|15 May 2013|
|Pokey Chatman: "The past six years have been an amazing journey for me both professionally and personally"|
An instantly recognisable face of EuroLeague Women won't be pacing the sideline next season, after Pokey Chatman announced she will not be continuing for a seventh year with Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje.
The play-caller will not be returning to Europe after the summer months which she will again spend overseeing affairs on and off the court at Chicago Sky in the WNBA.
And, in the wake of her departure, she paid tribute to the late Shabtai von Kalmanovich and wife Anna Arkhipova von Kalmanovich who is currently the Executive Director of the club.
She explained, "After much consideration, I have decided not to return to Sparta&K next season.
"The past six years have been an amazing journey for me both professionally and personally.
"I want to thank the Executive Director of the club, Anna Arkhipova von Kalmanovich for being that we were able to continue the tradition of Shabtai von Kalmanovich.
"I'm sure that Sparta&K, with its excellent reputation and a glorious history, will acquire a new qualified coach that can lead the team to new victories," continued Chatman.
"Sparta&K will forever remain for me, a real family."
She spent six fabulous seasons at the club, the highlight winning the EuroLeague Women title in her first season as head coach during 2009-10.
It capped a marvellous four titles in a row for the club, with Chatman having been an assistant to Natalia Hejkova and Laszlo Ratgeber prior to that.
Last season, the club suffered a disappointing early exit at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight, but that could barely taint an exciting and successful era under the expert eye of Chatman.
Unsurprisingly, Arkhipova von Kalmanovich heaped praise on the coach for her accomplishments in Vidnoje.
She said, "Pokey Chatman is a big professional.
"During all the years she spent at the club, Pokey shared with us her extensive knowledge and valuable experience, giving Sparta&K heart and soul every day.
"We sincerely thank her for the hard work and tremendous contribution in the development of basketball in the Moscow Region and in Russia!"
She added, "Pokey will always be part of our team."
A successor to Chatman is likely to be announced very soon.