Ivan Pynko: «I admire Georgy Zhbanov. He is like a big brother to me»

Ivan Pynko: «I admire Georgy Zhbanov. He is like a big brother to me»

Uralmash guard Ivan Pynko named three basketball players he admires.

«I’ll name those people I know personally and in whom I see authority.

What surprises me is the very strong Will Clyburn mentality, who played for CSKA – he never doubts himself at all, like, in fact, all his teammates. He also gave me a lot of good advice.

Also Nikita Kurbanov – he has a great career, I’ve been following him since I was a kid, I liked him a lot. It was like a dream come true when I ended up on the same team with him. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t talk to him about defence, actions on the court, or ask for advice: Nikita has a very high game intelligence. I was very shy at the time and didn’t dare. It’s funny that I didn’t shy away from talking to Will Clyburn, not knowing English at all.

And I also admire Georgy Zhbanov from Zenit, he is like an older brother to me – we have been friends since I was 12 years old, and I am grateful to him for many things. He proved to me by his example that if you work, train and persevere, you can achieve great success, that’s why Georgy is at the top of this list! Very soon we’ll see each other on the floor as rivals, but there will be no friends: he’s my main opponent on the court!»

The former CSKA player also explained why he chose basketball.

«Everyone says that basketball is the best ball game. Of course, when I was a kid, I loved football, and I still do: I watch it and play in the summer, in my free time from training.

Basketball always seemed to me an adult game, because only senior guys played basketball in my neighborhood. I watched it and thought: Man, how cool, I’ll grow up and play too.»