BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|This is a sight that was so common in the last decade and will not be repeated now: Ilona Korstin and Svetlana Abrosimova surrounding a trophy, here the EuroBasket Women trophy in 2007|
Russian duo Ilona Korstin and Svetlana Abrosimova have both decided to end their glittering basketball careers after making separate announcements of their respective decisions within 24 hours of each other.
Fittingly, both went out on a real high at club level, winning the EuroCup Women title last season in quite pulsating and dramatic fashion with Dynamo Moscow.
Whilst Abrosimova had already called time on her national team career, Korstin had one last fling with Russia, but it ended on a sour note last month, when the Eurobasket Women 2011 champions were unceremoniously dumped out of the 2013 version after just three days.
However, this won't sully an outstanding resume packed with titles and success for Korstin, who announced her retirement from the game via her column at sports.ru.
The 33-year-old said, "I have been playing basketball since the age of ten and I think now is the time to stop.
"My career has been full of victories and colourful moments.
"I was lucky enough to play on the best teams in Russia, France and Spain."
|Ilona Korstin's veteran leadership was instrumental in Dynamo Moscow's EuroCuop Women winning campaign|
She added, "I think that the winning shot in the final of EuroCup Women with Dynamo Moscow was the pinnacle."
Korstin landed three EuroLeague Women titles in her career, her first coming as a young player at Bourges Basket, having spent much of her time playing and living in France.
She also garnered plenty of medals with the Russian national team at EuroBasket Women, the Olympics and FIBA World Championship, playing in her first senior tournament back in 2001.
Korstin was promoted as the face of women's basketball for several years and in summarising her career, she told FIBAEurope.com women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen, "I was always giving 100% on the court and trying to make women's basketball more popular. Now I'll go in the same way."
Abrosimova was also hugely successful, managing to become one of the few Europeans to have a very fruitful career across the Atlantic, finding college success by winning the NCAA title with UConn in 2000 and then being crowned a WNBA champion in 2010 with Seattle Storm.
She won two EuroLeague Women titles and also finished regularly on the podium for her country as part of a golden Russian generation.
Abrosimova stepped out for the senior team at EuroBasket Women as a 16-year-old and a year later, won a silver medal at the FIBA World Championship. Indeed by the age of just twenty, she had also played in the Olympics too.
Having enjoyed the EuroCup Women success with Dynamo Moscow, she has revealed that she is retiring whether she achieves her aim of entering the administrative and political side of the sport or not.
The 33-year-old has been put forward as a candidate for the currently vacant Presidency of the Russian Basketball Federation.
She told rsport.ru "I think that if I really want to move to administrative work, then I have to end my playing career.
"I will work in that direction regardless of whether I win the Russian Basketball Federation elections.
"It's always better to go out on top and I know that I will not regret this decision."
The result of the elections will be determined next month.