PBC CSKA Moscow have announced the departure of their inspirational captain Vitaly Fridzon.
The 32-year-old shooting guard has joined Moscow's Russian VTB United League rivals, Lokomotiv Kuban.
"Russian National Team captain, the best scorer in the history of the VTB United League Vitaly Fridzon to leaves CSKA after 5 seasons with the team," Moscow said on a statement.
Fridzon wore red and blue for the first time in 2013 and fulfilled his dreams by winning one EuroLeague title and five VTB League titles.
Vitaly played 312 games for CSKA tied for 10 all-time with Kyle Hines. The player had 110 starts and averaged 7.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocked shots in 16.0 minutes. Currently Fridzon leads the VTB League all-time list in scoring with 2171 points.
Andrey Vatutin, the Moscow president, hailed Fridzon, who helped the team win the 2015/16 EuroLeague title.
"Vitaly is a unique person not just for Russian basketball but for sports overall. He is a spectacular, talented player, true and reliable fighter on the floor but he is also unbelievably open, good, responsive, friendly and hearty person. It is difficult to find an athlete who has sympathy and respect of everyone," he said on the team's official website.
"With no exaggeration I would say that Fridzon has become the central, unifying figure of our team and my good friend. Vitaly is always keeping the fire inside, the competitiveness and desire to have the biggest possible impact on the team’s successes.
"This is great and we have no right to create the obstacles for him. So I say big thank you and good luck, I hope that Vitaly will reach his goal and he will have the significant role on the next stage of his career.
Fridzon thanked Moscow when speaking to the team's website.
"Five years with CSKA is a big and serious period, and I will remember it with appreciation. I am glad that I was able to work on the same team with this people. I would like to say “thank you” to everyone. First of all, to Andrey Vatutin who invited me to CSKA. I knew where I go and what are my goals," he said.
"I am sure that I answered the expectations with the way I played. I would like to thank all coaches, players, medics and everyone on the club’s staff. Separate words of appreciation to the fans who supported and cheered for me. I hope they understand my professional ambitions and we will keep good relationships. Now the new path, new era starts for me. See you on the court."