Voigtmann has been one of the best German basketballers for years. Although he does not play in the NBA, but has been a service provider in the Euroleague, the European premier class since 2016. After three years at the Spanish Top Team Vitoria, he moved in 2019 as the first German in the club history to the Russian top address ZSKA Moscow.
2.11 meters is Voigtmann Great, plays nominell as a center under the baskets, but is characterized by mobility, a strong litter and an exceptionally pronounced feeling for the game. His feeling quickly said the 76-colored international after the outbreak of the Russian crime war in Ukraine quickly that he is no longer in the right place as a professional of Zska.
Johannes Voigtmann: Mr Voigtmann, when was it clear to you that you do not want to work in the current situation than basketball professional for ZSKA Moscow?
Johannes Voigtmann: That was clearly clear. On Thursday of last week, as everyone else, we have been surprised by the terrible news about the war started by Russia in Ukraine. After one, two days of reflection, the decision was determined that I do not want to stay in Moscow.
What was the main reason for you to leave the club?
I can not agree with me in the current situation, for a Russian team competitions, where it ends up for winners and losers. Even if it is only basketball, this includes a symbolic that is in my view in my view is inappropriate. The Russian President has to answer for a brutal assault war, because of the innocent people in Ukraine dying, millions of people from their homeland have to flee, especially children lose their home or even their lives. Since I could not stay in Russia and continue, as if nothing happened, especially since you do not know how the situation will change there. Since I would not have felt safe in the overall context.
When the war began, they were with their team in Munich, where the Euroleague game planned on Thursday night was canceled in the short term at the short term. Why are they flown to Russia again with the team?
First of all, I was very relieved that the game was ultimately canceled. None of the team was able to concentrate on basketball on this day. For several reasons, however, it was clear that I have to fly to Moscow again. Our dog was still in support during the away lot – and we had a fully furnished apartment in which I lived with my wife and our two sons. In addition, I wanted to talk in peace with the club officers. That’s what I found fair, because they are in my sense of this war as innocently as we are players.
Once about Science City Jena, the Skyliners Frankfurt and Laboral Kutxa Vitoria 2019 came to Moscow: Basketball Center Johannes Voigtmann. imago images / itar-tass
ZSKA means translated central sports club of the army. They played two and a half years for ZSKA, do you notice something of the close connection to the Red Army in times of the Soviet Union today?
No, I know of the history, but there is no connection to the army anymore. The basketball club uses the abbreviation ZSKA only as a brand for awareness. I would like to thank the ZSKA officers. I could lead open talks at the weekend with them and they have shown understanding for my decision. They did not put me a stone in the way to me and the other drifting players. My impression after advocating no ZSKA responsible person, with whom I spoke, this war. On the contrary, you and the club suffer as the entire Russian sport under the current situation. Even if there is no alternative to the exclusion of Russian athletes and teams, personally for the people and colleagues I’m sorry, with whom I worked well with two and a half years.
I am very glad that my family has been in Germany since the beginning of the war and the guys were thus spared the abrupt departure and the long drive.
At least the game plan had proven to be a favorable coincidence for her family, which was flown for a home visit to the away game to Munich.
Exactly, it was planned for some time that my wife and guys come along to stay at the grandparents for three weeks until the boys should go back to kindergarten after the end of the holidays in Moscow. On Thursday was quickly clear that the plan changes. Originally, I wanted to take a suitcase for the family with German products, ie food and children’s books with Moscow, we have left directly. I am very glad that my family had been in Germany since the beginning of the war and the guys were so absorbed the abrupt departure and the long car ride. To know my family in safety, was very reassuring and facilitating for me. To be separated from the family for a longer period of time, another reason was that a whereabouts in Moscow did not question for me.
From Moscow to drive by car, sounds adventurous. How did your departure?
Because on Sunday most airspines for Russian airlines were already closed and I wanted to take so many important things as possible from the apartment and also had the dog, only the car remained as an option. I’ve packed that, trying to regulate as many things as possible with the apartment and our rest of the household, and I drove after a final team meeting on Sunday with the dog on the passenger seat towards Latvian border. Those were at first eight hours almost just straight through Öde landscapes.
Now it was three days until I suddenly stopped the tents. Of course, that needs a bit of time until it is processed.
There were complications?
Not really, but just before the Russian border, my pulse was a bit high because I did not know what would expect me there. Except for the fact that I had to clear the whole car and the border officers have looked into every suitcase, it ran relatively smoothly. After a break, I moved further to Lithuania, where I have placed a short stop in Kaunas with my former teammate Janis Strelieks. Over Poland, it went home, in the end it was about 2500 kilometers.
They are not a war victim, they did not hover in danger, did not have to escape their homeland, yet Russia’s attack war on Ukraine has also taken care of in their career for a cut. How are you mental?
The situation is still surreal. If you leave a club, you usually have a bit of time to prepare yourself. Now it was three days, until I suddenly stopped the tents. Of course, that needs a bit of time until it is processed. It is nice to be with my family in a quiet and secure environment in my home near Eisenach. Now we look, as it goes on. This is unplanned stress, but of course nothing compared to the bad situation of people in Ukraine. The most important thing is that this war has to stop as soon as possible.
Has the home European Championship in September festival in sights: international Johannes Voigtmann. Imago Images / Kolbert-Press
You can only hope for people in Ukraine that somehow succeeds. The transition on the subject of sports is not easy, yet: You currently do not play basketball, how are you with you, also with a view of the home em in September?
First of all, contractual things must be clarified, I am under contract until summer 2023 at ZSKA. Of course I would like to play again as soon as possible, also because of the home em. At the latest then I want to be a potite again. Since it will hopefully give a good opportunity to enter, even if in some leagues the change period has already expired.
Basically, I prefer a long-term Euroleague commitment beyond this season.
Johannes Voigtmann about a potential commitment to Alba or Bavaria
So you can not imagine to get up for ZSKA at some point?
Difficult, even if the war hopefully ends soon, is not suddenly everything as before. My agent therefore tries to find a good solution for my contract situation with the ZSKA managers. However, there is no precedent for the current situation, which is for all new territory.
In the BBL would a change possible, are the Euroleague teams Alba Berlin and Bayern Munich options for you?
Basically, I prefer a long-term Euroleague engagement beyond this season. And it is important to first clarify my current contract situation with ZSKA.
Zum topic: Basketball international Johannes Voigtmann leaves Zska Moscow