on a mill a year contract. Not half bad.Congrats to him. And I wouldn't be so sure he won't be in the NBA someday. In two years he'll be 25, still very young and if he wants to bolt Russia for the U.S., he'll be able to.

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the updated article, Gary. The contract stuff wasn't in there originally. Looks like it is now though.He'll clearly make more money over there and have the opportunity to play a lot. I just don't see how anyone thinks this is bad idea.

100 11 years, 11 months ago

Great job Sasha! Lots of Jayhawks will be rooting for you!

Tim Orel 11 years, 11 months ago

Wonder if the "Suggest removal" link will actually tone down some of the non-basketball comments here.I now will look for the Russians in the Olympics. Anyone know of any other Jayhawks going to the Olympics? Pekka? Galindo? Pierce?

LAJayhawk 11 years, 11 months ago

The Olympic team was just announced today, Pierce isn't on it. But it does look like it will be a pretty decent team, as long as they forget how to play NBA ball. This could actually be a really exciting year in that event.

CasperCorps 11 years, 11 months ago

Bummer.. He could have been a better version of Ostertag.. Does he still have to serve time in the military now? Good luck Sasha..

actorman 11 years, 11 months ago

Well said, Gary, I completely agree with you. How can anyone look at how far he's come from just starting to play in the 10th grade and not think he has tremendous potential?

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