For Ruslan Pateev, it’s been a long and challenging road from his hometown of Moscow, Russia, to Tempe, Arizona, where he’s part of the Arizona State University men’s basketball team.
Pateev decided to leave his family in Russia in 2007 to seek a future on the hardwood at Montverde Academy in Florida. Since that time, he’s found success playing center for the Sun Devils.
“Honestly, the only thing I knew was the name of the school, (Montverde Academy),” Pateev said. “I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t know any English outside of ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘good morning’ and ‘good night.’ It was basically like my life was starting at zero.”
At Montverde Academy, Pateev averaged 10 points and 10 boards along with four blocks in his junior season and eight points and six boards in his senior season for a team that won 27 games.
Pateev continued to improve his performance after signing with ASU in November 2008, seeing action in 20 games in his freshman season (2009-10) and shooting 15-of-29 (.517) from the floor. He played in 30 games his sophomore season (2010-11) and started in eight.
• Before the arrival of teammate and fellow center Jordan Bachynski, Pateev was only the third Sun Devil basketball player to be listed at seven-foot.
• Last season, the soft-spoken Russian hoopster was ejected from ASU’s game with Southern Miss after becoming involved in an altercation with Golden Eagles forward Torye Pelham.
Arizona State Head Coach Herb Sendek likes Pateev’s stature and capabilities on the court. “Rusian brings great size and an outstanding skill set. He is efficient around the basket and can knock down jumpers and adds toughness and a defensive presence to the floor. We are very excited to have him as part of our program.”
The 22-year-old Pateev, who has a twin sister, loves hip-hop music and pineapple topping on his pizza. What else would you expect from a seven-foot guy from Russia!