Kirilenko Wins 2012 Europlayer Award
Andrei Kirilenko has been named the 2012 winner of the EuroPlayer Award, given annually to the best European basketball player by the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. The EuroPlayer is judged on the basis of both sports club and national team performances and accomplishments, and is decided upon by a committee composed of coaches, players and sportswriters from 14 different countries.
Kirilenko’s 2012 basketball resume is impressive, boasting an Olympic bronze medal, a Euroleague finals appearance with CSKA Moscow, 2012 Euroleague MVP honors, and a return to the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves where he is averaging 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game.
Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis and German power forward Dirk Nowitzki currently hold the record for most wins with six. Croatian small forward Toni Kukoč is next on the list with five. Nowitzki holds the record for most consecutive wins with five.
Kirilenko joins a small list of former EuroPlayer winners who played in a European league during part of the year they won the award.