In the first post-war year, there were a few people who wanted to play basketball – less than 150. In general, these were students of two railway colleges. Experienced coaches taught teenagers – Grigory Abugov and Nikolay Kharchenko.
The team from Minralnye Vody played in the First League of the National Championship for many years. In 1994, Lokomotiv entered the Major League.
However, Loko won the International Sports Railway Union Cup.
Lokomotiv became the first champion of the Russian Cup.
Loko took 5th place in the regular championship, beat Samara in Top-8, but was defeated by CSKA in semifinals and by UNICS in the bronze medal game.
Lokomotiv Mineralnye Vody played in the Korach Cup for the first time in 1999. Loko managed to get to Top-16 but were beaten by Roma Italy on aggregate.
In Top-16, Metalurg was hammered; in Top-8, Shakter Irkutsk was beaten. In the bronze medal game, Loko defeated CSKA Moscow.
In the same season, Lokomotiv played in the final of the Korach Cup but was defeated by Nancy France.
Lokomotiv qualified to play-offs with pain and misery, taking 8th place of 10. Obviously, something had to be changed. It was decided to move to the Rostov Oblast which was more infrastructurally and economically promising.
Andrey Vedishchev, a world-class athlete, the bronze medal winner of Eurobasket and the Russian Championship, organized the project. The club played in Rostov during 6 years.
2003/2004 season was transitional for the team. It took time to recover after the move. In the first season, Loko took 8th place in the regular championship and was defeated by the champions-to-be CSKA in play-offs.
The Rostov team qualified to the FIBA Cup final and took silver medals of the championship. The situation improved in the domestic tournament. Loko took 6th place in the regular stage but was defeated in the first round of play-offs.
Lokomotiv qualified to play-offs from 8th place and was beaten by CSKA in quarterfinals.
Lokomotiv took 5th place. However, Loko failed to overcome quarterfinals again. At the same time, Loko won the second trophy in its season – the Russian Railways International Cup.
In the quarterfinals, Loko was defeated by Khimki. Our team managed to maintain a champion of the Russian Railways International Cup.
Lokomotiv took 7th place in the regular championship and were beaten by Khimki in quarterfinals.
The main reason for that were new standards of the Russian championship and European cups, according to which Rostov arenas failed to meet the new requirements.
Relocation of the club caused the change of the team’s name — Lokomotiv-Kuban. The first season in Kuban, Lokomotiv started under management of a Slovenian coach Sašo Filipovski. The start of the season was successful. The team from Krasnodar almost won CSKA in away match, and then won three times in a raw, which helped them to settle on the second place of the league table of the tournament.
Unfortunately, soon the team got caught up with the series of failures. Following that, it lost its confidence and started to lose its positions in the Russian National Championship, and by the end of 2009 Lokomotiv got down to the middle of the league standings.
The management of the club took immediate actions to improve the situation: Sašo Filipovski was replaced by the head coach of Lithuania — Kestutis Kemzura.
Kestutis Kemzura improved the team-game and put every player on his own position on the court. The new coach helped to reveal many talented players: Gerald Green — became the best scorer in the second half of the season; Grigory Shukhovtsov — was invited to the Russian national team at the end of the tournament.
Lokomotiv Kuban took 3rd place in the regular championship, defeated Enisey in quarterfinals but was beaten by CSKA Moscow in the semifinals. Loko failed to win bronze medals in the series against UNICS.
The team showed even better results on the international arena. Loko qualified to the Challenge Cup Top-16 from the first place in its group, then got to play-offs and beat Gravelines and Spartak St. Petersburg. However, Loko was defeated by Slovenian KRKA in the final.
The strong team was formed by well-known coach Bozidar Maljkovic. It was successful and not only performed well in major international tournaments like the EuroCup and VTB United League, but also won bronze medals of the Russian Championship.
Lokomotiv received the right to take part in the second most important European championship, EuroCup, last season, when the team managed to get to the final of the Challenge Cup.
The next season, the team from Krasnodar looked confident despite the fact that it was a fresher in EuroCup. Passing the group selection with the second result in the group — 4 wins in 6 matches, Lokomotiv get to Top-16 where it had to meet with Lithuanian Lietuvos Rytas, Italian Benneton and German Alba. In quarterfinals, Lokomotiv played against Khimki which later became the champion.
The club from Krasnodar also played in the VTB United League for the first time. Lokomotiv demonstrated top-level basketball in the regular season and got to play-offs, taking the 4th place at the end.
There has only been progressive development since the team moved to Krasnodar. The following season the team was headed by a coach who does not require introduction — Evgeny Pashutin. The team’s goals became more ambitious — first places in the Russian National Championship and the VTB United League and winning Eurocup.
Lokomotiv also achieved the greatest success inside Russia as well – the team got to the finale of the Russian championships for the first time and won silver medals.
Meanwhile, the team played in two other championships – the United League of VTB and the Russian Cup, and won silver medals of the last tournament.
And still, the season is remembered in the club due to bronze medals of the United League of VTB.
For the first time, the club received a wild card for participation in Euroleague and got to the Final Four! During the season, Loko defeated Panathinaikos three times, Anadolu Efes two times, and presented fans a fantastic five-game series vs. Barcelona – players managed to win the fifth game at home and celebrated getting to the Final Four together with the overcrowded arena!
As a result Loko not only won the third place of Euroleague in Berlin, but also made a contribution to the future – at some point of the 2015/15 season President of the club Andrey Vedishchev announced launching a project of the first basketball center for children in the country, which is focused on training children from the Krasnodar Territory.
Over these years, the club did the great journey from a basketball hobby class for railway workers to Final Four of the most prestigious European championships – Euroleague.
Unfortunately, Loko didn’t win a trophy in the anniversary year. The team was headed by Fotis Katsikaris at the start of the season. However, due to poor results in all tournaments, he was replaced by Sasa Obradovic. Under his management, the team managed to get to Top-16 of EuroCup but was defeated in the semifinals by the champion-to-be Unicaja.
The same story took place in the VTB United League. In the quarterfinals, Loko beat UNICS and met CSKA Moscow in the next round of play-offs.
The number one goal is returning to Euroleague. The roster was formed under preferences of the head coach. Lokomotiv Kuban signed three players of the Russian national team – Dmitry Kulagin, Pavel Antipov and Stanislav Ilnitsky, the winner of the Russian Cup Ivan Nelyubov, American players Joe Ragland, Chris Babb, Trevor Lacey, and Brian Qvale, and one of the most spectacular players of the VTB United League Frank Elegar.
At the moment, Loko is the only team in EuroCup that hasn’t lost a game in the regular season. In Top-16, Krasnodar is playing against Trento, Cedevita, and Buducnost.
Today Lokomotiv Kuban is the most visited Russian basketball club and a graded sporting organization which develops both professional and popular sports. Four youth and children teams are included into the club’s system – trainees of Loko regularly get to national teams of various ages. Lokomotiv Kuban organizes the all-Russian children championships Lokobasket – School League; it unites more than 175,000 participants all over Russia. In 2016 the club initiated a project of a unique basketball center which is aimed at training young Russian players at a principally new level.