Euroleague Basketball bows its head upon learning that former EuroLeague star Grigorij Khizhnyak has passed away at age 44, as confirmed by his former team, Zalgiris Kaunas. Khizhnyak played 26 EuroLeague games with Zalgiris from 2000 to 2002, averaging 13.3 points on 86.5% free throw shooting, 7.7 rebounds and 3.2 blocks. His 86 blocks rank him 43th overall in the all-time standings despite playing just those 26 games. He didn't play enough games to compete for the career leadership, but Khizhnyak averaged more blocks per game (3.2 bpg.) than the all-time leader, Ekpe Udoh (2.2 bpg. In 50 games). Khizhnyak helped Alfa Makedonikos reach the EuroCup final in 2005, losing against Lietuvos Rytas. He also played for Nikolaev, Kyiv, Dnipro and Budivelnik of his native Ukraine, Avtodor Saratov and Dynamo St. Petersburg of Russia, Peristeri of Greece and Valencia Basket of Spain before retiring in 2010. Khizhnyak also was a regular member of the Ukrainian national team.
Euroleague Basketball extends its condolences to Mr. Khizhnyak's loved ones. May he rest in peace.