BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|No one can tell how much time Taurasi spent thinking over her return to Russia, but it's safe to assume the move to secure her services was a no-brainer for UMMC|
UMMC Ekaterinburg are to be the latest stop for Diana Taurasi.
A four-time EuroLeague Women winner in her days with Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje, Taurasi has decided to join UMMC and help the club in its pursuit of the European crown.
UMMC won the title in 2003 but haven't captured the prestigious trophy since although they have won numerous trophies in Russia.
The Ekaterinburg outfit is likely to be overwhelming favorites now that Taurasi has linked up with her former Sparta&K teammate Sue Bird at UMMC.
The club on Wednesday announced Taurasi's signing on their website.
A 1.82m guard who turns 30 next month, Taurasi captured a couple of Final Four MVP trophies (2007, '08, '09 and '10) in her time with Sparta&K.
She then joined Fenerbahce before playing for their Istanbul rivals Galatasaray this season.
With Gala, she averaged 20.9 points, 3.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds but the Turkish club lost its first two games at the Final Eight.
UMMC finished third at the EuroLeague Women Final Fours in 2008, '09, '10 and '11, and they also came in third this season at the inaugural Final Eight in Istanbul.
Signing Bird, the club had hoped, would allow them to finally capture the title but she broke her nose in the warm-ups for UMMC's first game at the Final Eight against Ros Casares and did not play.
UMMC lost that game, 62-49, which effectively ended their shot at title glory.
Also this week, UMMC announced that they have parted ways with Svetlana Abrosimova, who had played alongside Taurasi at Sparta&K in the 2006/07 season.
"We express our gratitude to Svetlana Abrosimova for the years spent in the team...," UMMC general manager Maxim Ryabkov said.