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  InterBasket > Player Profiles > Vladimir Tkachenko, Soviet Unionvladmir tkachenko From our forum:

Hello everyone!

Wow, I find myself in a new dimension. Few times in the past 10 years did I go online to search for my fatherís name. Few Russian articles popped up, but that's about it. I decided to go on that same journey again and I find my father's name on bulletin boards - and not mean kind of posts, but the kind that lights me up inside - illumination I am talking about is more about my father's personality described as a gentle man, rather than a glamorized basketball player. In commemoration to my father, whom I love dearly, I now intend to gather up his biography and create a website. I will appreciate any support or suggestions from anyone who is familiar with this sort of web-based endeavor (which is the endeavor of almost everyone nowadays). After looking over many posts I have few things to clear up and few to confirm.

My father is pure blood Ukrainian. He has two sons. I am the oldest, Oleg (or Olezhka; like Bob = Bobby) I have not gone in my father's steps, aside from street ball few times a week- although I did play basketball on a junior team in Ukraine until I was about 14. My brother, however, does play in junior CSKA, my brother is Igor (he lives in Moscow with my father).

The blueprint my father left for me has been firmly engraved in my heart: His motivation wasn't fame or money. Many will say these words about themselves, but I can assure you my fatherís attitude was and is genuine. There were numerous opportunities in my fatherís life for financial gain. I do not know the details (I could always ask my father), but he was asked to move to the United States, right after I was born, to join the NBA. His motivation was to remain loyal to USSR - though his mentality was far from its politics. Even in communist USSR he was well-off, plus he had numerous opportunities to play by contract for other teams (the last one I remember was Real Madrid - we stayed in Guadalajara).

I could describe my father as not a very frugal man, but that definition would not live up to its identity in light of my fatherís generosity for the poor, needy, and his family. He now resides in Moscow and owns a house outside the city limits. His full time job now is working for a businessman as a driver - this business is involved in international customs.  My father, unlike most individuals in my life, is genuinely happy and content as to where he is in life (I believe he would remain content even if he had to clean bathrooms - thought I don't believe it's his purpose or a gift to be cherished ) - that's his heart and should be the heart of all professional athletes.

My father left basketball because of his back. He had severe problems with his disks over a long period of time; they pretty much slid off each other causing potential for paralysis and insurmountable amount of pain.

The size of my father could deceive almost anyone. When he doesn't shave for about 5 days that deception becomes quite consuming. I am talking about his intimidating size, of course, that gives people the idea of 'Mike Tyson' attitude. Never did my father even raise his voice at me - and I didn't turn out so bad... at least that's what people tell me. If the rest of the world had his gentleness and love, violence would not be known to a human race.

I will recite a short story about my father and his encounter with 2 burglars to indicate the contrast of what people think of him vs. his thoughts of them. I was a baby and my mother took me away to my grandparent's house while my father chose not to attend his basketball practice that afternoon because he was sick. While lying in bed he heard someone trying to pick the lock to their apartment. That aroused my father's curiosity as he went and hid near the pantry room, waiting to encounter his unsuspecting guests. Finally someone opened the door and 2 individuals went directly into the living room. So, my father came out from behind to greet them. I do not know what they felt at that moment, but I do know what my father felt and thought . Anyhow, one of the guys jumped off the 3d story, breaking numerous bones, another one fell down to the floor begging for mercy. I believe this one encounter was equivalent of 5 years in prison for both of these guys - and mercy did he show - (note: don't jump to your death before asking forgiveness) - charges weren't pressed.

Well, this was a lot of fun. I guess I could keep writing, but I might just stop here for now.

May the Lord bless you all richly,
Oleg V. Tkachenko.

Vladimir Tkachenko Profile

Name: Vladimir Tkachenko
Nickname: N/A
Born: September 20, 1957
Status: Retired
Origin: Ukraine
Height: 7-3/2,20m
Weight: ?
Schools: N/A
Drafted: Undrafted
Languages: English
Website: InterBasket
Teams (jersey): Soviet National Team
Ibn Notes: A great example of a gentle Giant, Vladimir Tkachenko (or Tatachenko) was also a great center.  He succeeded yet was always a gentleman, always apologizing to those that happened along his massive body. Tkachenko was coordinated for his size but was not very quick. Nice shooter out to 15-17 feet. Very unselfish. He would have more rebounds but teammates got some of the boards because Tkachenko would block out 2 or three guys at a time (thanks Cwilson13).  The first giant of Europe, in many countries, they still use phrases like "you're as tall as Tatchenko"
Vladimir Tkachenko Links  From our forum: Info on Vladimir Tkachenko   Articles and other resources: Vladimir Tkachenko Parody (YouTube)