CSKA Moscow big man Kyle Hines joined an elite group by winning his fourth Turkish Airlines EuroLeague crown, and Sunday’s triumph was extra special for being the first time had the honor of lifting the trophy as team captain.
Hines won back-to-back titles with Olympiacos Piraeus in 2012 and 2013, and took his third CSKA in 2016. This season’s championship means that he has become the only active player with four EuroLeague titles.
The CSKA center, playing in his eighth consecutive Final Four, is now one of only 15 players to win four or more EuroLeague titles. The only players ahead of him in championship triumphs are Dino Meneghin with a record seven titles, Clifford Luyk with six, while Aldo Ossola and Fragiskos Alvertis have five apiece.
Hines joins Meneghin and Fausto Bargna as the only players to win the competition multiple times with two different teams, although Hines is the first to do so in the Final Four era.
His coach Dimitris Itoudis was swift to underline the importance of Hines’s role for his team both on and off the court, emotionally stating: “Kyle is a living example, a living legend. He’s a guy that I not only admire, I cannot express my gratitude. The way he treats all this group, united in the locker room, when they’ve spent a lot of hours – this man is my left hand, my right hand, my stomach, my heart.
“He’s ready to become a coach. He said it: ‘Guys, we’re finished. We’ve got to come over here in that gym, and finish the job.’ That’s easy to say, it’s much more difficult to get it done.”