Last month, Kansas signee Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk traveled to Bulgaria to compete for his native Ukraine in the U-18 Division B European Championships. He led his team to the finals, was selected MVP of the tournament and was expected to head to KU after spending most of August practicing with Ukraine’s senior national team.
Now that timeline has changed.
Mykhailiuk has made Ukraine’s final roster cut before the FIBA World Cup, which runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 in Spain. Mykhailiuk, 17, will be among the youngest players in the tournament, which was formerly known as the FIBA World Championships. The United States, led by NBA stars Stephen Curry, James Harden and Derrick Rose, is considered the pre-tournament favorite, even after losing Paul George to injury and Kevin Durant to a late withdrawal.
Ukraine, in Group C, will play five group games, finishing against the United States on Sept. 4 in Bilbao, Spain. Mykhailiuk is expected to arrive at Kansas after Ukraine is eliminated from the tournament. Monday is the first day of fall classes at KU.
It’s perhaps unlikely that Mykhailiuk sees much court time during the tournament. A 6-foot-6 guard, Mykhailiuk averaged 16 points and 4.7 rebounds while playing 26 minutes per contest in the U-18 tournament. He shot just 41.8 percent from the floor and 26 percent from three-point range (13 for 50).