Lishchuk On Fratello; Deng Adds To The Gordon Enigma

18 March 2011
EuroBasket 2011

Serhiy Lishchuk (Ukraine)
Ukraine center Serhiy Lishchuk will get to know Mike Fratello for good this summer, something he could not possibly imagine during their brief encounter in 2004

Lishchuk's Take On New Ukraine Boss Fratello 

Serhiy Lishchuk is one of the reasons why Power Electronics Valencia won the Eurocup last season, and are contending for a spot in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four this year.

He is also, without question, a player than can help Ukraine this summer at the EuroBasket in Lithuania.

What everyone is wondering is how Lishchuk and his teammates will perform under recently appointed national team coach, Mike Fratello.

It turns out that Lishchuk met Fratello several years ago.

"In 2004, I was in the pre-draft camp in Memphis and I spoke with him," Lishchuk said to Basketball World News.

"I know him a little bit. But I don't know."

What he doesn't know is if Fratello will be a good fit for Ukraine.

"He will be the first American coach in our national team, but I don't know," Lishchuk said.

"I think he'll have a lot of problems because if you don't know European basketball, it will be very tough for him.

"We'll see."

Ukraine will play in Group D against Slovenia, Russia, Belgium, Bulgaria and Georgia.

Gordon Still An Uncertainty 

Luol Deng and Ben Gordon - Great Britain
Ben Gordon is going to be a father this summer. Just don't tell him you heard it from Luol Deng

For a player that has never put on the Great Britain shirt, Ben Gordon can't seem to stay out of the news when it comes to Team GB. 

There has been a buzz about the London-born guard playing for Britain for several years.

Many, including British players Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Luol Deng and Joel Freeland, believe Gordon is a player that would help take the national team to a different level.

Injured and unable to play last summer, Gordon still made the trip to Europe and watched Britain play as they secured a first place finish in their EuroBasket 2011 qualifying group.

With Britain having been guaranteed a place at the 2012 Olympics and the talk about Gordon finally ready to join up with the national team, Deng has revealed his former Chicago Bulls teammate is far from a certainty.

When asked if Gordon will play at the Olympics, Deng said: "As of now, yes, but I'm not sure.

"Ben was there last summer. He spent the summer with the team but didn't play because he had an injury, but he was there. But he was committed so I assume he will.

"But I know he's expecting a baby, so we'll see."

When asked when the baby was due, Deng answered: "This summer."

He paused, smiled and said: "Maybe I'm not supposed to announce that."

Deng then laughed and said, "Yea, I don't know anything about it."

So even if Gordon is fit and willing to play this summer at the EuroBasket in Lithuania, it remains to be seen if he will show up and do so for the country of his birth.

Great Britain will take on Spain, Turkey, Lithuania, Poland and an additional qualifier in Group A at the 24-team EuroBasket.


22.09.2011 - U18 All Star Game
21.09.2011 - EuroBasket 2011
21.09.2011 - EuroBasket 2011

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