By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Among the multiple players departing Russian teams after the country’s invasion of Ukraine, Daniel Hackett discussed the developments leading him from CSKA Moscow to Virtus Segafredo Bologna in an interview with Italian magazine Sportweek.
“My first thought was similar to when the pandemic broke out. I thought everything will stop again,” he recalled learning about the war while getting ready alongside his former teammates to face FC Bayern Munich in Germany, “I hoped that our season could have continued but when the decision of Euroleague Basketball became official, everything changed. My foreign teammates were leaving. I was the last one to leave, but it was a moment for a change.”
“Nobody inside the club wanted this to happen,” he added regarding his departure from the team based in Moscow, “I’m pretty sure that 90% of Russian people don’t want the war. Unfortunately, there you live under a dictatorship that now it’s shown in all its force and obviousness.”
He had joined CSKA back in 2018 and became a Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion in 2019. Shortly after his departure, he inked a deal with Virtus Bologna until the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.
“There was mutual interest, initially about an agreement for the next season,” he explained, “I signed because Virtus is a historic club, with a desire to return to the greats of Europe. The challenge and the project intrigued me.”
At the bottom end of the 2021-22 season, the Bologna outfit will be looking for an extended run in the 7DAYS EuroCup Playoffs starting in a couple of weeks. Domestically, the 20-3 W-L tally ranks first in Italy’s LBA Regular Season standings, one game ahead of EuroLeague Playoffs participant AX Armani Exchange Milan.
Photo Credit: EuroLeagueBasketball.net