Kaun to Play Professionally in Russia

June 24, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. – After concluding his senior season at the University of Kansas with a men’s basketball national championship, Sasha Kaun announced on Sunday that he has signed a three-year contract with CSKA Moscow, a professional team in Russia.

“I’m going to a team that is as close to an NBA team as you can find,” Kaun said. “It’s a great organization. Last year, they had a $60 million payroll. It’s a very prestigious club.”

Kaun became the first Russian to win an NCAA men’s basketball championship when Kansas won the title in April. The contract with the 23-year old player is signed for three years – until the end of the 2010-11 season. Kaun will be paid $1,047,042 U.S. dollars per year for the next three seasons.

“CSKA always keeps an interest in all Russian basketball players, especially young ones,” said CSKA CEO Andrei Vatutin. “After the win in the NCAA finals, Kaun became one of the most popular players here, but I’d like to mention that we began watching him a few years ago. I am extremely happy that Russian fans will have a chance to see Sasha.”

During the 2007-08 season Kaun played 40 games for Kansas (six starts), with averages of 17.7 minutes, 7.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots.

Kaun will also try out for the Russian Olympic team July 3 in Moscow. In all, 16 players will vie for 12 or 13 spots.