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HOME: Russian / Ukrainian Sports: Basketball in Russia, Ukraine

Russian, Ukrainian Basketball



Russian and Ukrainian basketball have become extremely popular in the post-Soviet era. Competing on a level with hockey and football, both Russia and Ukraine enjoy their own respective professional leagues which inevitably help foster participation on the amateur level for both men and women. The highest league in each nation is known as the Super League. Top teams in the Russian Basketball Super League and Pro Ukrainian Basketball have the opportunity to compete in several different levels of international competition amongst other pro clubs throughout Europe.


Russian Basketball Leagues

Russian Super League scandal

Ukrainian Basketball Leagues

Inter-European Basketball Leagues





Russian Pro Basketball Leagues


The top league of Russian professional basketball is split between two tiers. The top division is the Superleague A Division, while the lower division is the Superleague B Division. The winner of the year-end Superleague playoffs is awarded the Russian Basketball Cup.


Teams playing in Russian basketball leagues are continually changing. Teams that finish at the bottom of the standings are usually relegated to a lower league, while other teams come and go due to financial difficulties. As such, we have provided a "general" guideline of clubs who play within Russian Basketball's top league.


Russian Basketball Super League A

  • CSKA (Moscow)
  • Khimki (Moscow region)
  • UNICS (Kazan)
  • Triumph (Lyubertsy)
  • Dynamo (Moscow)
  • Ural-Great (Perm)
  • Lokomotiv-Rostov
  • Spartak-Primorje
  • CSK VVS-Samara
  • Universitet-Ugra (Surgut)
  • Spartak (St.Petersburg)
  • Sibirtelekom-Lokomotiv
  • Enisey (Krasnoyarsk)

Russian Basketball Super League B

  • Metallurg-Universitet
  • Sojuz (Zarechny)
  • Dynamo-Teplostroy
  • Severstal (Cherepovets)
  • Khimki-2 (Moscow region)
  • NBA-Nizhniy Novgorod
  • TEMP-SUMZ (Revda)
  • Ural (Ekaterinburg)
  • Triumph-2 (Lyubertsy)
  • Dynamo-2 (Moscow)
  • Kuban-Lokomotiv
  • BC Ryazan
  • BK Irkut (Irkutsk)



Ukrainian Pro Basketball Leagues


Ukrainian professional basketball, like other pro sports in Ukraine, is split between multiple divisions. The top tier or division is known as the Super League. This is followed by the Higher League (Vyscha Liha), then the First League (Persha Liha).


As is the case in Russia, Ukrainian Basketball League format is not written in stone. Teams can move up or down depending on year-end standings, finances cause many teams to drop out, while new teams appear thanks to new financial backers, restructuring, etc. Once again, we’ve provided a “general” list of teams who comprise professional basketball in Ukraine.


Super League

  • Azovmash Mariupol
  • BC Donetsk
  • Khimik Yuzhny
  • BC Halychyna (Lviv)
  • BC Dnipro-Azot
  • BC Odessa
  • BC Kyiv
  • BC Poltava
  • BC 93 Pulsar Rivne
  • BC Hoverla
  • BC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
  • Ferro-ZNTU (Zaporizhya)
  • MBC Mykolaiv
  • Sumy Khimprom
  • BC Budivelnyk Kyiv
  • BC Hryffony
  • BC Kryvbasbasket

Vyscha Liha

  • BC Avantazh Politekhnik
  • Cherkaski Mavpy
  • Khimik-2
  • Koksokhim-Stal
  • Kremin Politekhnik
  • KTU
  • Dynamo (Kyiv)
  • Sevastopol
  • Vinnitski Zubry




Inter-European Basketball Leagues


Top teams in their respective national Super League are also eligible for entry in international competition. The highest echelon of basketball in Europe is the Euroleague championship. The second highest pro basketball competition in Europe is the Eurocup. The third highest competition is known as the EuroChallenge. Another league, the VTB United League, was recently formed with the goal of uniting top basketball clubs of Eastern Europe into one league. Teams participating in the VTB United League not only participate in their own national league, but often participate in one of the "Euro" competitions as well.


To date, the team that has enjoyed the most success in inter-European basketball is CSKA Moscow. CSKA won the 2003-04 and 2007-08 Euroleague championship. Within this same period, they also advanced to 8 consecutive Euroleague Final Fours, an all-time record.




Russian Basketball Clubs Create A New League

Maria Domnitskaya
16.06.2010, 16:22

A decision has been taken in Moscow to dissolve the Russian Basketball Super League A, which was created in 1994, and embraced the strongest men’s and women’s teams in the country. Ten leading clubs headed by 17-time champion, Moscow CSKA announced the establishment of their own new professional league, which is independent of the Russian Basketball Federation. Game fixing in Russia’s last basketball championship were the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“In these circumstances, we consider it is impossible to participate in competition organized and managed by managers who have lost our trust,” says an official statement posted on the website of CSKA. It was revealed that several referees and managers of Russian basketball, who were involved in a noisy scandal that erupted in May when audio tapes of their conversations were made public and posted on the Internet, were ordered to assure victories to given teams.

The Council of the Superleague ended without sensation on Tuesday, and everything went on smoothly, says a spokesman for the Russian Basketball Federation, Alexander Fedotov. Summing up the results of the council’s last session, the last in history of the Superleague, Alexander Fedotov has this to say:

“The Superleague was dissolved and under the law on physical training and sport of the Russian Federation, Russia’s Basketball Federation will conduct the Russian championship independently,” says Alexander Fedotov. “If the leading men’s clubs decide to establish their own professional basketball league, the federation will examine the possibility of delegating it the rights to hold the Russian championship on the basis of a special agreement.”

In short, the leading domestic basketball clubs will go ahead with their decision, and have no wish to search for those who are to blame for the situation. “There is a need to, cross out, what was in the past and start from scratch, since basketball needs new managers, a new system and new ideas,” says the president of the CSKA basketball club, Andrei Vatutin. According to him, an independent league will revive respect and the interest of the fans in and outside Russia, and will attract fans and young players from sports schools.

The other participants of the Superleague, women’s league A and B and men’s league B, have decided to participate in competitions organized by a new Department which will conduct Russia’s championship. This body will be formed at a later date.