Constantin Ioan will this summer attempt to lead Romania to promotion in the U20 European Championship for Men.
The fans should give them a lift as the Romanians will be hosting the Division B tournament.
Ioan gave this interview to FIBA Europe.
FIBA Europe: Hi Constantin. How are the preparations going for your team ahead of this summer's big event?
Constantin: We started working out on June 5 with a 10-day training camp at Medias, after which we had an international tournament at Targu Mures with the under-20 teams from Ireland, FYR Macedonia and Bulgaria. The final standings for this tournament were: 1. Romania, 2. FYROM, 3. Bulgaria and 4. Ireland. Before the start of the European Championship at Targu Mures, I will like to play another five or six games so that the team can blend in even better.
FIBA Europe: Is there additional excitement in the squad because Romania is hosting this event? Also, how important for basketball in Romania is it to stage an event like the U20 European Championship Division B?
Constantin: It is normal for the pressure to be on our players because we are playing at home. In the last couple of years, the Romanian Basketball Federation invested a lot in the youth basketball and I am sure that this European Championship will attract even more children to this beautiful sport.
FIBA Europe: What can you tell us about your team? Can you speak about any of the players who have performed well in the past and also comment on those who are doing well in training?
Constantin: I hope the team will have the same result as the team that played two years ago at the U18 European Championship in Sibiu. We have a very balanced team in which Vlad Moldoveanu and Titus Nicoara excel.
FIBA Europe: What style of play can we expect to see from Romania?
Constantin: We are training to play a modern style of basketball which is based on a very good defense and a very fast transition game, which defines this age group.
FIBA Europe: Lastly, Constantin, tell us about yourself. Were you a former player and how did you get involved in the sport?
Constantin: As a player, I played in the first league. As a coach, I started as an assistant coach in the first league at Soced Bucuresti. In the five years in which I was head coach for Soced, I coached many of the national team players like Virgil Stanescu, Claudiu Fometescu and Uche Iheadindu. I continued at Rompetrol Bucuresti as a head coach. Since then, I have been the coordinator coach for youth basketball and head coach of the national team with players born in 1989.
FIBA Europe: Thanks for your time and good luck with this summer.