Sacramento Kings center Alex Len (L), shown Feb. 5, 2022, moved to the United States from Ukraine to attend college before reaching the NBA. File Photo by John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE
Feb. 24 (UPI) — Sacramento Kings center Alex Len and Toronto Raptors swingman Svi Mykhailiuk, the NBA’s only Ukrainian players, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a joint statement released Thursday.
In their statement, the players described the attack as a “great tragedy” and said they “categorically condemn the war.”
“A great tragedy befell our dear homeland Ukraine. We categorically condemn the war,” the statement read. “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 and Mykhailiuk moved to the United States to play college basketball before making the jump to the NBA. Len played at Maryland from 2011-13, while Mykhailiuk competed at Kansas from 2014-18.
Currently, Ukraine is under martial law after Russia invaded the country earlier Thursday.
Other Ukrainian athletes from across multiple sports have condemned the Russian invasion of the country, including retired boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and his brother, Vitali, who also was a former heavyweight boxing champion.