Originally an early entry candidate for the 2003 NBA Draft before with withdrawing his name. Prior to the draft, he was diagnosed with acromegaly, a hormonal disorder that occurs when the pituitary gland produces excess growth hormone (GH). He’s currently treating the condition with medication, though surgery remains another possible course of action.
Career Notes: Was playing for his hometown team, Novosibirsk, in Russian B League, when he signed in December 2001 with Metis Varese of the Italian League. He had very little high-level playing experience and was assigned to Varese’s junior team. His progress and sheer size earned him a promotion to Varese’s team in Italy’s top league midway through the 2002-03 season. Won the silver medal at the 200 European Cadets Championship with the Russian National Team.
2003-04: Playing the full season for Varese of Italy’s top league, he appeared in 22 games, averaging 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds. Appeared in 14 games in the ULEB Cup, averaging 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds.
2002-03: Playing for Varese in the top league, he played 62 minutes over 10 games. Compiled 24 points, 20 rebounds and 10 steals in the 62 minutes. Appeared in seven games in the ULEB Cup, averaging 3.1 points and 4.9 rebounds.
2001-02: Played part of season for Varese’s junior team after signing in December 2001.
Strengths: He is a developing player with enormous size and good potential. Owns a nice shooting touch for a big man and decent mobility. According to some reports, he has a great work ethic and shows emotion on the court.
Personal: Speaks English, Italian and Russian. Favorite NBA player is Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons. Wears a size 21 shoe.