“I’m here and I’ve been here (CSKA Moscow) because I want to win titles, I want to compete for championships.”
UNCG Basketball legend and European pro Kyle Hines made that statement back in the first episode of his YouTube docuseries “Just A Kid From Sicklerville,” and now we are here in the playoffs, with the series winding down.
The fourth episode of the documentary highlights Kyle’s journey to the playoffs. Kyle suffers a lower leg injury right before the start of the first round. He’s forced to miss three weeks and the entire first round. A fierce competitor, Kyle is devastated.
Despite Kyle’s absence, CSKA Moscow defeats Kimiki Moscow and advances to the EuroLeague Final Four once again. This is his seventh straight Final Four appearance and Hines is seeking his fourth title.
Kyle believes that his team has what it takes to win it all. “We have the blueprint and everything on paper, but it is up to us to bring it together,” he says.
That concludes the fourth episode of the documentary as CSKA Moscow prepares to travel to Belgrade for the Final Four.
In the final episode of the documentary, CSKA Moscow arrives in Belgrade for the championship. Kyle’s family and friends arrive in time to support him. Unfortunately, Kyle is slammed with sponsored events and press conferences and barely gets to spend any time with his loved ones
Again, this is part of the sacrifice athletes make. His family is there, but he is unable to spend quality time with them. Kyle says this is, “one of the most difficult parts” of being an overseas athlete, he reminds himself to remain focused on winning the title. Finally healthy, excited and concentrated Hines locks in for the Final Four.
CSKA Moscow faced off against Real Madrid and fell 92-83 in the Final Four. It was a crushing loss for the guys, but Kyle saw both beauty and heartbreak in this defeat.
“The best or most dominant team throughout the season doesn’t always win, and we have to take this as a lesson learned.”
The defeat was unfortunate for CSKA, but Kyle went home with plenty of hardware. He was named Best Defender at the Euroleague Awards Ceremony, his second time earning the award. “Hard determination, I get it from my parents, I get if from my hometown and I just play as hard as I can everyday,” Kyle said in his award speech.
Although Kyle suffered a devastating loss on the court, he was victorious off the court. Kyle was able to spend his first Thanksgiving with his wife and daughter in Russia since welcoming his first son into the world.
“As a professional athlete overseas, I’ve missed out on a lot of precious moments with my family and friends, but that is what makes me appreciate the moments that I do have with them much more.”
Hines is a three-time EuroLeague champion and a two-time EuroLeague Best Defender winner, but that’s hardly what makes Kyle Hines Kyle Hines. He is a husband, father of two, a brother, a son, the list goes on. He’s experienced loss, injury, and spends months away from home at a time, but despite the defeat and adversity, Kyle is blessed and he knows it.
He says it himself: “Yes, basketball is a big part of my life and it taught me so many lessons in my life, but without the support of everyone back home, none of this would be possible.”
You can find “Just A Kid From Sicklerville” on Hines’ YouTube channel: SirHinesTV.