Shabtai Kalmanovitch, owner of the highly successful Spartak Moscow women’s basketball team, was shot and killed in Moscow according to reports coming out of Russia and Israel.
Kalmanovitch, known as a high-roller who spent tons on money on his basketball club, giving players high salaries and luxurious perks, was an Israeli immigrant from the former Soviet Union and a former KGB spy. He was caught and imprisoned.
Kalmanovitch was attacked by assailants armed with semi-automatic guns while driving in his Mercedes in the Russian capital according to the Interfax news agency. He was shot at least 20 times.
It is possible that his murder was connected to basketball reported Ynetnews.com. Anatoly Bagmet, the head of the Investigative Committee’s Moscow branch, told Russian news agency RIA:
“We are looking into different leads, among them the possibility that the murder was connected with Kalmanovich’s activities as the owner of the basketball team Spartak Moscow,”
The current Spartak squad includes several WNBA players: Janel McCarville, Sylvia Fowles, Aneta Jekabsone-Zogota, Diana Taurasi, Edwige Lawson-Wade and Kelly Miller. Seattle Storm players Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson are also on the squad but have not joined the team yet. The coach of Spartak is