Dmytro Kleban: "My dream is to get into the senior "Prometey" team"


A bigman of BC "Prometey" Dmytro Kleban was named the best center of the Cup of Ukraine Final Four, which took place in Kyiv last weekend. Dmytro was one of the most effective players of his team in the Final Four: in two matches in the Ukrainian capital, he averaged 14.0 points and pulled 6.5 rebounds (RE 18.0), becoming a key figure in the front line of the Cup finalists.

After “Prometey” returned to Slobozhanske, where the team started preparing for the next High league bubble, Dmytro Kleban gave the FBU press service an interview, where he focused on the events of the decisive matches of the Cup of Ukraine, performance of “Prometey” in the High league and outlined his immediate career plans.

- Dmytro, now, when several days have passed since the Final of the Cup of Ukraine, it is possible to make a detailed analysis of the events. The management of the club assessed very positively the team’s performance in Kyiv. And how do you and your partners estimate the "Prometey" matches?

- We haven't played against strong teams in front of a large number of fans for a long time. It was pleasant, but at the same time difficult, first of all psychologically. But we moved step by step to the decisive matches of the Cup, we wanted to participate in them, we worked hard for this. Of course, it's a pity that we conceded in the final, when there was only one step left to win the main trophy.

- Before the Final Four, you entered the symbolic team of the High league 11th game week. Did you approach the cup matches in optimal shape?

- Yes, I believe that right before the Final Four I came to my best shape in the season.

- The confrontations in the capital opened with a semi-final match against "Kyiv-Basket". At the expense of what was it possible to reinforce the game after its first half, when deficit was of 10 points?

- Indeed, the beginning of the match was unsuccessful. Before this match, we opposed Superleague teams long ago, so it was not easy to enter the game. However, we felt that we were stronger than our rival was, that we could defeat them. We had to come back to the floor and do our best for a positive result. We speeded up, add more aggression under the backboards - this also worked for us. Fast basketball and tough defence are the main trump cards of our team. We often beat our rivals due to these components.

- The team seemed very nervous in the debut of the game against "Dnipro". How was it in reality?

- There was nervousness; I am not going to deny this fact. We lost a bit our self-confidence, made a lot of turnovers. But let's remember that “Dnipro” is undefeated in the Superleague - there is no doubt about the high class of the opponent. Alike in the match against “Kyiv-Basket”, we had to step during the match.

- Was it difficult for you personally to face the experienced bigmen of "Dnipro"?

- Of course, the opponent has titled national players in its roster. I would like to show a good game in competition with them. I tried to offer them a decent response all the time.


- “Prometey” is the undeniable leader of the High League championship. The team wins a lot of matches with a crushing score. Could the lack of competitive matches affect the result of the final match against “Dnipro”?

- I believe that when you constantly play against teams of lower class, you start to have problems with strong ones. It is not easy to remute for such teams and do what is needed on the floor. So, it was precisely in the Final Four that this factor manifested itself.

- Dmytro, let's introduce you to Ukrainian fans more detailed. How did you take up basketball? Who have influenced you the most as a basketball player?

- I started playing basketball at the ordinary school N1 in the city of Lviv. Children's coach Stepan Stepanovych Matula really wanted to see me in the basketball section. Under his guidance, I mastered the basics of basketball. After leaving school, Yaroslav Zubrytskyi invited me to "Lviv Polytechnica". Professionally, I cut my teeth when I played for “Polytechnica” in the High league. After the outbreak of COVID, I moved to Yuzhne, to the local "Khimik" system.

- Is cooperation with Oleksandr Pashchenko in Yuzhne and now in Slobozhanske a separate stage of your career?

- Yes of course! I believe that Oleksandr Sergeyevich gave me his hand in the basketball life! He is a very demanding coach, he demands a lot from the players, but he does not just demand - he knows how to develop the potential of a young player and helps realize this potential.

- What is your biggest basketball dream? Is it related to the National team of Ukraine, especially now, when the main team of the country has a shortage of center players?

  - First of all, I want to get into the senior “Prometey” team. I also constantly think about the National team of Ukraine: I would like to become part of it later. In order to fulfil my dreams, I constantly work hard and improve as a player.