BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Dusan Ivkovic is the wanted man of the federation to lead Serbia to EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia|
The dust has settled on EuroBasket 2011, and Serbia are in the unwanted position of being on the outside of the Olympics with no chance of making it to London.
Under the leadership of coach Dusan Ivkovic, a young, energetic and passionate Serbia national team qualified for EuroBasket 2009 and made a stunning run to the silver medal before clinching a fourth-place finish at the 2010 World Championship.
After missing out on the podium this summer in Lithuania, though, and also failing to clinch a top-six finish that would have put the Blues in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Serbia are taking stock and one conclusion is that the Serbian Basketball Association (KSS) want Ivkovic to continue leading the national team.
KSS president Dragan Djilas is to travel with KSS vice president Dejan Bodiroga, a EuroBasket and world champion with the former Yugoslavia, to Athens to try to agree terms on a new contract with Ivkovic, the Olympiacos coach.
"We have to speak with him to see whether or not he's ready and if it is his wish to continue to work as Serbian coach," said Djilas.
"Our plan is to have Ivkovic as coach, not just in the qualifications for EuroBasket 2013.
"We want to have him at our team's helm at the next EuroBasket as well.
"I would be more than happy if he says 'yes', because I believe he's a good solution.
"Ivkovic is one of our best coaches. Still, he'll have to say what's on his mind, of course.
"On the other hand, we have to think about the future generation of coaches, as nobody will lead one team eternally.
"But, Ivkovic came back (to coach the Serbian team) when I've asked him to do so and as long he can do that job, I think he should do it."
Serbia won their first four games at the EuroBasket in Lithuania before falling to France in overtime.
They ended up losing six of their last seven games and finished eighth.