|03 January 2010|
Israel have appointed veteran coach Arik Shivek as the new boss of the national team.
Shivek has replaced Zvika Sherf, who led Israel to the last three EuroBaskets.
In Poland in September, Sherf's Israel failed to advance beyond the Preliminary Round and for only the second time finished below 11th place.
Following the results, the technical committee of Israel's basketball Federation decided a change was needed at the top.
It was first suggested that Sherf become the head of the technical committee and be put in charge of all the men's national teams but that was then rejected.
Sherf then accepted an offer to coach Russian outfit Spartak St. Petersburg.
Shivek had been a leading candidate to coach the national side after the EuroBasket disappointment in Poland and his appointment has finally been made official.
"I congratulate Arik Shivek and wish him all the best in his new job," shared Sherf, who called Shivek to serve as his assistant for most part of his last run with the national team.
Shivek has made a lot of headlines the past few years in European club basketball and is currently at the helm of EuroChallenge side Dexia Mons-Hainaut, whom he joined early in the season from Dutch giants Amsterdam.
Last year he led Amsterdam to the Quarter-Finals of the EuroChallenge and later to the domestic title in the Dutch league, a crown he won with the club in two previous runs as well in 2005 and 2008.
In between, the Israeli coach had a good run with the Antwerp Giants.
He coached the Belgium outfit for two years and won the national cup in 2007.
Shivek's tour in the Low Countries followed a successful career of more than 20 years on the Israeli basketball scene where he was a coach with leading teams like Maccabi Raanana, Hapoel Eilat, Hapoel Galil Elyon and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
He coached the women's national team for several years during the 1990s before enjoying a huge success in a FIBA Europe event.
In 2004, Shivek was the head coach of the Israel team in the U20 European Championship for Men that won silver in Brno, the Czech Republic, and followed that in 2005 by coaching in the FIBA U21 World Championship in Argentina.
His first and most important task will take place next summer as Israel try to qualify for EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania.
They have not missed a EuroBasket since 1991.
There have been two other significant developments with Israel.
Yakov Gino has been made boss of the Israeli Under-20 men's national team while Danny Franco has had his contract extended as the head coach of the under-18s.
Gino led Israel to the Semi-Finals of the U20 European Championship while Franco has had a long run with the U16 and U18 teams.
Both face challenging tasks as the Under-18 and Under-20 teams were dropped to Division B in 2009 for the first time ever and will attempt to return to bounce back this summer.