Sacramento Kings center Alex Len and Toronto Raptors forward Svi Mykhailiuk, the lone Ukrainian players in the NBA, condemned Russia’s invasion of their native country in a joint statement released on Thursday.
“A great tragedy befell our dear homeland Ukraine. We categorically condemn the war,” Len and Mykhailiuk wrote. “Ukraine is a peaceful, sovereign state inhabited by people who want to decide their own destiny. We pray for our families, friends, relatives and all the people who are in the territory of Ukraine.
“We hope for an end to this terrible war as soon as possible. Dear fellow Ukrainians, hold on! Our strength is in unity. We are with you!”
Len, who was born in Antratsyt of Ukraine, played basketball in his native country with Dnipropetrovsk Higher College, a handful of FIBA tournaments and BC Dnipro of the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague. After playing for two seasons at the University of Maryland, Len was selected No. 5 by the Phoenix Suns in the 2013 NBA Draft. Len has had stints two stints with Sacramento and also played in Phoenix, Atlanta, Toronto and Washington.
Mykhailiuk was born in Cherkasy of Ukraine and played for the Ukrainian national team during the 2014 FIBA World Cup. He was taken No. 47 overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2018 NBA Draft.
He has also played in Detroit and Oklahoma City.