PRO TEAM: MBC Mykolaiv
VITALS: 6'5", 190 lbs.
YEAR DRAFTED: 2009 by Atlanta (Round 2, Pick 49)
RIGHTS HELD BY: Atlanta Hawks
Finally, somebody that has nothing to do with Turkey. Not that there is anything wrong with turkey; I am just more of a chicken man myself. Puns aside, today's Draft Rights Retained Profile is of Ukrainian international Sergii Gladyr. Gladyr has the unfortunate designation as the first player whose team has been eliminated from the FIBA World Cup. It is rough for Gladyr and the Ukraine as only them and Angola were eliminated with two wins to their name. It is even rougher for Gladyr as he suffered an injury in the group stage. I'll get to that at the end but for now let us go back to the start of Gladyr's basketball journey.
Sergii began his professional basketball career at just 15. The teenager started off on the second team for Ukrainian minnow MBC Mykolaiv. He played for a season and change with the B-team before a call-up to the first team in 2006. 15.1 points and 90% free throw shooting from the then 17 year old made him a target for bigger clubs in Europe. Internationally, he was just as impressive. Sergii was killing it for an undermanned Ukraine team, averaging over 17 points per at both the U-18 and U-20 levels. He raised the bar even more his last year propelling perennial cellar dwellers Mykolaiv to a fifth place finish in the Ukrainian Super League. He scored 15.4 points and grabbed 4.3 rebounds per game, made the Ukrainian All-Star Game, and secured himself a transfer to Spanish side Basquet Manresa.
Before his relocation however, Sergii was selected in the 2009 NBA Draft. The Hawks made him a second round pick, number 49 overall. The guard didn't sign a contract with the Hawks or play summer league for the team. The second part was because the Hawks didn't field a summer league squad that year but I digress. Gladyr did come across the pond to participate in Hawks' training camp. After the workouts, he returned to Spain to his new team Manresa.
Basquet Manresa, the former home to Serge Ibaka and George Gervin (yes, George Gervin!), were a mid table squad in Liga ACB during Gladyr's tenure. He only averaged double digits in points once (his first year) but was one of Manresa's more versatile players and developed a reputation as a reliable outside shooter. He was able to start or come off the bench with similar efficiency. He even won the 2010 ACB Three Point Shootout at their All-Star Weekend. Gladyr's contract expired in 2012 and he moved on. He didn't move too far as he stayed in Spain with Baloncesto Fuenlabrada. Basquet Manresa was relegated the year after Gladyr's departure.
He only spent one season with Fuenlabrada with the team going 12-22. That was their record the year before and after Sergii played for them as well. Sergii raised his scoring average to 9.4 in his one season in Madrid and broke 40% from three point range for the first time in Spanish league play. He would win the ACB Three Point Shootout for a second time in 2012 and then be on the move yet again.
The summer of 2013 saw Gladyr once again change addresses but also make a return to the States. Unlike his previous trip abroad, the guard actually played for the Hawks' summer league team this time. He only scored three points in two games but the call back was proof that the Hawks had not forgotten about him. After his summer league cameo, he returned to Europe to join his new club, JSF Nanterre in France.
Nanterre were the defending French champions upon Gladyr's introduction. They wouldn't qualify for the playoffs in Sergii's lone season in Paris but they did quite well in both domestic cups. Gladyr averaged 10 points per game as his team won the French Cup and were runners-up in the Leaders Cup. If you know Sergii Gladyr's M.O. as well as I do know, you knew he wasn't sticking around Nanterre for very long. That sinking feeling became reality on August 18th when Sergii transferred to SLUC Nancy Basket. Before he left for Nancy, he would represent his country at the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
After averaging over 12 points a game in Eurobasket and World Cup qualification, Gladyr was granted a starting spot in Spain. He played well in a win over the Dominican Republic scoring 12 points and having a +/- of 10. His tournament took a turn for the worse against lowly Finland. Not only did Gladyr only play eight minutes before suffering a foot injury, Ukraine lost the game to third lowest ranked team in the competition. Gladyr would miss the win versus Turkey and loss to New Zealand. He tried to come back against the United States in their last group stage game but couldn't make it to a minute played before being substituted. It was a cruel fate for a team and a player that deserved better in the World Cup. Sergii can only throw his hands up in disbelief of his misfortune.
Thanks for reading the eighteenth volume of Draft Rights Retained right here on Bleeding Your Colors! I hope you enjoyed it and look forward to bringing you more wacky stories of players who the NBA has long since forgotten, but not their draft rights. Stay locked for a new profile until the list is exhausted. For more of me, check out my Twitter @TREVORutley and the official Bleeding Your Colors Twitter @B3WHYC3. For less of me, have Charlie Kelly smash your computer into a jelly.
Image Credits: Gladyr layup (wikipedia.org), Indifferent Sergii (kyivpost.com)