While Svi Mykhailiuk competes in the NBA for the Toronto Raptors, his mind is somewhere else right now.
How could it not?
Mykhailiuk is thinking about his friends, family, and countrymen back in Ukraine after it was invaded by Russia this week.
The 24-year-old is one of two current NBA players from Ukraine, along with former Raptors centre Alex Len, who now plays for the Sacramento Kings.
Mykhailiuk and Len have released a joint statement condemning the war in their homeland, saying that Ukraine is a “peaceful, sovereign state inhabited by people who want to decide their own destiny.”
Mykhailiuk posted a statement on social media with a caption in Ukrainian, which translates to “no war.”
Ні Війні! pic.twitter.com/CkPZ3cDQdm
— Svi Mykhailiuk (@Sviat_10) February 24, 2022
“A great tragedy befell our dear homeland Ukraine,” reads the statement. “We categorically condemn the war. Ukraine is a peaceful, sovereign state inhabited by people who want to decide 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 to this terrible war as soon as possible. Dear fellow Ukrainians, hold on! Our strength is in unity! We are with you!”
Basketball fans have responded in great numbers, offering their support for the two players and Ukraine.
🙏🏾 for your families & all of Ukraine 🇺🇦
— JayhawkM🏀M (@Ms_Dkingg) February 24, 2022
Sending love and prayers for your family and friends.
— Sylvia Lovegren (@sylovegren1) February 24, 2022
You and your friends, family, and country are in my thoughts, Svi 🙏
— Erika Wang (@ErikaWang2ndAct) February 24, 2022
I wish your family, friends, and even strangers in Ukraine the very best of luck in these times.
We’re all thinking about Ukraine right now.
— ALL CAPS 🧢🧢🧢 (@nawksi) February 24, 2022
Sorry Svi, prayers up to your family and friends in the UK 🙏🏽
— Desmond Sr. (@Desismith24) February 24, 2022
I’m sorry the world is so full of cruelty. 💙💛
— Heem (@TheOnlyHeem) February 24, 2022