Minneapolis/St. Paul – The International Basketball Federation today named Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko its 2012 FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year. Kirilenko wins the award for the second time in his career, having done so previously in 2007.
Kirilenko, 31, spent last season in Russia playing for CSKA Moscow where he led his team to the EuroLeague Final, a VTB League Championship and a first-place finish in Russia's domestic league, the BEKO PBL. In 17 Euroleague games, Kirilenko averaged 14.1 points on .598 shooting (.417 from three), to go along with 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.9 blocks. He was named 2012 Euroleague MVP and 2012 Euroleague Best Defender for his efforts.
Before signing with the Timberwolves this summer, Kirilenko led Russia to the country's first-ever Olympic medal in men's basketball, earning the bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In eight contests, Kirilenko averaged 17.5 points, on .540 shooting, 7.5 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.8 blocks in just under 34 minutes per game.
Kirilenko has enjoyed a resurgence with the Wolves this season, appearing in 41 games and averaging 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks in 34.1 minutes per game. His 51.0 percent field goal mark is the highest of his career and he is on pace to post his best scoring, rebounding, steals and assist figures since the 2005-06 season.
The FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year Award is handed out annually to the player that performs the best for his sports club and/or national team throughout the year. All European players, regardless of where they play in the world, qualify for the award. Players do not have to play in any FIBA competitions at all in order to qualify. The winner receives the prize after winning a vote of both the fans and a panel of basketball experts, media members, and coaches from 25 different countries.
FIBA Europe will announce at a later date its plans for when and where the award will be presented to Kirilenko.
FIBA Europe 2012 Men's Player of the Year Voting Results:
Player Fan Voting Expert Voting Accumulated Ranking