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Andrei Kirilenko

February 23, 2012 by staff 

Andrei Kirilenko, Andrei Gennadyevich Kirilenko (born 18 February 1981) is a Russian-American professional basketball player who plays at the small forward position for the CSKA Moscow in the Russian Professional Basketball League. He also plays for the Russia national basketball team. He is 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) tall and weighs 103 kg (227 lb).

At fifteen, Kirilenko began playing professional basketball in his native Russia with the Russian Basketball Super League. The Utah Jazz drafted him in 1999, and he became the first Russian player selected in the first round of a draft and youngest European player drafted. After the draft, Kirilenko spent two years with PBC CSKA Moscow and played with the Russian national team in the 2000 Summer Olympics. In 2001, Kirilenko joined the Jazz. In the NBA, he played in the 2004 All-Star Game, was an NBA All-Defensive Team pick for three seasons, and made the NBA All-Rookie Team after his first season. In 2011, Kirilenko became an American citizen.

He is sometimes nicknamed AK47 because his initials are AK and his jersey number is 47, and the fact that Andrei was born in the city of Izhevsk in the former Soviet Union (Russia), where the weapon is manufactured.

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