Russia: Autry Unfazed by the Big Freeze

28 January 2004

Siberia may not have much in common with New York but the freezing conditions experienced in both locations have helped American basketballer Adrian Autry settle in at Russian Superleague side Lokomotiv Novosibirsk.

Novosibirsk is the capital of Siberia, situated in the south of Russia where hostile weather tends to be the rule rather than the exception.

New York is no stranger to extreme temperatures either and Autry believes this has helped with his move to Lokomotiv.

We lost to UNICS recently but we aren't as bad as many people think
Adrian Autry

"I knew that Novosibirsk is in Siberia," Autry told Sport-Express.

"I like travelling. I'm not afraid of frost and snow - it was minus-25 Celsius in New York not so long ago and it isn't very warm in Germany. So I feel good here.

"I like the city and it's good that local people try to speak English with me."

The 31-year-old Autry played in the NCAA before moving to Europe to join Italian side Fortitudo Bologna.

Autry has since played at a number of European clubs before deciding to try his luck at Lokomotiv.

"I had some problems in Hagen (Germany) and my agent soon told me that there was an offer from Novosibirsk. I agreed. I called my Senegalese friend Dia Sheikh Ya Ya (who also plays for Lokomotiv) and he said that Lokomotiv was a good club."

Lokomotiv are currently 11th in the 13-team league having won only three of their 15 matches, but Autry is still hopeful of qualifying for the play-offs.

"I'm an optimist. We lost to UNICS recently but we aren't as bad as many people think," he said.

Autry only has a contract with Lokomotiv until the spring and he is already starting to consider the possibility of returning back to the States.

"If Lokomotiv don't qualify for the play-offs I might go and play in Europe. If I couldn't find a club I will go back to America. I will use any chance to be home."