Sergey Nikolaevich Tarakanov holds a special place as one of the most-decorated players to ever wear a CSKA Moscow jersey. Tarakanov spent the majority of his career with CSKA, which he joined in 1979 after an invitation from legendary coach Alexander Gomelskiy himself. In little time, Tarakanov became an integral part – and later the captain – of one of the greatest CSKA generations of all time.
In a span of 11 seasons with the club, Tarakanov won a total of seven national championships with CSKA, including five in a row from 1980 to 1984. He also helped bring three Soviet Cups to CSKA’s trophy room. Tarakanov became CSKA team captain in 1986 and as such lifted the national championship trophy himself in 1988 and 1990.
Tarakanov spent more than a decade playing for the great Soviet Union national team and had an important role in some of the greatest achievements in Soviet basketball history. He took the basketball world by storm in 1979 when he was named best newcomer at EuroBasket that year. Tarakanov netted 22 points in the title game, in which the Soviet Union defeated Israel 98-76, and remained a force thereafter as one of the most dangerous offensive weapons of the 1980s. In a true crowning moment, Tarakanov averaged 8.1 points per game in helping the Soviet Union win the gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
During his playing career, Tarakanov helped the Soviet Union win nine medals at major competitions. He owns EuroBasket gold medals from 1979, 1981 and 1985; a World Cup gold from 1982; a World Cup silver from 1986; and the Olympic bronze medal from 1980. He finished his career by playing a season each in Germany and Belgium. Even after his playing days came to an end, Tarakanov remained close to the game and served as the Russian national team general manager when it won the EuroBasket 2007 title. More than just a CSKA legend, Tarakanov is one of the greats in the history of Russian basketball.