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Avery: "Mikhail Played Really Well!"

Pro100 Basket
Pro100 Basket

Avery Johnson enjoys playing with his boss, thinks the guy has skills.  At the end of Tuesday's charity game in Moscow, the Nets coach said of his 6'9" teammate: "Mikhail played really well today! It’s my first time I’m playing with him but it looks like we have been playing for a while. I really enjoy playing with him." Mrs. Johnson raised no fool.

Johnson, Prokhorov and Sergei Kuschenko, the newest member of the Nets board of directors, played for the "White Team" while Russia's top woman player, Svetlana Abrosimova, Popeye Jones and Arkadiy Dvorkovich, economic advisor to President Dmitry Medvedev (and a "Cameron Crazy" while at Duke) played for the "Red Team." (Sigh, aren't we all "Reds" now?) Coaching the two teams were Sergei Belov, Naismith Hall of Famer, and Deputy Prime Minister (and former KGB General!) Sergei Ivanov. The game ended in a 65-65 tie. Boxscore and video are still being edited.

Money raised at the event, including 100,000 rubles for Prokhorov's T-Shirt, will go to the victims of a river cruise ship sinking that took the lives of 122 people, a third of them children, on July 10. Johnson and Jones will run a basketball clinic and a coaching seminar Wednesday in Moscow.

Mikhail Prokhorov took part in charity basketball game

Late in the evening on the 6th of September, a unique basketball game took place in Moscow; some of basketball’s most well-known players shared the court with well-known Russian businessmen, artists and politicians. This friendly competition took place as part of the Pro100Basket project. Pro100Basket is a charitable student basketball association.

The teams, as in most friendly matches, took conventional names: the ‘White’ team and the ‘Red’ team.

 One member of the ‘White’ team was the leader of the ‘Just Cause’ party: New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. As he himself put it, this was only the sixth or seventh time that he’d put on a basketball uniform in the last 25 years.  His team included New Jersey Nets board member Sergei Kuschenko, New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson, and Euroleague basketball champion Sergei Panov. The coach of the ‘White’ team was Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.

They faced a team that included Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation Arkadiy Dvorkovich, Olympic basketball medalist Svetlana Abrosimova, and the New Jersey Nets’ assistant head coach, Popeye Jones. The coach of the ‘Red’ team was the vice-president and sports director of the Association of Student Basketball, Munich 1972 Olympic gold medalist Sergei Belov.

The match was played under simplified rules – 4 quarters lasting 8 minutes each, dirty time.  The clock only stopped for time outs.

The match ended in a tie: 65:65.  As it is said in Russia, "friendship triumphed".  The ‘White’ team didn’t count the final point it scored.  The first few baskets were scored by Mikhail Prokhorov.

During a time-out between quarters, a charity auction was held.  The highest bidder received the item up for bid and information on how to make a payment.

Members of the project were presented with a number of interesting lots which were put up for bid. They included the champion WNBA Seattle Storm basketball shirt of Svetlana Abrosimova, and a ball that was autographed by the Russian men’s basketball team. Mikhail Prokhorov contributed a T-Shirt to the raffle, which was sold for 100,000 rubles (about $3,377). The most expensive lot – Abrosimowa’s shirt – was sold for a price of two million rubles, the equivalent of about $67,000.

In addition to the auction, three competitions were held in the time-outs.
1. The free throw competition
One minute, two people serving.

2. Shooting Stars concourse
5 points, Team must hit the rim with each point

3. Biathlon concourse
Contestants must throw basketballs and hit round black targets at a distance of 10-12 meters. They must throw five times and try to hit all five targets.

New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson commented on the game: "I'm glad that our owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, has invited me to this great charity event; I’m fully satisfied with the game. Mikhail played really well today! It’s my first time I’m playing with him but it looks like we have been playing for a while. I really enjoy playing with him; I’m thrilled being here in Moscow with my assistant Popeye Jones, doing some basketball, coaches and kids’ clinics, and we are excited about the chance to communicate with the Russian community". 


A friendly game of basketball took place under the motto "Pro100Basket helps". Its purpose was to draw attention to the campaign to raise funds to support the victims of the Bulgaria shipwreck. On 10 July, 2011 in the waters of the Kuibyshev Reservoir, the Bulgaria sunk, killing 122 people.

The Republican Council for charity issues of the Republic of Tatarstan subsequently opened an account to collect charitable funds: "the victims of the shipwreck" for the transfer of funds from abroad.