Mocs 6’10 Basketball Transfer Mark Tikhonenko Granted Immediate Eligibility


CHATTANOOGA—The Chattanooga Mocs got good news Tuesday afternoon. The NCAA passed word that junior transfer Mark Tikhonenko is immediately to join the 2020-21 roster.

Tikhonenko, pronounced TEE-koh-NEN-koh, joined the Mocs in May from Sam Houston State in Texas. At 6-10, 240-lbs, he provides another good option in the frontcourt for Coach Lamont Paris and staff.

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He began his collegiate career at North Texas redshirting as a freshman before playing one season. That was followed by his year with the Bearkats before coming to the Scenic City.

His basketball pedigree is impeccable. Father, Valeri, won the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal playing for the then-USSR. His mother, Victora, was a national team player for Kazakhstan U20.

It was welcome news for the Moscow native as he shared with the social media team.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at