Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Son of Ukrainian Oligarch Igor Kolomoisky Attended CSU to Play Basketball Last Year

Posted By on Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 9:23 AM

click to enlarge Gregory Kolomoisky - CSUVIKINGS.COM
  • Gregory Kolomoisky
The son of a Ukrainian oligarch with ties to Cleveland real estate played basketball, briefly, at Cleveland State University in 2018-2019.

The 6'4" Gregory Kolomoisky was enrolled as a "Sports Management" major and played inconsequential minutes in two games last season before signing with a Ukrainian pro club earlier this year.

Scene was alerted to the younger Kolomoisky's CSU connection by journalists from Ukraine. A TV crew from Kiev traveled to Cleveland last week to report on Igor Kolomoisky's acquisition of downtown Cleveland office buildings, via the Cleveland-and-Miami-based real estate firm "Optima Ventures."

The oligarch Kolomoisky is accused of siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars from fraudulent loans made by the bank he owned until its nationalization in 2016. These financial schemes are the subject of a massive ongoing lawsuit, on which Scene reported earlier this year. 

Gregory Kolomoisky was born in Switzerland, one of several countries in which his father has residences. How he ended up at CSU is unclear. When Scene inquired about Gregory's presence on the roster, a CSU spokesman said that Kolomoisky completed a single semester at CSU and then chose not to return.

To basketball-related questions — Was Kolomoisky recruited? Did he try out? Was his spot on the team brokered, in some fashion? — the spokesman said the current Athletics Administration is "pretty new" and have no additional details.

click to enlarge 12.05.19_kolomoiskycsu.png

After the election of Ukrainian president Volodmyr Zelensky earlier this year, Igor Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine after more than two years of self exile. He used Gregory's signing with a pro club there as a pretext for his homecoming from Israel. Gregory now plays for Ukraine's BC Dnipro, Igor Kolomoisky's hometown team. 

There was widespread fear at the time of Kolomoisky's return that he would begin to exert influence over Zelensky, who, prior to the election, had played a president on a TV show that aired on a network Kolomoisky owned.

Kolomoisky had been living in Israel, where he also holds citizenship, after conflicts over the nationalization of his PrivatBank, the country’s largest commercial bank and the one he accused of using as his "own personal piggy bank." 

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 7, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation