Russian basketball powerhouse CSKA Moscow has officially announced the signing of Tornike Shengelia to a three-year deal. Georgian national basketball team player left the Spanish team Baskonia after 6 years. Georgian Basketball National Federation has echoed Tornike Shengelia's decision and wished him luck, but the President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili called Shengelia's decision regrettable.
The hardest part of the transfer was the buy-out negotiations between CSKA and Baskonia. Shengelia just finished a successful season with Baskonia that resulted in the club’s first ACB League title in 10 years. Since 2014, when he left the NBA, “Toko” has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the EuroLeague, he is just 28 years old and the NBA window may not be closed yet for him, despite his new contract, Eurohoops wrote.
Information about signing the deal has already been posted on the official website of the Russian club. CSKA published Shengelia’s statement: “I am excited to join the Euroleague champions and looking forward to playing with an amazing group of players and coaching staff.” Georgian Basketball National Federation has echoed the decision of Tornike Shengelia, captain of the Georgian basketball team, to play in CSKA Moscow. The Federation pointed out that “Tornike has always looked after the interests and dignity of his state as well as a team and will do so.” “The captain of the Georgian national team will gladden our hearts with his successful sports career over and over again. Good luck Toko!” the Federation said in the statement, according to Georgian Public Broadcasting.
Tornike Shengelia has been crowned the champion of Spain's top-flight league after leading his club Baskonia to a 69-67 win against Barça on 30th June. Shengelia, captain of the Basque team, led by example in the final of the 2019-2020 season, scoring 14 points in addition to four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Combined with efforts from his teammates, his play meant Baskonia earned their fourth Spanish title. Shengelia, in his capacity as the captain, collected the champion's cup of the Liga Endesa league while draped in the Georgian national flag, before proceeding to "trim" one of the two baskets of the arena with scissors - a long-standing international tradition for basketball champions, according to Georgian news platform Agenda.ge.
The President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili calls the decision of the captain of the Georgian national basketball team Tornike Shengelia on moving to CSKA Moscow regrettable and says that this decision is unacceptable for her as the President of Georgia. “It is regrettable and unacceptable for the President of Georgia, the decision of the captain of the Georgian national basketball team regarding his transfer to CSKA Moscow,” Zurabishvili wrote on his Facebook page, Georgian Public Broadcasting reported.
The Georgian player joined the team in 2014, becoming the captain of the club through his on-court contributions and leadership. His move to the team came after spells at clubs including the Spanish championship's Valencia and the National Basketball Association's Brooklyn Nets. Earlier this year the forward received the Spanish league's Giant of the Year prize, with Baskonia awarded the equivalent prize among clubs, Agenda.ge wrote.