EuroBasket Women 2011
|Svetlana Abrosimova already ran the point for Russia at EuroBasket Women 2009 before the arrival of Becky Hammon|
Russia coach Boris Sokolovsky has confirmed that Svetlana Abrosimova will captain his team at the EuroBasket Women in Poland next month.
Sokolovsky revealed he had hand-picked the UMMC Ekaterinburg and Seattle Storm star himself rather than hold an election, and he now wants Abrosimova to play at point guard in the tournament to emphasise her leadership role.
"We believe the point guard takes the principal place in a team," he told Sport-Express. "That makes her ideally suited to the role of captain, co-ordinating the team and representing the coach on the court.
"I am very pleased that the team, including former captains Maria Stepanova and Ilona Korstin, have warmly welcomed the appointment of Abrosimova."
However, there has been some bad news for Russia, with Sokolovsky revealing that naturalised American Epiphany Prince is unlikely to feature in Poland due to her WNBA commitments with the Chicago Sky.
"They are reluctant to let one of their leaders leave during the season," he said. "Our general manager, Oxana Rakhmatulina, is still negotiating, but I think it is unlikely to happen.
"I cannot say that the absence of Prince will not weaken our team, but I hope that young Russians can take her place. They may not have her skills, but they will be playing to honour their country and their flag, and for them it will not be an empty phrase."