Heading toward the top
Basketball club Khimki was founded on January 5, 1997. The Khimkians needed only two years and two wins – in the First and High Leagues of Russian Championship – to force their way through the elite of Russian basketball.
In 1999-2002, BC Khimki consolidated its success among best Russian clubs: our club twice took the seventh place in National Championship and qualified for European Korac Cup. At that time such famous players played in our club as Honoured Masters of Sports, prize-winners of World and European Championships in the USSR and Russian National teams Sergey Bazarevich and Vitaly Nosov, Masters of Sports of International Class, European Youth Championship winners Igor Kornishin and Valery Sizov.
In season 2002-2003 BC Khimki finished fourth in Russian Championship. Moreover, our team for the first time in its history managed to overcome the group stage of European competitions – FIBA Champion Cup. Besides, everything was done only by Russian basketball players.
In season 2003-2004 foreign stars appeared in BC Khimki: Olympic Games winner and World Championship medalist Ruben Wolkowyski, American point guard Melvin Booker and Venezuela National team player Oscar Torres.
As for Russian players the colors of our club continued to defend the country's best point guard, tenfold winner of three countries National Championships, prize-winner of World and European Championships Vasily Karasev, Russian National team players forward Alexander Petrenko and center Mikhail Soloviev, European Cup prize-winner, fivefold Russian champion Alexey Vadeev. Moreover the club was strengthened by its own alumnus Vitaly Fridzon.
A real bursting on the international scene the Khimkians made in season 2004-2005. In the FIBA Europe League our team scored the first place in the group stage, beat in the quarterfinals the current at that moment tournament winner UNICS Kazan, forced its way through the Final Four and won bronze medals!
In the off-season 2005-2006 BC Khimki was strengthened by three strong basketball players – the first Italian in Russian championship, the idol of the Skuadra Azzurra fans, an inimitable playmaker Gianmarco Pozzecco, who quickly won the hearts of the Moscow Region “tifosi”; a long-term leader of Slovenian National team Boris Gorenc and the German national squad captain Ademola Okulaja.
In April 2006 in Khimki at a high level of organization the Final Four of the Russian Cup was held, and in autumn a significant event happened in the life of BC Khimki. Our team – the first one among all the Russian basketball clubs – had a chance to meet the NBA club Los Angeles Clippers. As a vice-champion of Russia BC Khimki was included in a prestigious project – the tournament “NBA Europe Live Tour”.
Before the beginning of the tournament “NBA Europe Live Tour” a master class of NBA basketball players, in which 80 children aged from 9 to 13 took place, was successfully held in Khimki.
All these years our team was led by a tandem of Honoured Coaches of Russia Sergey Elevich – Sergey Selivanov.
In January 2007 BC Khimki was headed by a famous Lithuanian specialist Kestutis Kemzura. He was assisted by former players of our team Alexey Vadeev and Oleg Meleschenko, as well as American Russell Bergman. Besides, it was the head coach of a former NBA champion San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovic, who recommended mr. Bergman to the Moscow Region club.
In season 2006-2007 new great players appeared in BC Khimki: a center of Polish National team Maciej Lampe, Belorussian forward Vladimir Veremeenko and American Kelly McCarty. First games in BC Khimki’s jersey spent Timofey Mozgov. Moreover, Vitaly Fridzon was invited to play in Russian National team.
In the off-season 2007-2008 such famous players were added to our team as forward Mike Wilkinson, one of the most valuable Euroleague players Finnish guard Teemu Rannikko, NBA club Utah Jazz rookie Daniel Ewing, as well as three newly-made European champions: a guard Anton Ponkrashov and forwards Nikita Shabalkin and Nikita Morgunov. In the course of the season the first Irish center in the NBA history, Patrick Burke, also joined BC Khimki.
Moreover, in summer by a special Decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kelly McCarty was given Russian citizenship. Fans jokingly dubbed their captain as “Kolya Makarov”. Later he was called to Russian National team, where he became one of the leaders in the EuroBasket-2009.
In season 2007-2008, Russian Cup Final Four was held in Kazan Basket-hall. As it turned out, it was successful for the Moscow Region squad.
In the first semifinal the yellow-blue met Dynamo Moscow and in a bitter struggle won. In the final our club crushed CSKA by a margin of 18 points! As a result Kestutis Kemzura’s team won the first ever club gold trophy!!!
Anton Ponkrashov was named the best defender of the tournament, Kelly McCarty – best forward, Maciej Lampe – MVP. Moreover, Lampe was named second in the traditional poll of newspaper “Sport-express” for the best player of the season. In addition, to this achievement the team added two sets of silver medals – the Super League Championship and Russian National Championship.
In summer 2008 BC Khimki blew up the European transfer market. The new members of our team became the 2004 Olympic champion, the Olympic games-2008 bronze medalist, three-time NBA Regular season champion Carlos Delfino and Olympic games-2008 silver medalist, 2006 World Champion, Italian Championship (2002 and 2003) and Italian Cup (2003 and 2004) winner Jorge Garbajosa.
In December 2008 our club was headed by famous Italian specialist Sergio Scariolo, one of the best coaches in Italy and Spain. Also on the course of working in BC Khimki Scariolo took over the Spanish National team.
Under his leadership in 2009 our club entered the Final Eight of the EuroCup, where only in the very final was beaten by Lietuvos Rytas. In the Russian Championship the Khimkians also finished second.
The leaders of the most prestigious European club championship – Euroleague – drew attention to high results of our club.
The Khimkians made their Euroleague debut in season 2009-2010. Moreover, even before the beginning of the European season, our club received from the leadership of the League “Devotion Marketing Awards”, a very prestigious bronze award of ULEB project. And in the first leg the yellow-blue beat a notable opponent Real Madrid. In addition in the debut year our team entered the TOP-16, beaten such grands of European basketball as Greek Olympiacos, Croatian Cibona and Spanish Caja Laboral. Only because of additional indicators our athletes at the last moment left out of the playoffs.
It is noteworthy that our team, being a Euroleague debutante, in the first round of the 1st group stage won 4 games out of 5. This is the best start of any tournament debutants starting from season 2001-2002 (when Euroleague for the first time united under the auspices of the ULEB).
In Russian Championship BC Khimki for the third time in a row won silver medal.
That season BC Khimki was strengthened by Spanish guards Carlos Cabezas and Raul Lopez, who a month before the start of the season scored EuroBasket-2009 gold medals with a Spanish National team headed by the coach Sergio Scariolo. Moreover BC Khimki added the captain of the Lithuanian National team Robertas Javtokas and an American guard, who later became one of the leaders of the team, Keith Langford.
During the season Langford became the MVP of the first Euroleague group stage round 5, and Javtokas – the MVP of the Euroleague TOP-16 first round. Vitaly Fridzon was awarded the best guard prize of VTB United League Final Four.
Another Russian player of our club, Timofey Mozgov at the EuroCup-2009, held in Poland, was called by the experts as the most opening of the tournament. Timofey was observed by the NBA scouts and at the end of season 2009-2010 signed a three-year contract with the club New York Knicks. Thus, a BC Khimki alumnus became the second Russian to play in the strongest league of the world and only the seventh one in the country's history.
Season 2010-2011 was not an easy going for the Moscow Region club. Sergio Scariolo was changed by his first assistant Oleg Meleschenko, and then Meleschenko gave the reins of government to a famous Lithuanian specialists, the 1988 Olympic champion (as a player) and the 2009 EuroCup winner (as a coach), Rimas Kurtinaitis.
The new mentor in a very short time managed to put in order a team game. As a result, again in Kazan, and again in the Final Four last game our team defeated CSKA Moscow, and won their second in the history golden trophy – the VTB United Cup!
BC Khimki alumnus Vitaly Fridzon was named the VTB United League Final Four MVP, and the Croatian center Kresimir Loncar – the best power forward of the final stage of the tournament.
In addition, Keith Langford marked a dazzling galaxy of achievements. American guard, who was the opening of the Russian Championship, got the Euroleague regular season average efficiency MVP title and became the best scorer of the regular phase (18.7 points average per game). Also Keith was an owner of the Alexander Gomelsky award as the most valuable player of the regular BEKO PBL season.
A brilliant season in our club spent the Russian National team captain Sergey Monya. Monya became the MVP of BEKO PBL All-Star Game and also was the best forward and leader of the regular season on the number of rebounds in defense and block shots.
Huge impact upon the overall team’s success had such famous basketball players as the EuroCup winner, the Polish National team shooting guard Thomas Kelati and the permanent and irreplaceable Croatian National team playmaker Zoran Planinic.
2012 was the highlight season of fifteen-year-old BC Khimki history. At its home court our team won Eurocup, one of the most prestigious European basketball trophies. In the Eurocup final our team beat Valencia Basket. Zoran Planinic was named Eurocup Finals MVP and Rimas Kurtinaitis became the best coach in the tournament’s history. BC Khimki got a ticket to Euroleague 2012-2013.
Over fifteen-year history Khimki basketball club managed to build a coherent and solid structure of reserve preparing. Now the Moscow Region team is represented in many divisions of European basketball. The EYBL and Junior League (DUBL) finals with success and at the highest organizational level are constantly held in Khimki, at the court of modern and comfortable Basketball Center.
Since the opening of the Basketball Center there is a Training Center of Russian referees (currently recognized by FIBA Referees Training Center) in it. Seminars in our Basketball Center were held by well-known referees – a member of the FIBA Technical Committee Miguel Betancor, and a FIBA sports coordinator Richard Stokes.
BC Khimki seasons
1997/1998 – First place in the First league
1998/1999 – First place in the High league
1999/2000 – Ninth place in the Russian Championship
2000/2001 – Seventh place in the Russian Championship
Group qualification for Korac Cup
2001/2002 – Seventh place in the Russian Championship
Group qualification for Korac Cup
2002/2003 – Fourth place in the Russian Championship
Semifinals of the Russian Cup
Participates in Pan-European stage of FIBA Champion Cup
2003/2004 – Fifth place in the Russian Championship
Semifinals of the Russian Cup
FIBA Europe League Play-offs
2004/2005 – Fourth place in the Russian Championship
Fourth Place in the Russian Federation Cup
Third place in the FIBA Europe League
2005/2006 – Silver medals of the Russian Championship
Silver medals in the Russian Federation Cup
Second place in the FIBA Europe Cup
2006/2007 – Bronze medals of the Russian Championship
2007/2008 — The winner of Russian Cup
Second place in Russian Superleague
Second place in Russian Championship
2008/2009 — The silver medalist of Russian Championship
The silver medalist of Russian Superleague
The silver medalist of Eurocup
The silver medalist of VTB Promo-Cup
2009/2010 — The silver medalist of Russian Championship
Euroleague TOP-16 participant
VTB United League Final Four
Russian Cup Final Four
2010/2011 — VTB United Cup winner
The silver medalist of Russian Championship
2011/2012 — Eurocup winner
The silver medalist of Russian Championship
2012/2013 — The silver medalist of Russian Championship