Ludwiczuk, Poland Target New Coach

16.02.2008

Poland are hosting EuroBasket 2009 but right now, the national team doesn't have a coach.

The federation has confirmed that Koln's very successful boss, 39-year-old Sasa Obradovic, is one of the candidates to take the reins.

Obradovic was an outstanding guard for Yugoslavia's national side, winning EuroBasket titles in 1995, '97 and 2001.

Everything he learned as a player has been put to good use in Germany with Koln, whom he led to a German championship two seasons ago. He also served as an assistant coach for Serbia & Montenegro at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

With Koln's future in doubt following the loss of a major sponsor, now could be the time to snap up one of Europe's up-and-coming great coaches as a replacement for Andrej Urlep, who led the national side last year at the EuroBasket in Spain.

Polish Basketball Federation president Roman Ludwiczuk provided some insight to the situation in an interview with Basketball World News on behalf of FIBA Europe.

FIBA Europe: Hi Roman. Has a decision been made yet on who is to coach Poland's men's team at EuroBasket 2009?

Ludwiczuk: Not yet. We are still in the process of negotiations with a few potential candidates.

FIBA Europe: We heard that Sasa Obradovic, a former national team star with Yugoslavia and a terrific coach in Germany with Koln, is a strong candidate. What qualities would he bring to Poland?

Ludwiczuk: Mr. Obradovic is one of the most talented and already successful coaches of a new generation in Europe.  As I said before, we are speaking to a few candidates and Mr. Obradovic is one of them. We know what he has achieved both as a player and as a coach and have a lot of respect for him.  

FIBA Europe: The EuroBasket is quickly approaching. How important will this tournament be for basketball's growth and popularity in Poland?

Ludwiczuk: We had not played in a EuroBasket for 10 long years. In 2007, we qualified for this event which created a lot of publicity for basketball in Poland.  We know that European Championships for Basketball, with the glamour of basketball stars being around, will make a lot of young kids start to become keen on basketball. We want the Polish national team to be successful as it is a key factor and we know we can achieve it. We believe that good cooperation between FIBA Europe, the Polish Basketball Federation and all seven EuroBasket hosting cities will benefit us with a major growth in basketball popularity. Without any doubt, it is one of the biggest events in Europe and we are looking forward to organizing it.

FIBA Europe: Is it fair to say this is the most important two years in Polish basketball history, from now until the end of EuroBasket 2009?

Ludwiczuk: These two years are indeed important as the EuroBasket is obviously our main concern. However, we always look one step ahead. We want to play at the World Championships and Olympics. This is our dream.

FIBA Europe: Could you please give us one comment on the planning of the event? Is everything going okay?

Ludwiczuk: We have a very good cooperation between the Polish Federation and FIBA Europe, along with excellent cooperation between the Polish Federation and the EuroBasket hosting cities, which are - Katowice - Final Round, Bydgoszcz and Łódź as a Semi-final Round and four cities for a Preliminary Round (Gdańsk, Poznań, Warszawa and Wrocław). Our government is showing its strong interest in the EuroBasket. I can say everything is going in the right direction. 

FIBA Europe: Thanks very much for your time


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