BC UNICS

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BC UNICS
BC UNICS logo
LeaguesVTB United League
EuroCup Basketball
Founded1991; 27 years ago (1991)
HistoryBC UNICS
(1991–present)
ArenaBasket-Hall Kazan
Capacity7,482
LocationKazan, Russia
Team colorsGreen, White
         
PresidentYevgeny Bogachev
Team managerValery Kolesnikov
Head coachDimitrios Priftis
Championships1 EuroCup
3 Russian Cups
1 North European League
1 EuroChallenge
Websiteunics.ru
Uniforms

BC UNICS (Russian: БК УНИКС) is a professional basketball club in Kazan, Russia, that plays in the VTB United League and EuroCup. Their home arena is Basket-Hall Kazan.

Though officially the club's men's professional club was founded in 1991, (when it first began to play in the lowest level of the national pro leagues), UNICS traces its origins back to KSU's college team Burevestnik, which participated in the USSR student championships from 1957, and won the 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, UNICS was promoted to the Russian Basketball Super League A, which was, at the time, the top-tier level Russian league. A year later, Yevgeny Bogachev, the chairman of the National Bank of the Tatarstan, became the president of the club.

History[edit]

UNICS 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 had already played in 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 the Greek club 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, which was eventually named the FIBA EuroChallenge, in April 2004, and UNICS made sure of its opportunity. UNICS signed Saulius Štombergas, Eurelijus Žukauskas, and Chris Anstey, and then won its regular season group, and advanced to the final four, which was held on its own floor, and where the club was crowned the FIBA Europe League champions. The MVP of the tournament's final four, Martin Müürsepp, scored 22 points, in an 87–63 win over Maroussi, in the title game. By the 2005–06 season, UNICS went one level up, and made its ULEB Cup (later named EuroCup) debut, where they tied the best regular season record in the competition's history. However, things turned south quickly, as UNICS lost at home against Roma, for the only time all season, in the tournament's eighth finals’ second leg, and crashed out earlier than expected. UNICS got stronger for the next season, keeping the core group of the previous season's side, while adding Darjuš Lavrinovič to reunite with his twin brother Kšyštof Lavrinovič, in a twin-towers set full of talent. The team made it to the ULEB Cup semifinals, before losing to the eventual league champs Real Madrid. It also returned to the Russian League finals, losing against perennial champion CSKA.

In the 2007–08 season, UNICS made it to the ULEB Cup (now called EuroCup) Final Eight, but fell to Akasvayu Girona in the quarterfinals. UNICS finally broke through in the EuroCup in the 2010–11 season, by winning its regular season and Last 16 groups, before sweeping its quarterfinal series against Pepsi Caserta. Once in the finals, UNICS thrashed KK Cedevita 87–66, in the semifinals, behind 27 points from Terrell Lyday, and registered a no-doubt-about-it 92–77 win against Cajasol Sevilla, in the title game. Marko Popović had 18 points and a EuroCup Finals record of 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. The club then entered into new waters, eager to prove that it belonged among the European continent’s best, as it would compete in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague in the following season.

On the heels of one of the greatest seasons in club history, UNICS looked to continue its rise to greatness, as it made its EuroLeague debut in the 2011–12 season. The reigning EuroCup champion was a force to be reckoned with in the previous season, as it not only marched through the EuroCup, but also made 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 was that it had managed to keep a core of star players for several years. Players like Marko Popović, Maciej Lampe, Terrell Lyday, Vladimir Veremeenko, and Kelly McCarty helped write a golden chapter in UNICS' club history. Before that, UNICS had put Kazan, Russia, on the European basketball map, and became the perfect ambassador for the sports-crazy Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian federation.

Honours[edit]

Domestic competitions[edit]

Champions (3): 2003, 2009, 2014

European competitions[edit]

Champions (1): 2011
Champions (1): 2004
Champions (1): 2003

Season by season[edit]

Season Tier Division Pos. Russian Cup European competitions Other competitions
1997–98 1 Superleague A 7th 3 Korać Cup GS
1998–99 1 Superleague A 5th 2 Saporta Cup R32
1999–00 1 Superleague A 3rd 3 Korać Cup EF
2000–01 1 Superleague A 2nd 2 Saporta Cup SF
2001–02 1 Superleague A 2nd 2 Saporta Cup QF
2002–03 1 Superleague A 3rd Winner 3 FIBA Champions Cup QF NEBL C
2003–04 1 Superleague A 2nd Third place 3 FIBA Europe League C
2004–05 1 Superleague A 3rd Runner-up 3 FIBA Europe League QF
2005–06 1 Superleague A 4th Third place 2 ULEB Cup EF
2006–07 1 Superleague A 2nd Runner-up 2 ULEB Cup QF
2007–08 1 Superleague A 6th Semifinals 2 ULEB Cup QF
2008–09 1 Superleague A 3rd Winner 2 Eurocup T16
2009–10 1 Superleague A 3rd Runner-up 2 Eurocup T16 United League RU
2010–11 1 PBL 3rd 1 Euroleague QR2 United League 3rd
2 Eurocup C
2011–12 1 PBL 5th 1 Euroleague QF United League RU
2012–13 1 PBL 6th 1 Euroleague QR2 United League QF
2 Eurocup QF
2013–14 1 VTB United League 3rd Winner 2 Eurocup RU
2014–15 1 VTB United League 6th Second qualifying 1 Euroleague RS
2 Eurocup SF
2015–16 1 VTB United League 2nd First qualifying 2 Eurocup EF
2016–17 1 VTB United League 5th Round of 64 1 EuroLeague RS
2017–18 1 VTB United League 2 EuroCup QF

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

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

UNICS roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Age
C 20 Russia Bille, Aleksandr 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 22 – (1996-01-19)19 January 1996
SF 3 Canada Ejim, Melvin 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 27 – (1991-03-04)4 March 1991
PG 49 United States Henry, Pierriá 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) 25 – (1993-01-20)20 January 1993
PF 21 Greece Kaimakoglou, Kostas 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 35 – (1983-03-15)15 March 1983
C 12 Russia Klimenko, Artem 2.14 m (7 ft 0 in) 24 – (1994-01-10)10 January 1994
SG 42 Russia Kolesnikov, Evgeny 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 32 – (1985-12-26)26 December 1985
PF 27 Russia Koshcheev, Andrey 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 31 – (1987-02-25)25 February 1987
SF 4 United States Lockett, Trent 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 27 – (1990-12-10)10 December 1990
PG 6 United States McCollum, Errick 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 30 – (1988-01-22)22 January 1988
PF 2 United States Morgan, Raymar 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 30 – (1988-08-08)8 August 1988
C 5 Senegal Ndour, Maurice 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) 26 – (1992-06-18)18 June 1992
SG 7 Russia Ponkrashov, Anton 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 32 – (1986-04-23)23 April 1986
PG 1 Russia Sergeev, Pavel 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 31 – (1987-07-28)28 July 1987
SF 45 Russia Sheleketo, Maxim 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 31 – (1987-01-04)4 January 1987
SG 15 United States Smith, Jamar 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 31 – (1987-04-07)7 April 1987
Head coach

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: September 21, 2018

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2
C Maurice Ndour Artem Klimenko Aleksandr Bille
PF Raymar Morgan Kostas Kaimakoglou Andrey Koshcheev
SF Trent Lockett Melvin Ejim Maxim Sheleketo
SG Jamar Smith Anton Ponkrashov Evgeny Kolesnikov
PG Pierriá Henry Errick McCollum Pavel Sergeev

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

Head coaches[edit]

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

References[edit]

External links[edit]