Khimki Moscow Region left no doubt of its intention to fight for another Eurocup title on Monday, when it announced the addition of combo guard Tyrese Rice, the bwin MVP of the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, to its roster for the next three seasons. Rice (1.85 meters, 27 years old) arrives from Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv after one glorious season in which he led the team on repeated, late-season comebacks to win the Turkish Airlines Euroleague trophy as underdogs.
Although he averaged 9.5 points, 3.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds, coming off the bench in all but five Euroleague games last season, Rice came out of came out of nowhere late in the season to etch his name in the annals of European basketball history. All three of Maccabi's miraculous comebacks occurred on the same floor at Mediolanum Forum in Milan, Italy. In Game 1 of the playoffs, Rice and Ricky Hickman rallied Maccabi from 12 points down with 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter to eventually win in overtime against host EA7 Emporio Armani Milan on the way to stealing home court advantage and the series. Back in Milan for the Final Four, Maccabi roared back from 15 points down late in the third quarter to stun CSKA Moscow as Rice hit the game-winning layup with 5 seconds left to finish with 13 points. In the championship game, Rice scored 21 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as Maccabi outlasted Real Madrid for the title and he was voted Final Four bwin MVP. A couple of weeks later, Rice led Maccabi to the Israeli League title, and was voted the Israeli League Finals MVP.
Khimki will be his sixth club in as many seasons for Rice. He started his professional career with Panionios Athens in Greece, and has also played with Artland Dragons and Bayern Munich in Germany, as well as Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania. With Rytas, Rice also made his Eurocup debut in 2011-12, helping the team to the Eurocup Finals as he had 11.1 points, 4.7 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 15 games that season.