Sergey, once again welcome to Zenit. You have the floor!
Thank you very much for the warm welcome. I am very pleased to play for Zenit, because everyone knows that the football club is very good and the great tradition that exists there and now we have basketball team. I have come to win every match. The guys have been very successful in the last two seasons and my task is to bring something new, to become a link in the team, to support the pleasant atmosphere among the boys, to add strength and achieve good results in each game.
Normally we ask newcomers about how the adaptation as their city and culture. You have quite an uncommon situation, you lived here for a long time, then left and have now returned. How do you feel?
I will correct you a little bit, I was born in St.Petersburg, but because my father played for CSKA, I went to Moscow, where we lived most of our life. When we returned from the United States, we were greeted by the Petersburg rainy weather, which is not very nice, we couldn't walk with the child and had to sit at home. Now everything has more or less returned to normal and actually it's nice to get home and realize that you are wanted and have expectations. It would be nice if I win the trust of the fans, who I know are very fond of basketball and come to the games and support the team. I will give my best!
The change in time zones hasn't been a problem?
I felt jet lag for a couple of days, but now I'm back to normal. When you come back to a nice place it's no problem.
Are you still in touch with many of the guys at Triumph? Do they call you and congratulate you?
I tried not to talk to them recently, but this will happen of course, They did call me up and wrote to me. When I signed, they congratulated me. It was very nice to return home, especially since I know so many players, with the exception of a few foreigners. We and Timma crossed pathes in the youth team at the World and European championships. He's a very nice guy, you can say there's a lot that connects us. It's nice that the guys are friends, and it's easy to adapt.
We found that you have already subscribed to Zenit's pages on social media. Have you read the comments about yourself?
I have read them yes. More though is my mother, she is watching this and is going through it, if you found something negative. and read the opinions of others, you can draw conclusions. It is clear that there are different types of comments, but I try to treat all adequately. The best thing is that there is attention, so it's already a success.
You have a very large family and it can't have been easy to move. How did it go?
That was the main factor, my wife and child. All my family and relatives live here so for my daughter our grandmother is important as is her grandfather, so it's much easier in this regard. The fact that my father is the coach, has played an important role. Still, he knows my weaknesses, my strengths and how to use me correctly. I think together we will show some good basketball.
This is generally a rare occasion when a team has a father-son/coach-player combination. How do you personally call Vasily Nikolaevich?
During training I say Vasily Nikolaevich or Coach. Everything must be natural. If I call him dad or father, it will not look very professional and is unfair to the other players. Everything has to be strictly respectful, Vasiliy or Coach.
How was your vacation?
After the season our daughter was born, we were in New York, trying to adapt to a new life. Then we went to Miami and began to actively train and prepare for the season, plus there was great weather. Then we returned to St. Petersburg and I went to join up with the national team, but it turned out that Borysiuk (physical training coach -. Ed.) was already here and I worked with him on an individual program, so it would not make much sense to rush. I wanted more time with the family.
Tomorrow I'm going to join up with the national team and will prepare for the full program. Hopefully, we will first solve the issue of getting to the European Championship next year and then I'll arrive and join up with Zenit.