Ukraine and the Czar

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Check out my HoopsHype interview about coaching Ukraine at the 2013 EuroBasket!


Who called you to become the head coach of the Ukraine basketball team?

MF: The call came from Sasha Volkov, now the president of the Ukraine Basketball Federation. He played for me with the Atlanta Hawks. The heart and soul of international basketball to the NBA, Kim Bohuny, knows Sasha very well and she got a call from Sasha. Sasha said ‘Hey Kim, do you think Mike would be interested in coaching the National Team?’ Then Kim called me and I said ‘Let’s talk about it.’

How did it feel that a former player of yours called you so many years later to offer you the job?

MF: It was a great honor. I have a very special feeling for Sasha. He’s a very special person to me because when he came over to the United States I felt for him because of how difficult it was for a young man to come to the United States, a man from the Soviet Union.  Read more…


Ukraine and The Czar

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

After Falling to Croatia in the quarterfinals 84-72 on Thursday, Ukraine bounced back to beat Italy 66-58 on Friday and earn an automatic bid to the FIBA World Championship for the first time ever!  Today we played a competitive game against Slovenia for fifth place in front of their spirited home crowd, but unfortunately we came up short 69-63. I couldn’t be prouder of our team’s effort in this tournament and our historic run to the Elite 8. Now our players will return to their respective teams to get ready for the start of the regular season. Look forward to regrouping in Spain next summer to compete in the 2014 FIBA World Cup!

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Photos courtesy of FIBA Europe’s official EuroBasket 2013 website.

Ukraine and The Czar

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

For the first time in the national basketball team’s history, Ukraine is among the eight teams that advanced to the EuroBasket 2013 Quarterfinals. We’ll play Croatia, the top seed in our group of four, for a shot at the semis.  Rooted in a rich basketball tradition, Croatia is tall, long, athletic and very skilled, so we’ll have our hands full. CRO vs. UKR tips off Thursday, Sept. 19 at 11:45AM ET at Stozice Arena in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Photos courtesy of FIBA Europe’s official EuroBasket 2013 website.

Ukraine and The Czar

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Ukraine and The Czar

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

David Hein wrote a nice article about Ukraine’s progress as we look ahead to hosting EuroBasket 2015.


You will have to excuse the basketball general public if they don’t know the names of Maxym Korniyenko, Sergii Gladyr and Olexandr Mishula.

Don’t worry Ukraine fans, your coach has name notoriety enough to bring interest to your national team as Mike Fratello is in the process of giving Ukraine an identity – especially looking forward to EuroBasket 2015 in their own country.

The diminutive and experienced former NBA coach and television analyst paces the sidelines at EuroBasket 2013 with a large coaching staff behind him. Fratello’s philosophies and instructions have already seen success with Ukraine reaching the Second Round of a EuroBasket for the first time and knocking on the door to the quarter-finals after beating Serbia 82-75. Read more…

Photos courtesy of FIBA Europe’s official EuroBasket 2013 website