LAWRENCE, Kan. — With Russia launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine early Thursday morning, several professional athletes around the world are voicing their support for the country heading into war.
A great tragedy has befell on our dear homeland Ukraine. We categorically condemn the war. Ukraine is a peaceful, sovereign state inhabited by people who want to design their own destiny. We pray for our families, friends, relatives and all the people who are in the territory of Ukraine. We hope for an end as soon as possible. Dear fellow Ukrainians, hold on! Our strength is in unity! We are with you!Alex Len & Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
The statement was also written in Ukrainian.
Mykhailiuk was born in Cherkasy, Ukraine. The city is about 120-miles south of the capital city of Kyiv. He moved to Lawrence to play at KU in 2014.
Prior to playing at KU, Mykhailiuk played professionally in the Ukrainian Basketball SuperLeague for his hometown team, Cherkasy Mavpy. Len, an Antratsyt native, played for BC Dnipro prior to playing collegiately for Maryland.
Mykhailiuk said his parents still live in Ukraine. His mother is a high school biology teacher and his father is a college history professor.
KUsports.com reports that KU coach Bill Self texted with his former player Thursday. Self said that according to Mykhailiuk, his parents are still in Ukraine, they are safe, and he is hoping to get them out of the country soon.