Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar's meteoric rise to the elite heights of European basketball began only recently with its move to Krasnodar and the subsequent arrival of some established basketball stars. Richard Hendrix was one of those players who helped write the finest chapter in the club's history to date as Lokomotiv won the Eurocup title in 2013.
When Hendrix joined Lokomotiv from EA7 Emporio Armani Milan in the middle of the 2012-13 season, he brought experience and a winning mentality after already having helped Maccabi Tel Aviv reach the 2011 Final Four and win five domestic titles in two years. His impact on Lokomotiv was immediate: over the team's last six Eurocup games, Hendrix averaged 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. He then dominated the championship game in Charleroi, Belgium, where Lokomotiv topped Bilbao Basket 64-75, collecting 14 points and 9 rebounds to be honored as the Eurocup Final MVP.
Hendrix subsequently helped Lokomotiv stand tall in its Euroleague debut the following season, when the team reached the Top 16. He ranked second in the competition with 7.3 rebounds and set his Euroleague personal-best in scoring with 10.5 points per game. A year later, back in the Eurocup, Hendrix was a key piece as Lokomotiv set a competition record with 19 consecutive victories to open the season before a quarterfinal loss ended its impressive campaign.
Hendrix might have only stayed for a brief period in the club's 70-year history, but without his great contributions and leadership in those impactful two and a half seasons, it is hard to imagine that Lokomotiv would be playing now for the continental title.