Zdovc Points To Katsikaris For Russia

18 December 2012

Slovenia Head Coach 	Jure Zdovc
Jure Zdovc was rumoured to become new head coach of the Russian national team

Spartak Saint Petersburg head coach Jurij (Jure) Zdovc has confirmed he's been approached by the Russian Basketball Federation and discussed the vacancy at the helm of the senior national team.

He also revealed their discussions did not advance past the first step.

"I did not receive an offer to lead the Russian team, but [the federation] got in touch," Zdovc told the R-Sport agency.

"There was no proposal, they asked me if I was interested in coaching the [Russian] national team."

The Slovenian tactician was mentioned in the media as one of the main candidates for the position, alongside that of Fotis Katsikaris, who is currently the coach of Bilbao Basket in the Spanish Liga Endesa.

Without naming him, Zdovc made clear that he believes the Greek coach has been chosen for the job.

"I think they have already decided who will be the head coach," he said.

"I can only wish him good luck to coach Russia.

"He's proved that he is a great coach, I know him well.

"He is a high-class expert, I think he deserves a chance to shine," Zdovc added.

A little known fact is that Zdovc and Katsikaris know each other for almost 20 years.

Katsikaris has coached in Saint Peterburg, but Zdovc was not working in Russia at the time.

The Greek was handed the reins of the now defunct Dynamo in the 2005/06 season, when Zdovc was the head coach of Iraklis Thessaloniki.

The two men actually first met on the court, during their playing days.

Zdovc, one of the best point guards in the history of the European game, joined Iraklis in 1993 and played in the Salonica side for three seasons while Katsikaris, also a point guard, was on the books of AEK Athens.

Russia are in search of a new boss for the senior team after long-serving coach Davit Blatt decided he would not continue at the helm of the national team.

Blatt, who's also the coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, spent seven years in charge of Russia.

He led the team to the top of the podium at EuroBasket 2007 in Spain.

Russia also collected bronze medals at EuroBasket 2011 and the London Olympics last summer, after which the two parties announced the cycle of their collaboration had closed.

The Russian Basketball Federation will announce the name of the new coach of the national team on 24 December.


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