By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Completing the first major offseason addition, Anadolu Efes inked Will Clyburn to a two-year contract, as announced Tuesday. CSKA previously confirmed his departure.
“As we all know, everything comes to an end sooner or later,” noted the Detroit-born small forward, per CSKA’s press release, “Our family has been in Russia for most of our kids’ childhood. This was truly home away from home. I’ve been blessed to be a part of something truly special with this Club. CSKA gave me the opportunity to build a legacy here. Still one of the greatest accomplishments of my life was winning the EuroLeague title with this club. UNREAL FEELING!! We’ve had great memories and not so great memories. And with that being said I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Clyburn, 32,moved his talents to back-to-back Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Anadolu Efes, as expected. He was crowned champion in 2019 as the Final Four MVP highlighting his five-year run at the team based in the Russian capital. Back in 2017, he was coming off a solid season with Darussafaka, his first in EuroLeague.
“Parting with Will turned out to be very emotional,” pointed out team president Andrey Vatutin, “I know that he really got attached to our team, to the club, to Moscow, dreamed of ending his career here, to see his jersey under the rafters of the arena. Here he grew up as a player, here his wonderful family felt comfortable and grew up. Many bright moments in the history of CSKA are associated with the name of Clyburn, and we are all sincerely grateful to him for victories, dedication, fight, and leadership qualities. I really appreciate that he played this most difficult for all of us season to the end. Unfortunately, circumstances forced us to part our ways, and we sincerely wish Will to continue performing at the highest level, earn many team and individual trophies, health and happiness to his growing family.”
Besides capturing the EuroLeague title, Clyburn added three VTB United League championships to his CSKA tenure. He averaged 12.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game over 236 appearances across all competitions.
“I’ve met some incredible people over the years being here with CSKA. And I have to say that a lot of them have shaped me to the player I am today. So to all the players, coaches and medical staff I’ve had the pleasure to work with, thank you! To Andrey, Natasha, Shep, Nick, Tazu, Anton, Dennis, Kurbi and Simon, you guys are one of a kind. You guys have treated me like family since the first day I’ve arrived,” Clyburn further illustrated his experience, “I’ve always felt I’ve belonged here with you guys. All the talks, jokes, hihi-haha, practices, dinners, hugs and battles will always be remembered no matter what! Thank you guys for everything! Thank you to the Fans that have supported us to the end!!!”
Photo Credit: EuroleagueBasketball.net