With the retirement of Jeff Foster earlier in the week, the Indiana Pacers had space and a roster spot to fill. On Friday, Indiana took a small step to filling up a big part of that open space, by signing Kyrylo Fesenko.
Fesenko, originally from the Ukraine, stands 7’1” and weighs 280 pounds. Drafted in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, the 25-year old center has been playing pro basketball in the NBA developmental league and overseas since 2003. Fesenko has a 7’4” wingspan, and a 9’4” standing reach.
Indiana is a team that prides itself on depth and flexibility on their roster. The additions of Fesenko on Friday and Leandro Barbosa last week help to fill the back up center and shooting guard spots on the bench.
Fesenko, who will be backing up NBA All Star Roy Hibbert, seems to know what he can do best to help the Pacers win. “Play hard, play on defense, show my best effort on defense. Play physical, that’s basically what I do best. They will not ask me to shoot three-pointers, that is for sure.” Fesenko also spoke of his excitement to play for the Pacers. “I want to play, honestly, i just want to play. I want to win. I just met Larry Bird for the first time. This is so awesome. I shake his hand.”
There’s no doubt Fesenko will get playing time behind Hibbert. On a team overloaded with players who can switch between the guard and forward positions, a true big body back up center could prove to be just what Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers need to succeed.