BASKETBALL is very popular in Perm. The local team Great Ural was once the only team strong enough to end the dominance of the league champions CSKA Moscow.

The Permians did well in the Euroleague too, beating Real Madrid Basketball and Kinder Bologna.

The club closed in 2009 but left behind in Perm a true passion for the sport.

There is a different basketball club in Perm today; PARMA.

Their greatest achievement to date has been winning the Russia Cup although they have yet to boast of any really big victories. Still, they draw more spectators to their matches than any other club in Russia.

This summer the club was reinforced by several new interesting sportsmen; in particular the young American Codi Miller-McIntyre.

He has already become the club’s leading player and is one of the most effective in the United VTB League, the league for clubs from the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Codi, 23, considers PARMA somewhere where a player can show his best and make a name for himself.

His professional career began last year in the modest Belgian club Leuwen Bears. He played as a point guard and came top in his tournament for scoring goals and making assists and steals, so he came up on PARMA’s radar and was signed with them.

Here is a typical day in the life of an American basketball player in Perm:


Codi usually wakes up and has breakfast around this time.

The team doctor, Andrei Butorin, has created a comprehensive programme based on the principle that when much is demanded of the body much must be given to it with due attention to balanced nutrition; without the requisite amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats the player’s body won’t recover from the last game and be fit for the next.

Eating appropriately is vital for any professional athlete; not doing so means getting out of condition and risking injury.

The club fines those not complying with the nutritional regime. As a professional Codi understands that the length of his career as a basketball player depends on keeping to the correct diet.

10.30am-12.30pm Mid-morning training.

The first training session of the morning focusses on physical fitness and exercises on the training equipment then there is work with the coaching staff on tactics, coordinated team moves and working together on the basketball court.

1-2pm Lunch.

Players have lunch together. The head coach, the Latvian specialist Nikolai Mazurs, has banned the use of smartphones and tablets whilst eating. He believes it is impossible to create a ‘family’ without proper communication.

This has had at least one result; recently his Russian team mates gave Codi, half-jokingly, a ‘phrase-book of the Permian language for all’, explaining local slang in Russian and English.

It has now become a regular amusement listening out for how he uses the various expressions.

One of these words is ‘posikunchiki’ – small meat pies, a local delicacy of Perm.

Codi admits that he hasn’t tried them yet, but he will.

3-5pm Engaging with the public.

PARMA does not only play basketball and put on a sparkling game. The club also has active outreach projects with its fans.

Codi himself has already given a couple of English conversation lessons in Perm schools.

For the kids this is a motivation to improve their language skills and the better to get to know a basketball player who has become a local star.

This sort of activity also helps to build team spirit.

Not long ago all the players went to a pottery master class in one a Perm craft workshop. All of the things they made will be displayed and sold at a charity auction.

6-8pm Evening training.

Usually another team training session.

If for some reason there isn’t one – for example players are given time off to rest after a match – then the team members often spend their free time together.

The lads go to each other’s homes and simply play on Xbox or Sony Playstation.

Codi has one other thing he does. He has his own range of Patience branded clothes.

Some of the day is taken up with managing this business and at the moment he is thinking of opening his own shop in Perm.

He said: “The clothes I design are a visual projection of the ideas that come to me.

“We all know that in sport you’ll achieve nothing if you don’t have patience when you’re training.

“Everything doesn’t always work out; so my clothes are a symbol of the path that I chose and they remind me of it every day.

“I definitely want to launch something special for the fans if I can find a suitable factory in Perm.”

So that’s a typical day for the American point guard Codi Miller-McIntyre at the PARMA basketball club in Perm.

There’s more about the life of the team and its players on the official website