WNBA Great Loss

November 5, 2009

Shabtai Von Kalmanovich was killed instantly after being shot 20 times while in his car on his way to Putin’s office and the seat of government, the so-called Russian White House, according to the State Attorney’s office in a statement. The gunman fled in a car and the driver for Von Kalmanovic, who was injured, tried to chase them, but eventually dropped because of his injuries.

Manager and entrepreneur, Kalmanovich was born in 1949 in Kaunas, Lithuania. In 1988, an Israeli court accused him of spying for the Soviet Union and was sentenced to nine years in prison. He was released in 1993, and then returned to Russia, where he went into business and sport. In 1996 he became co-owner of Zhalgiris Lithuanian basketball club. After winning the European League with that team, the President of Lithuania conferred the title of duke.

None of his current or older players have any comment about the incident, neither has Donna Orender, President of the WNBA. The love for sports Von Kalmanovich had was noticeable; he was known for giving over the top pay checks, bonuses and gifts to his players. Two of the bigger names that were signed to play for the CSKA like Katie Douglas and Becky Hammon have moved on to other teams. The CSKA women’s team in Russia folded earlier this fall. This terrible incident is for sure going to affect Women’s Professional Basketball all over the world.

“The death of Shabtai von Kalmanovich is a great loss to our sport and for basketball in particular” – said president of basketball of the Russian Federation, Sergey Chernov.

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