Sports stars played in Norilsk

Sports stars played in Norilsk

June 14, 2024

A friendly match with the participation of CSKA stars packed a full Aika sport hall.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Basketball stars – the CSKA main team players – met in a friendly match at the Aika sports hall in mixed teams with the Norilsk amateurs.

CSKA players arrived in the northern city at the invitation of the general sponsor, organizer and owner of the club, the Nornickel company. Starship troopers were the team captain Semyon Antonov, forward Samson Ruzhentsev, center Tony Jekiri, point guard Casper Ware and head coach Andreas Pistiolis, who took charge of CSKA before the playoffs start.

In addition to the red-blue stars, famous players of the Russian national basketball team came to the Arctic – silver medalists of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo Olga and Evgenia Frolkin, bronze medalist of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and European champion Anton Ponkrashov.

For this meeting, the rivals took the code names Palladium and Nickel. To ensure fair play, the team captains, consisting of Nornickel athletes, drew lots on the field to determine which of the star athletes would strengthen their squads. As a result, Casper Ware, Tony Jekiri, Anton Pankrashov and Evgenia Frolkina played for Nickel, while the Palladium team included Samson Ruzhentsev, Victor Pavlenko and Olga Frolkina.

Thanks to the professional training by the star guests, the game was managed correctly in the shortest possible time, despite the fact that the teams played with such a composition for the first time. Effective shots came one after another, including multi-point shots from long distance, and personal ones, invented specifically for the match.

So, once in the Star Match or Nornickel zones, players could earn four points instead of three. And by pressing a special red button on the field and then having time to throw the ball into the opponent’s hoop within a minute, they could double the points. But that’s not all.

Two heroes of the comic universe came to help the teams – Batman and Joker. They entered the field for a minute and, in the event of a successful attack, brought six points to their team. By the way, popular athletes were hiding behind the masks of the characters – Kirill Miroshnichenko, a participant in various dunk contests, became Batman, and Miroslav Yeletsky, the absolute champion of the contests, became the Joker.

Almost the entire game, the opponents took turns winning back the leading positions, but overall they were on par, exchanging shots and adding points to themselves one by one. In the end, with a score of 136:136, friendship won according to the golden classical rule.

The friendly match ended with the determination of the best player of the meeting: based on the total points scored from a four-point shooting point, Roman Rozov from the Nickel team became the winner. He received a stylized figurine in the shape of a basket with a ball in it and the title Most Valuable Player of the Match.

“I didn’t expect to become the best player, it feels great, of course. I thought Viсtor Pavlenko would be the best”, Roman Rozov shared. “Thank the company for paying such increased attention to sports and organizing such meetings with a professional basketball club. You see the stands full – this is an indicator that everyone in this city loves sports”.

As the star athletes later admitted, they met the northerners on the court with great pleasure, because the local basketball players played with all their dedication and showed considerable skill.

“This is the second time I come here and every time I get only positive emotions. It’s very nice that we are loved in this city. Norilsk athletes are super. Progress is visible compared to the previous city. They play at a very good level,” noted Samson Ruzhentsev.

Norilsk basketball players were delighted with the match. Not just to play with professionals, but to experience a completely different level of basketball and speed.

“We always come to Norilsk with great joy, because here we are warmly welcomed, here they root for us”, said Andrey Vatutin, the CSKA club’s general director. “And it’s doubly pleasant that this time we brought not only our best players, our coach, but also the VTB League championship cup. We will try to play just as well and bring a new cup next year to please all CSKA fans”.

Norilsk is regularly visited by world and domestic sports stars: basketball players, football players, hockey players, curlers and biathletes. The city can rightfully be called the sports capital of the Arctic.

Nornickel is actively developing corporate sports and is considered one of the most sports-oriented companies in Russia in the field of both professional and amateur sports. Its portfolio includes projects throughout the country and at the international level. Nornickel views the support of high-achievement sports as the most important tool for the development of mass and children’s and youth sports, therefore, on an ongoing basis, it supports the development of sports in its business responsibility regions and in the country as a whole, acts as the main partner of many outstanding sporting events in Russia, increasing its contribution to a piggy bank of our country’s sports potential. At the same time, the company is systematically working to develop the sports environment in the Arctic, and the visit of world-class athletes is one of the elements of this long-term program.

We previously wrote that basketball player Casper Ware signed a contract with CSKA for another two years. The signing of the document took place at a depth of 750 meters.

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Text: Maria Ivanova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko

June 14, 2024

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