Ukraine and the Czar

Anti-government protests in Ukraine intensified over the weekend. Thousands of people who oppose the protests converged on their tent camp in Kiev’s Independence Square. And hundreds of security forces gathered in the area. Though the demonstrations have been confined to a relatively small location downtown, the congestion has altered traffic patterns so it takes much longer to get around central Kiev. And the protests forced us to use a different hotel as our headquarters.


Ukraine and the Czar

Ukraine and The Czar


Ukraine and the Czar

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

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.