LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State guard Max Shulga was born and raised in Ukraine.
So when his home country was attacked by Russia and war broke out a few weeks ago, he was in a state of belief.
“It’s doesn’t feel real to this day,” Shulga said.
Shulga, a sophomore in his second season with the Aggies, lived in Ukraine until the age of 13, and he goes back every year. He still has family there, and thankfully his parents are safe.
“When I’m calling my parents, I’m happy to see them,” Shulga said. “But at the same time, I know there are other people, relatives of random people dying over there, fighting for their country. I’m mad with all that is going on and I can’t do anything. I’m all the way over here.”
It’s difficult for Shulga to concentrate on basketball these days, knowing the devastation happening back in his native country. He knows that at any time, he could hear something tragic about a loved one.
“It’s obviously nerve-racking when you see stuff on the news,” he said. “Until your people text you back and say that everything is good, you’re just kind of nervous about it.”
His adopted family in Logan showed their support during the the Aggies final home game against Colorado State. When Shulga was introduced into the game, the entire student section held up cards with the colors of the Ukranian flag.
“One of the guys from the student section told me they had a surprise for me,” Shulga said. “The whole section lit up with the Ukranian flag, blue and yellow. I enjoyed that moment, and I appreciate all the support.”
Shulga and the Aggies wrap up the regular season Friday night at San Jose State.