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Brook Lopez, in Moscow, heads deep into Mother Russia

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Alexander Chernykh

Looks like Brook Lopez's foot is okay.

Our man in Siberia, Alexander Chernykh, reports that Brook Lopez is in Moscow for charity events, along with his brother Robin and will soon move on to Perm, deeper into Russia. The twins made a short stop in the Russian capital Thursday and attended a streetball tournament, but their main destination is located in Perm, where the NBA will open a refurbished basketball facility.

Earlier this year, the NBA signed a three-year contract with a major Russian gas company SIBUR, to develop basketball in Russia, Alex reports.

Alex, who runs the English language Rush'n Hoops blog, writes in his latest dispatch...

The plan is to refurbish 10 basketball facilities in different Russian cities and to bring in NBA stars to help promote the sport. Brook and Robin Lopez are the first NBA players to participate in the program.

According to David Watts, NBA Vice President in Russia, active players would visit Russia during the offseason, and when the games are on, legends of the past will be invited.

Dmitry Konov, Director of SIBUR, told R-Sport, the big Russian sports site, after the signing that they chose Perm as a starting point because it is a region with established basketball tradition, and also a region where SIBUR company is well represented. Konov didn’t disclose the financial terms of the deal, saying, ‘We support this program in part, NBA makes the main contribution’.

Located on the border between Europe and Asia, Perm is best known in basketball world for its former basketball club Ural Great. And there is a Nets connection.

Current member of the Nets board of directors, and Perm native, Sergey Kuschenko helped to found the team in 1995 and lead it as president to European NEBL title in 2001 and Russian league titles in 2001 and 2002, before leaving for CSKA Moscow. The club collapsed in 2008, and a new team Parma Basket, established in 2012, is trying to work its way up through the second league to take Ural Great’s place.

"Ghetto basket" where the Brook brothers made their Moscow stop is a small streetball weekly tournament for amateur players. It is natural that there were no huge crowds similar to those when basketball celebrities visit Asia. Also, it was mid-week.

The Olimpiets facility in Perm, Russia will be the first court to be refurbished under the multiyear partnership The Lopez brothers will conduct a basketball clinic for local children at the refurbished court on August 2nd. Off-season travel if nothing new for Brook Lopez.  Last summer, he visited sites in North America, Europe, Africa (with former president Bill Clinton), and Asia.

Although Brook Lopez doesn't tweet, Robin Lopez does and has been keeping his followers up to speed on the brothers' travels.

Thanks to NTV commentator Dmitry Garanenko who attended the Moscow event and shared his photos for this NetsDaily post.