Kyrylo Natyazhko named League's Top Ukrainian Player

Azovmash center Kyrylo Natyazhko has been named the 2013-14 VTB United League's Top Ukrainian Player.

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.

Kyrylo Natyazhko wins this award for the first time (the League honored former Azovmash forward Oleksiy Pecherov as the Top Ukrainian Player last season). Natyazhko beat out Azovamsh center Ihor Zaytsev and Donetsk forward Denis Ikovlev for the honor, which is presented by the VTB United League and basket-planet.com website. 

Over the past VTB United League season, Natyazhko played in 18 games for Turow, averaging 11.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and an efficiency rating of 12.1.

- Definitely, this award made me happy, - Kyrylo Natyazhko told VTB-League.com in an interview. - I think that it's also a team achievement and credit to everyone who's connected to Azovmash one way or another.

Our season wasn't easy for obvious reasons. Of course, we wanted to play the remaining home games on our own court, because with the arrival of coach Zvezdan Mitrovic things started to go pretty well. We had a real chance to make the playoffs. But because of events in the country, we didn't manage to keep our foreign players and play our final games in Mariupol. Nonetheless, we tried to put up a good fight and give our all in every game. For Krasny Oktyabr and even for Khimki, the games against us weren't a walk in the park - it stayed close until the final quarter.