Anatoly Kolesnikov named League's Top Kazakh Player

Astana forward Anatoly Kolesnikov has been named the 2013-2014 VTB United League's Top Kazakh Player. He was honored in Astana on May 1 during the Astana - Nizhny Novgorod first-round playoff game. 

This is the second-straight year that the VTB United League has honored the top individual players in each of the League's nine countries. In the six nations represented by just one club (Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan), the League picks the winners. Elsewhere, in Russia (represented by 10 clubs), Lithuania and Ukraine (two clubs each), the top player is determined by the League and a leading sports media outlet in that country: Russian information agency R-Sport (RIA-Novosti), Lithuanian website basketnews.lt and Ukrainian website basket-planet.com.

Anatoly Kolesnikov wins the award for the first time (Astana forward Anton Ponomarev earned the award last season). Kolesnikov played in 18 games for Astana in the VTB United League this season, averaging 3.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists and an efficiency rating of 5.2.

- I couldn't even have imagined that I would get this award, - noted Anatoly Kolesnikov in an interview with VTB-League.com. - It's a big honor. I didn't have any big games this season and didn't hit any game-winning shots, but I tried to help my team out. This individual award is the first of my career and now I'll have even more motivation to work and progress further. 

Anatoly Kolesnikov is already the fifth player to be honored as the top player in his country this season. Poland's Damian Kulig (Turow), Estonia's Rain Veideman (Kalev), Ukraine's Kyrylo Natyazhko (Azovmash) and Czech Republic's Vojtech Hruban (Nymburk) have already been honored. Four more standouts from four League countries (Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia) will be announced and receive their awards during the playoffs.