|George Dikeoulakos will be at the helm of Team Europe in the All Star Game|
George Dikeoulakos is no stranger to important games.
He has been on the sideline in EuroCup Women finals and win or go home games of EuroBasket Women qualifiers.
Leading a star packed Europe team at the EuroLeague Women All Star Game in Gdynia, Poland on March 8th will be a new experience for the Greek play caller though.
The Lotos Gdynia head coach took some time to talk to www.fibaeurope.com to give an insight on his preparation for the showcase event on the international Women's day.
FIBA Europe: FIBA Europe has announced that you will be the head coach of the Europe Team at the EuroLeague Women All Star Game. How do you feel about it?
George Dikeoulakos: I feel excellent. Coaching the best players of Europe in an All Star game is, by itself, a great honour. Nominations like this give to the players as to the coaches the obligation to work more, learn more and to perform better every year!
FIBA Europe: How do you approach this match? For many people an All Star Game is nothing but fun?
George Dikeoulakos: I don't like to lose any game, no matter if it's all star game or a championship. But in this case winning is not so important. The most important thing is for the players to show to the fans their talent and that everybody is enjoying a great basketball show.
FIBA Europe: Besides Elina Babkina, you will aslo have stars like Celine Dumerc, Amaya Valdemoro and Hana Horakova. Apart from Elina have you already worked with any of them?
|Celine Dumerc is one of the players that used to cause sleepless nights for Dikeoulakos |
George Dikeoulakos: I've worked many, many hours on how to ... stop them!!! They are all great players, sometimes I didn't sleep trying to find the best defense against them.
FIBA Europe: You will coach together with Jose I. Hernandez. How do you think your cooperation will be?
George Dikeoulakos: Well, as I mentioned before, it will be a game in which both teams, players and coaches will relax for a while of the stress of having to win and will try to enjoy the game. We'll try to give enough playing time to all the stars, we'll enjoy the game and it's a good chance for me to practice my spanish language skills!
FIBA Europe: On the other bench it will be Laszlo Ratgeber of Fenerbahce, together with Gundars Vetra from UMMC Ekaterinburg. What do you think about the composition of the coaching staff?
George Dikeoulakos: What can I say? The number of the titles that each one of them has won, speaks for itself. But what people don't know is that all of us are great friends, cause except of great coaches they are great characters and personalities.
FIBA Europe: Apart from the game, there will be a coaching clinic held and the coaches will be asked to share their knowledge of basketball. What kind of advice would you give to the young polish coaches?
George Dikeoulakos: We still haven't discussed about the exact schedule, but usually I am asked to talk about building a defense, especially after the EuroBasket 2009 where the Greek national team had an average on defense around 55 points per game. But anyway it's a great pleasure for me to share the knowledge. I even do that in my personal blog, discussing with other coaches. We all take new ideas out of these clinics, even the lecturers, not only the attendees.
FIBA Europe: Before the event, there are a couple of important games in the Polish League coming up - including games against Wisla Krakow and Energa Torun. How would you rate the chances of our team in those encounters?
George Dikeoulakos: I never rate chances, I just pray that everybody in the team is healthy and I believe a lot in our work and our talent. Everybody in the team is optimistic because we are really a team in every aspect, and because we know that we'll see the results of our hard work.