At age fifteen, Kirilenko became the youngest player ever to play professional basketball in his native Russia with the Russian Basketball Super League. He spent another three years with CSKA Moscow, winning the Russian league MVP award in 2000. Check out how good he was:
In the 1999 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz selected him with the 24th pick, making Kirilenko the youngest European player ever drafted (18 years and 132 days old). He was also the highest Russian player ever picked in the NBA.
Nicknamed "AK-47" because of his initials and his Russian roots, Kirilenko was a versatile player for the Jazz. He played there for 10 seasons and was an All-Star in 2004. After his time with the Jazz he returned to CSKA Moscow for a season and was the 2011-2012 Euroleague MVP. Kirilenko has since played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Brooklyn Nets and now the Philadelphia 76ers.
In 10 of his 13 seasons he has averaged double digits in points. He is also a good rebounder in his career and defensive player, racking up steals and blocks. He is a two-time All-NBA First Team Defense.
Kirilenko is married to Russian pop star Masha "Marina" Lopatova. She should be able to sing him a nice birthday song:
Happy birthday, Andrei Kirilenko.