|02 January 2013|
Andrea Trinchieri will be the head coach of the senior Greek national team for the next two years, the Greek Basketball Federation (EOK) announced on Wednesday.
|Andrea Trinchieri is the new coach of Greece|
The 44-year-old Italian tactician will combine his role at the EuroBasket 2005 champions with his full-time job at historical club Mapooro Pallacanestro Cantú.
Giorgos Limniatis, an assistant to coach Kostas Missas on the U20 Greek side and former player, Dimitris Papanikolaou, another former international player turned coach, and Ilias Kantzouris will be Trinchieri's assistants at the EuroBasket in Slovenia.
"Greece is among the top teams in the world and this fact alone makes it an enormous honour as well as an enormous responsibility for me," Trinchieri said after his appointment was made official.
"I could never turn down a proposal to take over the Greek national team, especially considering the way (EOK president and FIBA Europe honorary president) George Vassilakopoulos approached me to express his interest.
"There are a lot of Greek players with talent, experience and ambition, we will need to find the chemistry so that they can make up a group of winning players, to become a team, in other words."
Greece were drawn into Group D in the First Round of the EuroBasket, along with Turkey, Russia, Finland, Sweden and, quite importantly, Italy.
"I was born in Milano, I've lived in Milano and for the past four years I've been working in (nearby) Cantú, so I think everyone can understand this match-up will be quite special to me," Trinchieri admitted.
Interestingly, Russia appointed a Greek, Fotis Katsikaris, as head coach of the senior national team, just before Christmas.
Trinchieri takes over at the helm from Ilias Zouros, who led an injury-plagued Greece to a sixth-place finish at EuroBasket 2011 but was held responsible for last summer's disappointing developments.
The Greeks suffered a shock defeat to Nigeria in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela and missed out on the London Games.
Trinchieri was named 'Coach of the Year' in Italy two times in a row, in 2010 and 2011 and recently prolonged his contract with Cantú until 2014.
He took over at the Italian club in 2009 and led them to the Supercup title and the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Regular Season in 2012.
The new coach of the Greek national team has never worked outside his native country before.
He started as an assistant at Olimpia Milano in 1998 and was named head coach of Vanoli Soresina in 2004.