St. Petersburg Spartak Team Page

RICHMOND, Va. – Kirill Pishchalnikov. The name just brings a smile to anyone that has followed the Virginia Commonwealth University men's basketball program over the past three years.

The Maykop, Russia native was one of the hardest-working and toughest players to ever don a Rams uniform.

Now he'll show that same toughness and hard work at the professional level after signing a contract with the St. Petersburg Spartak in his home country.

"[Kirill] is a young player but has a tremendous desire to play," Spartak Head Coach Zvi Sherf said. "He's a strong, big body that will be beneficial to us in the long term."

In his three seasons with the Black & Gold, Pishchalnikov helped tally 75 wins, two Colonial Athletic Association regular season titles and one trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2009.

Overall, he played in 98 games for VCU, tallying 301 points, 319 rebounds and 47.5% from the field. He set career-highs with 15 points and 14 rebounds in a 2008 win against Western Michigan.

Spartak was established in 1935 and is a current member of the Russian PBL League. Players on this year's roster include former LA Laker Smush Parker, former UCLA standout Nikola Dragovic and former NCAA scoring leader Henry Domercant .

Pishchalnikov and his teammates open up the season this Saturday with a 7 p.m. contest against Efes Pilsen.