Originally published May 15, 2014 at 12:04p.m., updated May 16, 2014 at 01:12a.m.

Ukrainian basketball prospect Mykhailiuk to visit KU

Kansas University basketball recruiting.

Kansas University basketball recruiting.


Ukrainian basketball sensation Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, a 6-foot-6 wing who has been compared to the San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili and the late Drazen Petrovic, will be making a recruiting trip to Kansas University this weekend.

Mykhailiuk, who turns 17 in June, has graduated high school in Cherkasy, Ukraine and reportedly has decided to play college basketball for two seasons before entering the NBA Draft when he turns the age minimum of 19.

Several teams in Europe reportedly have been looking to sign Mykhailiuk, who is considered perhaps the top outside shooter in all of Europe. It’s still possible those teams may try to make late bids to corral the top prospect.

He played in a Ukrainian pro league last season, but reportedly was not paid, thus is eligible to compete in the U.S. in accordance with NCAA amateurism rules. He will have to go through the NCAA clearinghouse like all other athletes and have a qualifying standardized test score matched with grades in his core courses. Mykhailiuk already speaks fluent English as his high school specialized in foreign languages. His dad is a college professor.

“He is the best prospect in Europe in a long time, probably since Ricky Rubio,” writes “What Mykhailiuk showed at the recent U16 European championships was a mix of athleticism, skills and feel for the game that is extremely rare to see in a European player, or any player of his age, for that matter.”

Mykhailiuk averaged 25.2 points, 8.0 boards and 3.4 assists for the Ukrainian National Team in the 2013 FIBA Europe Under-16 championships. He scored two points off 1-of-4 shooting (0-3 from three) with two turnovers and a steal while playing 13 minutes in the World Select Team’s loss to Team USA at the Nike Hoops Summit on April 12 in Portland. He was by far the youngest player in that game.

“The Ukrainian shooting guard (at Hoops Summit practices) showed intriguing athleticism and the ability to create space or find the open man off the dribble. Throwing a number of terrific passes and knocking down a step-back 18-footer isolated on the wing in the clutch, he’s stood out on the few chances he’s had to make an impression,” wrote “Competing regularly against older players may become the norm for Mykhailiuk who has had a number of college teams come out to the Ukraine to recruit him. The son of a professor, he attends a multi-lingual school in the Ukraine, speaks very good English, and is in position to potentially commit to and attend an NCAA institution starting this fall even though he’d only be 17 years old for the duration of his freshman year, making him one of the youngest players in college basketball history. The target of a number of top-level Euroleague teams as well, Mykhailiuk is one of the more intriguing 1997-born prospects outside of the United States.”

Along with KU and Virginia, Mykhailiuk is also reportedly considering Michigan. Oregon and Iowa State have also been mentioned by some analysts.

“I’m thinking about going to pro, going to college. Both sides have advantages and disadvantages. I’m still thinking,” Mykhailiuk told Jonathan Givony of at the Nike Hoops Summit. “I play shooting guard, point guard, wing. I am a universal player from 1 (point guard) to 3 (small forward). I think I showed what I can do in the previous European Championship.

“I’m working on dribbling, shooting, everything. I do two practices every day. I want to say thanks to my club, my coach who practices with me every morning, gives me his experience and develops me to be a high level basketball player.”

Of where he wants to be in three years, he told Givony: “I want to be in the NBA like all players. I will try to reach this goal to go to the NBA.”

KU, by the way, has two scholarships left to offer players following the transfers of Naadir Tharpe and Andrew White III. KU currently has a recruiting class of Cliff Alexander, Kelly Oubre and Devonté Graham.

He can jump: A shot of former KU wing Andrew Wiggins leaping was posted on Instagram on Thursday by P3, a sports science/training company. He was testing his vertical leap and was pictured quite high off the ground. The picture went viral on social media. For a shot of Wiggins’ leap, click here.


Eliott Reeder 8 years, 3 months ago

Wish he could visit during Late Night or a good BigXII match-up. Just not the same coming through in the off-season...

Mark Lindrud 8 years, 3 months ago

With his age I am guessing he is guaranteed at least two years with us.

John Pritchett 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow, I would love to see this kid come to play for us. But I sure hope he has a nickname.

Jacob Pool 8 years, 3 months ago

Late Night is not an option if he is going to sign for this fall. Mark Lindrud the current rule states 19 years of age or one year removed from High School Graduation. So he could still be a potential one and done player.

Benz Junque 8 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 3 months ago

You got it Benz... For both international and US basketball players, they must be 19 years old as of the end of the calendar year of the draft.

We could have signed Jaquan Lyle who wanted to play at Kansas with Cliff Alexander but ended our attempt at recruiting him not knowing the scholarships would have been available. Rivals #24 shooting guard.

Rodney Crain 8 years, 3 months ago

We got the room, do we the playing time? Not so sure.

Freedman Moor 8 years, 3 months ago

Just when I was wondering what Self would do with that last scholarship...

Glen Miller 8 years, 3 months ago

We actually have two scholarships available. Unless they award one of the walk ons a schollie for a year.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm kind of hoping that we do that with both scholarships Glen. Without any graduating seniors on scholarship, we might not have any available next year.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago


1] S & M....uhh..maybe not!!

2] Skydunk Mykhailiuk.

3] Comrade Combo.

4] The Insanian Ukranian.

5] " for a pro basketball team overseas"...since he is already overseas, does that mean America?? :).

6] The Rushin' Russian.

7] The translation for Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is the Uke Nuke. It would be worth it to have him come to KU just to hear Dickie V try to pronounce his name. LOL!!

Walter Bridges 8 years, 3 months ago

Dickie V would simply pull a John Travolta as would several other announcers. I actually like your first idea but no chance of that going over. I think #4 tops your list but would just shorten it to the Insane Ukraine.

If Ukrainian, he might not like any nickname associated with anything Russian.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 3 months ago

Depends on which part of Ukraine he's from. There's plenty of regions in Ukraine that are very pro-Russian. Those regions are mostly in the east and south with the west being mostly pro Western Europe. The town he's originally from is pretty close to where the line be pro-Russian and pro Western Europe supporter so I don't know what his opinion would likely be on the issues. Agree or disagree with what's going on over there, the end game is going be Ukraine being split into two countries.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 3 months ago

Of course Aaron...I was just making a quick observation. I'm sure you've heard of the Holodamor when Stalin killed an estimated 5.5 - 7.5 million Ukrainians by starvation. I can pretty much guarantee that the percentage of ethnic Ukrainians who are pro-Russian is not very large.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow! This kid comes from Cherkasy, Ukraine on the right bank of the Dnieper River … a massive historical area!

Cherkasy was the center of the Cossacks particapate in the fight against the Tatars and Tuurks. The city has experienced political swings from rule under Lithuania, Poland, the USSR and recently independence. The Dnieper east is the region Putin is trying to take back to Mother Russia.

The city was one of the objectives of Stalin’s “Great Purge”In June ’41 Hitler launched Barbarossa and by the 22nd the Wehrmacht bombed Cherkasy for over two months leveling the city. After Soviet “liberation” in ’43, Stalin continued his abysmal redistributive social and economic policies.

This kid, and his family, has seen some hard time…for like the past 1,000 years! His choice seems to be the quick bucks for European Pro ball or come to Kansas to get ready for the NBA and the really big bucks. He better act quickly because if Putin goes over the Dnieper, it might be a lot tougher getting out of Russia anytime soon.

I’d love to talk to this kid….or rather his parents and grandparents.

Joe Baker 8 years, 3 months ago

Myk pro. "Mick" ... it's got to be short and easy to say instantly on the court for a fast brk or pass. Self has to get him off the bench and to the table for subbing. So make it easy.

Also, make sure Sasha is in town during his visit. It wouldn't hurt to have Langford there for a little Russian support.

Vernon Riggs 8 years, 3 months ago

One-And-Done or Two-And-Thru? Depends on the NBA. Will they change the rule this summer? If so, will it go into effect for the 2015 Draft. I hope so!

How about the Czar?

Freedman Moor 8 years, 3 months ago

That name wouldn't happen to be pronounced "Meek-uh-leek", as in Julius, would it? That brings back memories! LOL Does anyone else remember the Julius Michalik running one-handed hook floater from back in the 80's? The Big Eight was the best!!

Bud Bortner 8 years, 2 months ago

So? Anybody have an idea how his visit went?

Tracy Atherton 8 years, 2 months ago

I would rather the minutes that would go to this kid go to Greene. Greene needs the minutes to fully develop and contribute. I think Greene has earned the chance and certainly can become a remarkable 3 - 4 year player if given the playing time. I hope he gives Hoiberg a shot; Iowa State would be a good fit for him and would afford the opportunity to watch him play. KU needs better competition in the Big 12.

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 2 months ago

Tracy, r u an Iowa State, troll? Why would you want a possible game changing player, to go to a league rival, where he could possibly help de-thrown your team, as champs? This is an intelligence test, and you failed! Also, I have not heard anything yet, on how his visit to K.U., went, although I heard that he came on Friday, and left on Saturday. I'm very curious about his visit!

Bud Bortner 8 years, 2 months ago

Well....I don't think we need wonder how the visit went. It obviously went great!

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