Greece To Announce Coach By New Year

20 November 2012


Greece Head Coach Ilias Zouros
Ilias Zouros is no longer the coach of the Greek national team, his successor is not known yet

Greek Federation president George Vassilakopoulos stated in an interview on Monday that the coach who will be at the helm of the senior national team at the EuroBasket will be announced by the end of the calendar year.

Vassilakopoulos, who is also FIBA Europe Honorary President, added that the new coach will work in a part-time capacity.

"Our cooperation with Mr [Ilias] Zouros has reached its end; we have done a study and we have a list of European coaches," Vassilakopoulos told radio station Sentra FM.

Zouros was handed the reins ahead of EuroBasket 2011 and led an injury-depleted Greece to sixth place.

The Greeks however failed to qualify to the London Olympics after a shock defeat to Nigeria in the pre-Olympic tournament in Venezuela last summer.

"What I can say is that we will have a coach by New Year's Day," Vassilakopoulos stated.

"For a variety of reasons it will not be a full-time coach.

Vasileios Spanoulis, Greece, Olympic Qualifying Tournament
Vasileios Spanoulis and Greece are waiting to learn about their new coach

"Above all [it will be someone who has] excellent knowledge of the European situation, of developments in basketball in Europe and have profound knowledge of Greek basketball.

A coach that fits this profile perfectly is Zeljiko Obradovic.

"You have to ask him if he wants to work in the summer," was Vassilakopoulos's diplomatic answer.

Obradovic was the boss of Panathinaikos for more than a decade and is the most successful coach in the history of the Euroleague.

The Serbian tactician parted ways with the Athenians in the summer but has not signed with any club since.

Vassilakopoulos also confirmed in the interview that the Greek Federation had held talks in the past with Italian play-caller Ettore Messina, most likely referring to the period after the 2010 World Championship.

Greece were looking for a replacement to Jonas Kazlauskas and finally recruited Zouros.

On Sunday, the Greeks were drawn into First Round Group D at EuroBasket 2013 and will face Russia, Italy, Turkey, Finland and Sweden.


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