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Leagues VTB United League
Founded 1991
History 1991–present
Arena Basket Hall Arena
Arena Capacity 7,500
Location Kazan, Russia
Team colors Green, White
President Yevgeny Bogachev
Head coach Evgeniy Pashutin
Championships 3 Russian Cups
2003, 2009, 2014
1 North European League
1 FIBA Europe League
1 Eurocup
Website unics.ru
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours

BC UNICS (Russian: БК "УНИКС") is a professional basketball club in Kazan, Russia playing in the VTB United League. Their home arena is Basket Hall Arena.

Though officially the professional club was founded in 1991 (when began its appearance at the lowest of pro leagues), UNICS traces its origin back to KSU's college team Burevestnik which participated in USSR student championships since 1957 winning all-Soviet college title twice - in 1965 and 1970. Because of this the name 'UNICS' is quite an abbreviation - UNI(versity), C(ulture), S(port).

In 1997 it was promoted to the Russian Basketball Super League 'A', the top Russian league. A year later Yevgeny Bogachev, the chairman of the National Bank of the Republic of Tatarstan, became the president of the club.


The club has gone a long way towards helping Russian basketball since the club was established in 1991. Between 1994 and 1997, UNICS secured a berth in Russia's first division, and then made a smashing debut, establishing itself among the top five teams in the country. UNICS already played European competitions in 1997, but the new millennium happened to be a turning point for the club. The team placed second to CSKA in the Russian Basketball Super League in 2001 and 2002, the year in which it also reached the Saporta Cup semifinals, losing against Maroussi in the semifinals. UNICS first title was the Russian Cup in March 2003, with an electrifying 81-82 overtime victory over CSKA. UNICS fans did not have to wait long to see their team win a European title, too. Kazan hosted the FIBA Europe League final four, named now FIBA EuroCup, in April 2004 and UNICS made sure of its opportunity. UNICS signed Saulius Štombergas, Eurelijus Žukauskas or Chris Anstey, won its regular season group and advanced to the final four on its own floor, where it was crowned the FIBA Europe League champion as MVP Martin Müürsepp scored 22 points in an 87-63 win over Maroussi in the title game. By 2005-06, UNICS went one level up and made its ULEB Cup debut, tying the best regular season record in the competition's history. Things turned south quickly, as it lost at home against Roma for the only time all season in the eighth finals’ second leg and crashed out earlier than expected. UNICS got stronger for last season, keeping the core group of the previous seasons side while adding Darjuš Lavrinovič to reunite with twin brother Kšyštof Lavrinovič in a twin towers set full of talent. The team made it to the ULEB Cup semifinals before losing to eventual champs Real Madrid. It also returned to the Russian League finals, losing against perennial champion CSKA. UNICS is back in the ULEB Cup with the only goal to reach even higher and make the city of Kazan proud of its mighty basketball team.

In 2007-08, UNICS made it to the ULEB Cup Final Eight, but fell to Akasvayu Girona in the quarterfinals. Last season UNICS broke through in the Eurocup, winning its regular season and Last 16 groups before sweeping its quarterfinal series against Pepsi Caserta. Once in Finals, Unics thrashed KK Cedevita 87–66 in the semifinals behind 27 points from Lyday and registered a no-doubt-about-it 92–77 win against Cajasol Sevilla in the title game. Popovic had 18 points and a Eurocup final record 11 assists to lead UNICS to the title. In the Russian League, UNICS marched to a 21–6 record to finish the regular season atop the standings with room to spare, but then went out in the playoff semifinals after a grueling five-game duel against BC Khimki. Now this blossoming club enters new waters eager to prove it belongs among the continent’s best in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague.

On the heels of one of the greatest seasons in club history, UNICS looks to continue Its rise to greatness as it makes its Euroleague debut. The reigning Eurocup champion was a force to be reckoned with last year, not only marching through the Eurocup, but also making noise in the Russian League, where it finished first at the end of the regular season and reached the playoff semifinals. One of the secrets to the club’s success is that it has managed to keep a core of star players for several years. Players like Marko Popović, Maciej Lampe, Terrell Lyday, Vladimir Veremeenko and Kelly McCarty have helped write a golden chapter in UNICS history. Before that, UNICS put Kazan, Russia, on the European basketball map and became the perfect ambassador for the sports-crazy Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian federation.

Season by season[edit]

Season Tier Division Pos. Postseason Cup competition European competitions Regional competitions
1997–98 1 Superleague A 5 Seventh place 3 Korać Cup – Group stage
1998–99 1 Superleague A 5 Fifth place 2 Saporta Cup – Eightfinals
1999–00 1 Superleague A 3 Third place 3 Korać Cup – Eightfinals
2000–01 1 Superleague A 2 Runner-up 2 Saporta Cup – Semifinals
2001–02 1 Superleague A 2 Runner-up 2 Saporta Cup – Quarterfinals
2002–03 1 Superleague A 3 Third place Winner 3 FIBA Champions Cup – Quarterfinals NEBL – Winner
2003–04 1 Superleague A 2 Runner-up Third place 3 FIBA Europe League – Winner
2004–05 1 Superleague A 3 Third place Runner-up 3 FIBA Europe League – Quarterfinals
2005–06 1 Superleague A 4 Fourth place Third place 2 ULEB Cup – Eightfinals
2006–07 1 Superleague A 2 Runner-up Runner-up 2 ULEB Cup – Semifinals
2007–08 1 Superleague A 3 Sixth place Semifinals 2 ULEB Cup – Quarterfinals
2008–09 1 Superleague A 4 Third place Winner 2 Eurocup – Top 16
2009–10 1 Superleague A 3 Third place Runner-up 2 Eurocup – Top 16 VTB League – Runner-up
2010–11 1 PBL 1 Third place 2 Eurocup – Winner VTB League – Third place
2011–12 1 PBL 6 Fifth place 1 Euroleague – Quarterfinals VTB League – Runner-up
2012–13 1 PBL 6 2 Eurocup – Quarterfinals VTB League – Quarterfinals
2013–14 1 VTB United League 1 Semifinalist Champion 2 Eurocup – Runner-up


Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

BC UNICS Kazan roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
SG 4 United States White, James 70002009999999999992.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 700198000000000000098 kg (216 lb) 32 – (1982-10-21)21 October 1982
SG 5 United States Langford, Keith 70001930000000000001.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 700190000000000000090 kg (198 lb) 31 – (1983-09-15)15 September 1983
SF 7 Russia Ponkrashov, Anton 70002000000000000002.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 700193000000000000093 kg (205 lb) 29 – (1986-04-23)23 April 1986
G 10 Russia Bykov, Sergei 70001900000000000001.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 700192000000000000092 kg (203 lb) 32 – (1983-02-26)26 February 1983
SF 11 Russia Likhodey, Valery 70002040000000000002.04 m (6 ft 8 in) 7002100000000000000100 kg (220 lb) 28 – (1986-10-23)23 October 1986
F 12 Russia Panin, Vadim 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 7002100000000000000100 kg (220 lb) 31 – (1984-02-10)10 February 1984
SF 13 Georgia (country) Sanikidze, Viktor 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 7002100000000000000100 kg (220 lb) 29 – (1986-04-01)1 April 1986
PF 15 Russia Gubanov, Petr 70002069999999999992.07 m (6 ft 9 in) 7002105000000000000105 kg (231 lb) 28 – (1987-04-03)3 April 1987
C 20 Russia Sokolov, Dmitri 70002140000000000002.14 m (7 ft 0 in) 7002102000000000000102 kg (225 lb) 30 – (1985-01-21)21 January 1985
F 21 Greece Kaimakoglou, Kostas 70002060000000000002.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 7002113000000000000113 kg (249 lb) 32 – (1983-03-15)15 March 1983
F 22 Russia Antipov, Pavel 70002020000000000002.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 700196000000000000096 kg (212 lb) 23 – (1991-09-19)19 September 1991
PF 24 Latvia Freimanis, Rolands 70002100000000000002.10 m (6 ft 11 in) 7002106000000000000106 kg (234 lb) 27 – (1988-01-21)21 January 1988
G 33 Russia Khabirov, Ruslan 70001920000000000001.92 m (6 ft 4 in) 700189000000000000089 kg (196 lb) 24 – (1991-03-05)5 March 1991
C 40 Israel Fischer, D'or 70002110000000000002.11 m (6 ft 11 in) 7002116000000000000116 kg (256 lb) 33 – (1981-10-12)12 October 1981
G 41 Russia Valishaev, Kemal 70002029999999999992.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 700193000000000000093 kg (205 lb) 21 – (1993-07-21)21 July 1993
PG 55 United States Jerrells, Curtis 70001850000000000001.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 700188000000000000088 kg (194 lb) 28 – (1987-02-05)5 February 1987
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Team manager

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: October 1, 2014

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C D'or Fischer Dmitri Sokolov Vadim Panin
PF Kostas Kaimakoglou Petr Gubanov Pavel Antipov
SF Viktor Sanikidze James White Valery Likhodey
SG Keith Langford Kemal Valishaev
PG Sergei Bykov Curtis Jerrells Ruslan Khabirov

Notable Russian players[edit]

bold - FIBA World and FIBA Europe champions and medalists

Notable foreign players[edit]

bold - former NBA players; Olympics, FIBA World and FIBA Europe champions and medalists

Serbia Milan Gurović (2004) and Turkey Hüseyin Beşok (2005) shortly were under contract with UNICS Kazan, but never played a single game for the team.

(*) former NBA champions


bold - Olympics, FIBA World and FIBA Europe champions and medalists


External links[edit]